Washington Drone Registration

Washington is a state in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States located north of Oregon, west of Idaho, and south of the Canadian province of British Columbia on the coast of the Pacific Ocean. Named after George Washington, the first President of the United States, the state was made out of the western part of the Washington Territory which had been ceded by Britain in 1846 by the Oregon Treaty as a settlement of the Oregon Boundary Dispute. It was admitted to the Union as the 42nd state in 1889. Washington is often referred to as Washington State or the State of Washington to distinguish it from Washington, D.C., the capital of the United States. Washington is the 18th largest and the 13th most populous state. Approximately 60 percent of Washington’s residents live in the Seattle metropolitan area, the center of transportation, business, and industry along the Puget Sound region of the Salish Sea, an inlet of the Pacific consisting of numerous islands, deep fjords, and bays carved out by glaciers. The remainder of the state consists of deep temperate rainforests in the west, mountain ranges in the west, central, northeast and far southeast, and a semi-arid basin region in the east, central, and south, given over to intensive agriculture. After California, Washington is the second most populous state on the West Coast and in the Western United States. Drone flying is an activity that can be seen a lot in Washington. Starting December 21st, 2015, drone registration is mandatory.

Important:

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.
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Registration Info:

  • 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.

Registration steps:

  1. GO TO THE REGISTRATION PAGE HERE.
  2. 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.
  3. Pay fee of $5 to FAA.
  4. 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.

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Washington 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 in adverse weather conditions such as in high winds or reduced visibility.
  • Do not fly under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • 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.

See also:

Washington Drone Shops and Services: