Getting a drone for Christmas? Owners now need to register drones

Getting a drone for Christmas? Owners now need to register drones (KOMO News) 

FEDERAL WAY, Wash. -- Looking to buy a drone or expecting to get one for Christmas? You're not alone.

And now, you may have to register that drone with the Federal Aviation Administration before you can launch it.

Chris Madden of Federal Way has his eye on a high-flying gadget for his birthday next month.

“I want the DJI Flyer from Best Buy.”

He just bought a drone for a loved one for Christmas.

The FAA announced regulations in 2015 stating drone owners have to register their device.

A Federal judge tossed out those rules in September. But just this month, President Trump signed a bill restoring the regulations.

“I (still) want one. I don't care if you've got to register,” Madden said.

The owner must attach a drone I.D. number which is then linked to the owners name and address. The owner also has to pay a $5 fee.

The FAA says registration enables the agency to check in with drone users and make sure they understand they are accountable to the public for flying responsibly.

“Something going two miles in the air and falling out of the sky, half a pound could hurt somebody,” Madden said.

Any drone that weighs more than .55 pounds needs to be registered.

Otherwise, the owner could face civil and criminal penalties.

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