Did You Register Your Drone? You Could Get Your Money Back.

It turns out the FAA isn't actually allowed to have a drone registry, so the agency is offering to refund your money and expunge your data from the record.
Did You Register Your Drone? You Could Get Your Money Back.
Image credit: via PC Mag

Grow Your Business, Not Your Inbox

Stay informed and join our daily newsletter now!
News reporter
2 min read
This story originally appeared on PCMag

Remember that $5 you paid to register your drone with the Federal Aviation Administration? It turns out the FAA isn't actually allowed to have a drone registry, so the agency is offering to refund your money and expunge your data from the record.

The FAA won't automatically mail you a check, however. You'll have to download a form and mail it to the agency, Recode reports. The FAA will then delete your drone and other personal information from its record and electronically deposit $5 into your bank account.

The FAA previously required that commercial and private drone operators register their craft, pay the fee and affix a unique identification code to their drone. But a court ruled in May that the agency was unlawfully applying its registration requirement to private drone operators, citing a federal statute that prohibits the agency from making any rules or regulations that apply to model aircraft.

The decision does not apply to commercial craft, which must still be registered. Nor does it exempt personal drones from prohibited flying, including flying within 5 miles of an airport without first obtaining permission.

As of early May, more than 820,000 drone operators had registered, according to FAA Administrator Michael Huerta. While it's unclear if all of those are private owners, the agency could still be on the hook for refunding millions of dollars in fees.

The FAA said it is working on updating its drone regulations to comply with the court's order. It encouraged new private drone owners to continue to register even though they are no longer required to do so. This might all be an exercise in futility since, as Recode also notes, the FAA is also working on a remote drone identification system.

More from Entrepreneur
Our Franchise Advisors will guide you through the entire franchising process, for FREE!
  1. Book a one-on-one session with a Franchise Advisor
  2. Take a survey about your needs & goals
  3. Find your ideal franchise
  4. Learn about that franchise
  5. Meet the franchisor
  6. Receive the best business resources
Make sure you’re covered if an employee gets injured at work by
  • Providing us with basic information about your business
  • Verifying details about your business with one of our specialists
  • Speaking with an agent who is specifically suited to insure your business
Make sure you’re covered for physical injuries or property damage at work by
  • Providing us with basic information about your business
  • Verifying details about your business with one of our specialists
  • Speaking with an agent who is specifically suited to insure your business

Latest on Entrepreneur