After numerous reported incidents with unsafely operated small drones, the U.S. government has decided to link all unmanned aircraft with their owners through mandatory registration.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), which regulates all air traffic within the United States, announced Monday that as of December 31 all drones will have to be registered and will have to bear their license numbers.
In introducing the new regulation, the FAA's deputy administrator, Michael Whitaker, said the aim was to educate drone owners about safety and responsibility as well as to connect the aircraft with their owners.
Registration will cost $5 for all private and commercial unmanned aircraft weighing from 250 grams to 25 kilograms, including onboard cameras.
One registration number, available for purchase online, will cover multiple drones owned by the same person or entity and will be valid for three years.
The $5 fee will be returned to all who register within the first 30 days after the rule takes effect. All drones purchased and operated before December 31 will have to be registered before February 19. As of that date, the drones will have to be registered before their first flight.
The age limit for registration is 13 years, while younger owners will have to register their aircraft through their parents.