Just in time for the influx of new drone pilots who’ll get them as Christmas gifts, the FAA has issued some new rules for drones. You’ll need to know what they are before you take that new toy out of the box. Because the FAA wants your information and your money before you play with it.

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Drones have been all the rage these days, with photographers especially enjoying the aerial shots they can get using them and news operations loving the ability to get shots from the air without paying for a helicopter.

But the FAA has some new guidelines that will require many drone pilots to register. Now, hobbyists don’t have to get a pilot’s license, but they will need to register via the Internet with the FAA.

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Here’s who needs to register.  If your drone is weight more than .55 pounds (8.8 ounces) including the weight of the camera or any other payload, you’re going to need to register as a pilot. You will also need to be at least 13 years old to do so.  You only have to register once no matter how many drones you have. It costs $5 to register, but that money will be refunded if you manage before January 20, 2016.

You can register by clicking here to go to the FAA’s website. 

Those who fail to register are subject to civil and criminal penalties.

Users need to give their name, address and e-mail address. They’ll then be able to print off a certificate with a ID number that you must put on your drone before flying it.

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Affected drone users have until February 19th 2016.  You’re supposed to register before flying those drones outdoors. So if you want to be perfectly legal, you’ll need to get those Christmas presents registered before taking them for a test flight.

~ Cynthia