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Own A Drone? FAA Launches Registration For Small Unmanned Aircraft

LOS ANGELES ( — Expecting to get one of 400,000 drones estimated to be sold this Christmas? Don't forget to register it first.

The Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) Small Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) registry launched Monday as part of a federal mandate for every drone owner to provide his or her name, home address and e-mail address.

Upon completion of registration, the web application will generate a Certificate of Aircraft Registration/Proof of Ownership that will include a unique identification number for the UAS owner, which must be marked on the aircraft, according to the FAA's website.

Store manager Justin Henderson checked out the registration and says it was painfully easy.

"I don't think its a deterrent at all," he said. "I think it will promote flying drones more responsibly."

Owners using any aircraft for hobby or recreation are only required to register once and may use the same identification number for all of their model UAS, according to the site.

The registration - which is free for the first 30 days and then five dollars after that - is valid for three years.

The FAA has struggled with safety fears since the popularity of drones skyrocketed in recent years - since 2013 the agency says drones have come within 200 feet of other aircraft more than 150 times.

Former FAA Assistant Administrator Scott Brenner is among those who believes the new rules will make users more accountable.

"I think this does add a level of seriousness to the operation of the drone," said Brenner.

Federal rules require any aircraft weighing more than 0.55 pounds (250 grams) and less than 55 pounds (approx. 25 kilograms), including payloads such as on-board cameras, to be registered.

Click here (PDF) for more info on state and local UAS regulation.

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