NEWS: Scammers Are Charging Drone Owners Up To $150 For $5.00 Registration, FAA Warns

NEWS: Scammers Are Charging Drone Owners Up To $150 For $5.00 Registration, FAA Warns

July 12, 2018

The Federal Aviation Administration has issued a warning to drone hobbyists not to be trapped by schemes offering to register their drones, for which the companies charge fees up to $150.00. The FAA's fee for registering a drone directly on the official FAA Drone Zone website is only $5.00.

"Some attempt to mimic the look of the FAA’s website with similar graphic design and even the FAA logo, or suggest they are somehow 'approved' by the agency. They aren’t – and you could be wasting your money," the FAA warns. "The FAA neither regulates these entities nor will speculate on their legitimacy. However, we have recently received reports of vendors charging exorbitant fees up to $150.00."

The FAA's $5.00 fee applies to all drones registered by hobbyists under a single identification number. Other operators only have to pay $5.00 per each drone.

A quick Google search will bring up a few agents offering drone registration services that do design their websites to look official, but their services are not transparent in pricing or scope. They require users to go through the registration form before finding out the price of the service and may sell questionable add-ons like drone test preparation classes, and 'flight ID' cards. One website even claims to have expert staff to review registration errors. The actual registration on the official FAA Drone Zone is a straight-forward process.

There's plenty of incentive for scammers to jump on the drone registration bandwagon. In its 2018-2038 Aerospace Forecast, the FAA reported over 873,000 small model UAS (unmanned aircraft systems) operators registered as of December 31, 2017, with an estimated 1.1 million drone units. The Administration forecasts that as 3.17 sUAS drones will be flying by 2022.



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