Attorney General Kamala D. Harris Issues Consumer Alert on Drone Registration and Safe Drone Usage
LOS ANGELES - Attorney General Kamala D. Harris today issued a consumer alert to Californians regarding new requirements for the registration and regulation of drones, also known as small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS), due to the increased popularity of the technology. According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), effective December 21, 2015, drone operators who owned their drones prior to December 21 have until February 19, 2016 to register their drones with the FAA; those who purchased a drone on or after December 21 must register their drone prior to flying it outdoors.
There is a $5 registration fee, however, individuals who register their drone before January 20 will have this fee refunded. These new requirements apply to drones weighing more than 0.55 pounds; drones under this weight requirement need not be registered. Drone operators who fail to properly register their drone may be subject to civil and criminal penalties.
These new requirements were issued to address safety concerns stemming from the rising popularity of drones. It is projected that in 2016, 1 million drones subject to this registration requirement will be sold in the U.S., a 145 percent increase from 2015. In 2014, according to the FAA, there were 238 total drone incidents reported; in 2015, this number had jumped to over 650 by August.