Federal UAS Registration
The FAA requires most modelers who fly aircraft between .55 to 55 pounds to register with the FAA. Modelers will receive a single FAA registration number which is to be placed inside all aircraft. Below is a list of commonly asked questions.
Q: How do I register?
A: You can register at https://registermyuas.faa.gov. If you need assistance, please call 877 396 4636.
Q: Do I have to register every aircraft?
A: You only need to register your name, physical address, and email address once. You will receive a single FAA registration number which is to be placed inside all of your aircraft along with your AMA number.
Q: Do only drones and multirotor operators need to register?
A: No. Anyone who flies a model that is over 0.55 lbs (or 250 grams) and uses a ground-control system with a communications link, such as an RC transmitter, is required to register.
Q: Do I need to list both my AMA number and my federal registration number on my aircraft?
A: Yes, you need to list both your AMA number and Federal registration number on your aircraft. We are advocating to allow members to use their AMA numbers. We believe an AMA membership already meets the intent of registration, but at this time place both numbers on your aircraft.
Q: How does UAS registration affect my membership?
A: AMA club or member benefits are not contingent on UAS registration. We encourage all members to follow Federal regulations, but we are not policing UAS registration.
Q: Should clubs, contest directors, or event leaders require all pilots be registered?
A: No, we are not asking our clubs or contest directors to police UAS Registration. That decision is up to each individual club and event leader.
Q: Why did AMA change its position on registration? Why are they telling members to register now? Why doesn’t the AMA take this matter to court?
A: We are resolute in our commitment and will continue to advocate on behalf of our members. We continue to be disappointed with the registration rule and believe it is contrary to Congress’s intent within the Special Rule for Model Aircraft, which is part of the 2012 FAA Modernization and Reform Act. We have been working with our legal counsel and the FAA to find a solution for our members on the registration rule. To date, the FAA has agreed in principle to several items that will help ease this process for our members.
However, we want to emphasize that this is not the end of our efforts to protect AMA members from this overreaching regulation. We are continuing to explore all legal and political options available, but these conversations may take time.
Q: I am already registered through the AMA, why do I have to register twice?
A: We understand the concern of our members and, while the FAA is open to streamlining the registration for our members, finding a solution will take time. Therefore, it will be necessary for current AMA members to register separately with the FAA. For future AMA members, we are working on an agreement with the FAA where for new members federal registration will automatically be fulfilled when they join the AMA, thereby creating one simple registration.
Q: Am I permitted to fly above 400 feet? What if I had to check a box saying otherwise on the federal registration website?
A: Yes. AMA members who abide by the AMA Safety Code, which permits flights above 400 feet under appropriate circumstances, and are protected by the Special Rule for Model Aircraft under the 2012 FAA Modernization and Reform Act. Checking the box on the federal registration webpage signifies an understanding of the 400 foot guideline. This is an important safety principle that all UAS operators need to be aware of, and is the same guideline established in AC 91-57 published in 1981. However, the placement of this guideline on the FAA website is intended as an educational piece and more specifically intended for those operating outside of AMA’s safety program. You can read a letter from the FAA that recognizes our community-based safety program and flight over 400 feet by clicking here
Q: I am an Affiliate Member, do not live in the US, or I am not a US Citizen. How do I register?
A:Everyone, including foreign nationals and tourists, who operate a UAS for hobby or recreational purposes outdoors in the U.S. must use the FAA’s online registration system. These non-U.S. citizens or non-permanent U.S. residents will receive the same registration certificate as U.S. Citizens or permanent U.S. residents. However, this certificate will function as a “recognition of ownership” document. This document is required by the Department of Transportation for foreign nationals to operate legally in the US.
Visiting pilots can only use a computer with a United States IP address to register. When arriving in the states, pilots can register using a US computer at a hotel, guest home, or even at AMA HQ. For assistance you can call 877 396 4636 or email .
Q: I only fly CL, FF, or indoors - do I need to register?
A: No. If you exclusively fly indoors, FF, or CL you do not need to register.
Q: Can I fly my large model aircraft? Turbine jets?
A: Yes. The Special Rule for Model Aircraft, which is part of the 2012 FAA Modernization and Reform Act, allows AMA members to operate model aircraft over 55 lbs as long as they are operating in accordance with AMA’s Large Model Aircraft safety program. AMA members can also fly turbine jets provided the operator holds a current AMA Turbine Waiver.
Q: Does my large model aircraft require an N number?
A: AMA representatives, including AMA’s legal counsel, met with the FAA on January 15, 2016, and this was one of the many questions that were raised. The FAA representatives verbally indicated to our representatives that AMA member, operating models under the Large Model Airplane Program, should not have to apply for an N number, and that they would address/change their information accordingly.
At the end of the January meeting there was an understanding that FAA would provide written acknowledgement of the items discussed for AMA to share with its members. Although we have not yet received the document(s) from the FAA, we were told to advise AMA members in good faith that an N number registration is not required for their LMA models.
Q: Am I permitted to fly first person view (FPV)? Can I fly at night?
A: Yes. AMA members are still protected by the Special Rule for Model Aircraft, which is part of the 2012 FAA Modernization and Reform Act. As long as AMA members continue to follow AMA’s safety guidelines for these activities, they can continue to fly. The guidelines listed on the FAA UAS website do not negate the modeling activities and related safety procedures established in AMA’s community-based safety program.
Q: What happens if I don’t register?
A: According to the FAA, failure to register an unmanned aircraft may result in regulatory and criminal sanctions.
Q: Can I register by paper?
A: We understand there are AMA members who do not have a computer. The FAA offers a paper application, which currently is only available at local FAA Flight Standards Ditrict Offices (FSDO), but this process can take many months. If a member does not have a computer, we encourage them to have a club or family member help them register.
Q: I do not want to give my credit card information over the internet or have a computer? What should I do?
A: As for members who cannot or do not want to submit credit card information online, the FAA has agreed to accept gift credit cards such as Visa or Mastercard. You can purchase these gift cards, which closely resemble a credit card, through many retailers.