Next up in our “Ask Drone Girl” series is about how to lookup your FAA drone registration number if you’ve lost or forgotten it. If you have a question for Drone Girl, contact her here.
My drone FAA license number is no longer showing up on my personal drone. How can I lookup my license number so I can re-apply it to my DJI Phantom 2 Vision + drone?
If your drone registration number has disappeared from your aircraft (whether the ink wiped off or a sticker stating the number peeled off), you can retrieve it! As long as you remember the email you used to register when you first signed up on the FAA’s drone registration website to get your registration number in the first place, it should be easy!
Here’s how you can find a lost FAA drone registration number:
- Login to FAADroneZone website. (You can use the password recovery tool if you’ve forgotten your password, too.)
- From there, you’ll be automatically taken to a new home screen, that shows your drone registration number on the left column. It looks like this (unique identifying information has been removed from this screenshot):
Of course, if you’ve completely lost your email and password, your next alternative would be to simply register again and get a completely new drone registration number — though you’ll be on the hook for paying the $5 registration fee again, if that’s the case.
In case you haven’t heard, this time around when you reaffix your registration number to your drone, you must ensure it’s on the exterior of the drone.
Drone registration numbers are legally required to be marked somewhere on the outside of the aircraft, according to a new rule posted by the Federal Aviation Administration in the Federal Register that went into effect on Feb. 23 (it had previously been okay for drone operators to mark their registration number in an interior compartment of the drone, such as a battery case).
There are no rules around where on the external surface any drone registration numbers must be marked, or any particular size the number needs to be. It simply states that the number must “be seen upon visual inspection of the aircraft’s exterior.”
Under current law, all drones that weigh more than 0.55 pounds are required to be registered through the FAA. Registration was originally required under the FAA’s small drone registration rule effective December 21, 2015. That rule was overturned by a court decision in May 2017, however the rule was again reinstated in December 2017 via the National Defense Authorization Act. To date, there are more than 1 million drones registered in the U.S.
One more thing to note: the rules around drone registration have led to the creation of a new industry — scam drone registration websites. Sites like FederalDroneRegistration.com and FAADroneZones.com pose as official FAA drone registration sites, but instead of charging you a $5 fee — they charge you as much as $200. To date, it is required that all pilots register. Just don’t pay more than $5 to do it.