The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) drone registry went online on Monday. As the agency announced this morning, more than 45,000 people have now used the online service to register their drones.
If you own a drone (or really any model aircraft) that weighs between 0.55 pounds and 55 pounds (including payloads like cameras), you now have to register with the FAA. Registration will be free until January 21. After that, it’ll cost $5. Registrations are valid for three years.
If you don’t register, you risk penalties of up to $27,500 and even up to three years of jail time.
Pilots who owned their drones before December 21 have until February 19, 2016 to register their drones. If you find a drone under your Christmas tree, though (or maybe loudly hovering above it), you’ll have to go online and use the registry before your first outdoor flight.
When the registry first launched, the site, which was built by CSRA, stumbled and went down for a while. Since then, it seems to have hummed along just fine. The FAA, however, will take it down between 9pm and 6am Eastern tonight and Thursday night to perform some extra maintenance before the Christmas rush.
Source:: Tech Crunch