Hobbyist drone flyers must display FAA registration on outside of drone
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Hobbyist drone flyers must display FAA registration on the outside of drone

The FAA is making some important changes in the area of drones. One of which that may directly affect you is that as of February 25, 2019, hobbyists — like commercial drone pilots — are now required to display their FAA-issued registration number on the outside of the drone, where they are easily visible.

The reason for enacting this was a concern by FAA’s interagency security partners of hidden or concealed explosive devices that would pose a potential threat to first responders if they have to open a compartment on the drone when arriving on the scene to identify the drone. As you may know, previously as a hobbyist, you were to allowed to place your registration in an interior compartment on the drone. This is no longer the case.

While this is what is called an Interim Final Rule and is open to public feedback, it is a requirement right now. You can offer your opinion by visiting regulations.gov. The comment period will end on March 15, 2019.

Where can you display your registration number?

Here are the requirements from the Electronic Code of Regulations:

a. The unique identifier must be maintained in a condition that is legible.

b. The unique identifier must be affixed to the small unmanned aircraft by any means necessary to ensure that it will remain affixed for the duration of each operation.

c. The unique identifier must be readily accessible and visible upon inspection of the small unmanned aircraft. A unique identifier enclosed in a compartment is readily accessible if it can be accessed without the use of any tool.

Where ‘c’ has been replaced by

c. The unique identifier must be legibly displayed on an external surface of the small unmanned aircraft.

Vinyl registration numbers

For those of you who want a nice looking registration label to place on your drone, you can do a search on eBay or Amazon for vinyl drone registration. You supply your registration number to the vendor and they will produce a vinyl label that you can apply to your drone. Vinyl looks good and is very durable. Here’s what mine look like on my Inspire 2 drone.

Drone ID Markings

I hope you found this article to be helpful.

Fly safe and have fun!

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