What you need to know about the FAA's new drone registration

Tuesday, December 22, 2015
What you need to know about the FAA's new drone registration
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The Federal Aviation Administration is now requiring all drone owners to register their devices.

WESTMINSTER, Calif. (KABC) -- Drones are one of the hottest gadgets on holiday gift lists this year, but a new rule handed down by the Federal Aviation Administration will make you register the devices with the government.

Drone owners can now go online and register their drone with the FAA. If drone owners do not register their device before Feb. 19, they could face fines.

The registration fee is $5, which will be refunded if owners register the device within the next 30 days. The registration is valid for three years.

Owners have to provide their name, address and email. In return, the government provides a registration number to be displayed on the drone.

All drones weighing more than 0.55 pounds and less than 55 pounds must be registered if they are to be flown outdoors for hobby or recreation, according to the FAA's website.

The registration rules come after numerous close calls with airplanes, including one in October with a Southwest Airlines flight from Austin heading to Los Angeles International Airport.

Drones also hampered water dropping aircraft during a wildfire in San Bernardino County. The fire eventually jumped the 15 Freeway, forcing people to flee and destroying 20 vehicles.