President Trump Brings Back Drone Registration in the United States

By Kehl Bayern / December 16, 2017

Drone safety and regulation is a hot topic among politicians the world over and the United States is top among those considering a more restrictive approach to drone ownership and operation.

Whether it is the first drone-aircraft meeting in Canada, or the various proposals the United Kingdom is putting forward, the ideas for regulating drone ownership and drone owners are many and oft confusing. That makes it all the more frustrating that some of the most exciting things in photography are happening via this consumer device.

Drones, part and parcel of one of the fastest growing fields of photography, may face renewed old regulations concerning registration of drones and their owners.

Image via Snapwire from

In a signal of a return to old laws in the United States that required drone registration, President Trump’s administration signed a bill into law that requires mandatory drone registration in a reversal of a court decision that said otherwise.

The Federal Aviation Administration had placed a registration requirement on drones as early as 2015 but the recent court ruling from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit said the FAA did not have such jurisdiction over drone devices, effectively killing the requirement.

The renewal of the drone registration requirement was part of the National Defense Authorization Act, an omnibus bill covering a wide-range of military and security related issues.

A Federal Aviation Administration that spoke to TechCrunch offered a positive assessment of the new legislation, “We welcome the reinstatement of registration rules for all small unmanned aircraft. Ownership identification helps promote safe and responsible drone operation and is a key component to full integration.”

The new requirements place the burden on drone owners with machines weighing between .55 pounds and 55 pounds to register their machine with civil penalties for failing to do so.

You can check out the registration process here.


About the author

Kehl Bayern

Kehl Bayern is our staff news writer and has over a decade of experience in online media and publishing. In terms of photography, he is interested in architecture and modern design. Kehl Bayern is also the author of science fiction thriller Animus Proxy. He is based in Boston, Massachusetts and studied politics at the University of Virginia and, later, Harvard University for graduate school. He spends much of his time traveling up and down the east coast of the United States. You can follow him on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

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