Florida is a state in the southeast United States, bordered to the west by the Gulf of Mexico, to the north by Alabama and Georgia, to the east by the Atlantic Ocean, and to the south by the Straits of Florida. Florida is the 22nd most extensive, covering 65,755 square miles. It is the 3rd most populous, counting 19,893,300 people and it is the 8th most densely populated of the United States. Jacksonville is the most populous city in Florida, and the largest city by area in the contiguous United States. The Miami metropolitan area is the eighth-largest metropolitan area in the United States. Tallahassee is the state capital. Florida is a peninsula between the Gulf of Mexico, the Atlantic Ocean, and the Straits of Florida, it has the longest coastline in the contiguous United States, approximately 1,350 miles, and is the only state that borders both the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean. Much of the state is at or near sea level and is characterized by sedimentary soil. Average elevation is around 100 feet, so drone flying is possible in Florida. Drone registration is also a must.
The Federal Aviation Administration announced that all units weighing between 0.55 pounds and 50 pounds must be registered by February 19th, 2016. Anyone caught flying without proper registration after that date could face stiff penalties. The FAA says civil penalties include a fine of up to $27,500. Criminal penalties include a fine of up to $250,000 and up to three years in jail.
- Unmanned flying machines that are operated outside have “a maximum takeoff weight” of anywhere between 250 grams and 55 pounds are required to register.
- Each owner would get a single registration number so if he or she has multiple drones, they don’t all need to be registered individually.
- Users don’t need to be registered to purchase a drone, but they do have to be registered before they start flying it.
- Name and street address are required to register, but the serial number of the drone, owner mailing address, phone number and email are all optional.
- You have to be 13 years old or older to register.
- The FAA doesn’t require information about citizenship or residency to register.
- Registration is free.
- The registration system will live online and likely be accessible through an app as well. There will also be an API component that would allow for the creation of custom apps that could work in concert with the database.
- Owners will receive an electronic copy of their registration certificate but a paper copy will also be available. The e-certificate will have the owner’s name, FAA registration number, a confirmation link and the drone serial number if it was included in the registration form. Operators would need to have the certificate on hand while using the drone in the event of an inspection.
- The FAA-issued registration number must be visible on the drone.
- GO TO THE REGISTRATION PAGE HERE.
- You must provide your complete name, physical address, mailing address, and an email address. The email address will be used as your login ID when you set up your account.
- Pay fee of $5 to FAA.
- You will receive a unique registration number that applies to any and all UAS that you own. You must mark all of your UAS with the unique registration number before operating. A registration certificate that contains the unique FAA registration number, the issue and expiration dates, and the name of the certificate holder will be sent to your email address immediately.
Florida Drone Rules:
- Fly no higher than 400 feet and remain below any surrounding obstacles when possible.
- Fly within visual line of sight.
- Remain well clear of and do not interfere with manned aircraft operations, and you must see and avoid other aircraft and obstacles at all times.
- Do not fly near emergency response efforts, like fires.
- Do not fly for payment or commercial purpose.
- Do not fly over groups of people.
- Do not fly over stadiums and sports events.
- Do not be careless or reckless with your unmanned aircraft – you could be fined for endangering people or other aircraft.
- It is illegal to take photos or record videos of people on private property.
- Do not use a drone to gather, store or collect evidence of any type.
- Do not fly over unprotected persons or moving vehicles, and remain at least 25 feet away from individuals and vulnerable property.
- Do not fly near or over sensitive infrastructures such as power stations, water treatment facilities, correctional facilities, heavily traveled roadways, government facilities, etc.
- Contact the airport or control tower before flying within five miles of an airport.
- Do not fly in adverse weather conditions such as in high winds or reduced visibility.
- Do not fly under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Florida Special Drone Laws:
- Georgia Drone Registration
- Alabama Drone Registration
- Mississippi Drone Registration
- South Carolina Drone Registration
- Louisiana Drone Registration