WHAT IS REGISTRATION?
What is UAS Registration?
Federal law requires that all aircrafts (which include UAS and radio/remote controlled aircrafts) flown outdoors must be registered with the FAA and marked with it's assigned registration number.
What is the difference between registering a UAS flown for fun vs. UAS flown commercially for work or business?
There is a common misunderstanding that by registering a UAS, the pilot is then allowed to operate their aircraft commercially. This is simply not true. Both hobbyists and commercial drone operators must register their equipment, however, a UAS registered under recreational (hobbyist) rules that is being used commercially for work or business purposes can actually be subject to civil and criminal penalties.
The FAA may assess civil penalties up to $27,500. Criminal penalties include fines of up to $250,000 and/or imprisonment for up to three years. There is no one-size-fits-all enforcement action for violations. All aspects of a violation will be considered, along with mitigating and aggravating circumstances surrounding the violation. In general, the FAA will attempt to educate operators who fail to comply with registration requirements. However, fines will remain an option when egregious circumstances are present.