LOS ANGELES (CNS) — Drone owners across the Southland will now have to register their small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) with the Federal Aviation Administration if they intend to fly them outdoors.

The FAA’s new web-based registration system for small UAS began Monday, Dec. 21.

Hobbyists and recreational users who fly UAS, which include remote controlled aircraft, may register at www.faa.gov/uas/registration.

Owners must register small UAS weighing more than 0.55 pounds and less than 55 pounds if they are to be flown outdoors. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx and FAA Deputy Administrator Mike Whitaker announced the rule requiring registration earlier this month.

Aircraft operated by the current owner before Dec. 21, 2015, must be registered no later than Feb. 19, 2016. For all others, registration is required prior to the first outdoor flight. Owners must provide their complete name, physical address, mailing address, and a valid email address to register.

Federal law requires a $5 registration fee that will be collected at the time of registration via credit card. To encourage speedy compliance, the FAA is making the process free for the first 30 days. The registration website will initially charge the owner’s credit card $5, but a refund credit will appear shortly afterward, according to the FAA.

After completing registration, owners will receive a personal registration number.  If a person owns more than one small UAS, each aircraft must be marked with that number. Any method may be used to mark the UAS, as long as the number is legible. Registrants may put the number in the battery compartment if it is easily accessible.

The FAA will immediately email a certificate containing the holder’s name, registration number, and the dates of issuance and expiration. The operator must keep either a printed or electronic version of this certificate on hand for inspection as proof of registration. Registration must be renewed every three years.

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