PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — If you own a drone, the registration deadline is approaching.
The Federal Aviation Administration requires all unmanned aircraft systems to be registered before flying outside.
Drone-owners have until Feb. 19 – Friday – to sign up.
The federal law requires registration for even very small drones.
Art Van Meeteren, an avid photographer, said he uses his drones to get the perfect shot.
“I like it as a way to get somewhere I can get that shot that you can’t get unless you have big ladders and heisters and stuff like that,” he said.
Van Meeteren is also a drone instructor. He said he recently registered his drone with the FAA.
“It was easy, it was literally 10 minutes before I had to go to a flight somewhere,” he said.
Registration only costs $5 and is valid for three years. The online process may be simple but it’s not without controversy.
Van Meeteren said he definitely felt forced into registering.
So far, the FAA says more than 325,000 people have registered their drones.
Van Meeteren said he thinks there are more people than that flying their drones outside.
“I would say that there’s easily a good million, million and a half [people] flying,” he said.
According to a spokesperson for the FAA, if you don’t register you could face criminal charges, including up to three years in prison and a $250,000 dollar fine. The FAA could also assess civil penalties up to $27,500.