This requirement has gone back and forth, but for now, as a hobbyist drone flyer, you must register your drone if it weighs more than 0.55 pounds. You have to register even if you are just flying in your backyard.

The steps that the FAA lays out for Recreational Fliers is:

Step 1: Register your drone

  • To register your drone, you need to create an account. You do that here. Once you create your account, you can login and proceed to register the drone.
  • To register you must be at least 13 years old. If you are less than 13 years old then a responsible adult must register in your place. The cost to register is $5 and the registration is valid for 3 years.
  • Once you’ve registered your drone, you will need to put that registration on the outside of your drone in a visible location. See my article Hobbyist drone flyers must display FAA registration on the outside of drone.

Step 2: Review the Rules

  • Fly only for fun or recreation
  • Follow the safety guidelines of a model aircraft community-based organization
  • Fly at or below 400 feet when in uncontrolled airspace (Class G)
  • Fly within visual line-of-sight, meaning you as the drone operator use your own eyes and needed contacts or glasses (without binoculars), to ensure you can see your drone at all times.
  • Never fly near other aircraft
  • Never fly over groups of people, public events, or stadiums full of people
  • Never fly near or over emergency response efforts

Step 3: Where can you fly

  • Find out where you can fly as a hobbyist here
  • Learn drone safety tips here
  • Learn about Airspace Restrictions here

I hope you found this article helpful! Fly safe and have fun!