The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced on December 14, 2015, it is implementing a new, web-based aircraft registration process for owners of small unmanned aircraft weighing more than 0.55 pounds and less than 55 pounds. Owners of small unmanned aircraft vehicles (UAV) who have previously operated unmanned aircraft exclusively as model aircraft prior to December 21 must register no later than February 19, 2016. Owners of UAVs purchased for use as model aircraft after December 21 must register before the first flight outdoors.
Owners using model aircraft for hobby or recreation will only have to register once and may use the same identification number for all of their model UAVs. The registration is valid for three years. The registration fee is $5, but the FAA is waiving this fee for the first 30 days (from December 21, 2015, to January 20, 2016).
The online registration system does not support registration of small UAVs used for any purpose other than hobby or recreation. The FAA is developing enhancements that will allow such online registrations by spring of 2016.