Drones: One Registration Number Per Owner

The Federal Aviation Administration’s Task Force (“Task Force”) on drone registration is expected to recommend that the agency require drone operators to obtain a single registration number, but will not require unique identification of individual drones, according to people familiar with the matter.[1]

The Task Force is expected to provide its recommendations regarding drone registration to the FAA on Friday, November 20, 2015.[2]  The most contentious issue to date has been whether every single drone sold and operated would require the owner to obtain a unique registration number.[3]  Given that 700,000 drones are expected to be purchased during this holiday season, a requirement to register each and every drone would be an onerous process.

The Task Force recommendations will provide, in part, that a unique registration number will be tied to the owner, regardless of the number of drones that the individual owns.[4]  The registration process that is currently available requires the drone owner to register every individual drone by completing AC-Form 8050-1 and submitting the completed form to the FAA for review and approval. The Task Force recommendations, if approved, will require the owner to complete the registration online. The registration number provided would then be applied to all of the owner’s drones.[5]

About the Author:
Anna H. Long is a member of Dean Mead’s Agribusiness and Real Estate Development Industry teams. She has been practicing law for over 30 years in the areas of environmental law, land use, zoning and administrative law. Before moving to private practice, Ms. Long held numerous environmental managerial positions throughout Florida and the Northwest. She may be reached at Along@www.deanmead.com.


[1] NW Market Watch, FAA task force:  You’ll need a license to fly that drone.(November 19, 2015, 12:06 p.m.), http://www.marketwatch.com/story/drone-registration-will-be-tied-to-person-not-drone-faa-task-force-to-recommend-2015-11-18.

[2] Id.

[3] Id.

[4] Id.

[5] Id.