Update – UAS Registration Frequently Asked Questions

Please note this is changing daily. Last updated: February 4, 2016.

Download a PDF of the FAQs here. Please note, the PDF may not reflect all the changes and updates on this webpage.


 

Q: How do I register?

A: You can register at www.faa.gov/uas/registration/. If you need assistance, please call 877 396 4636.

 

Q: Do I have to register every aircraft?

A:  No, you only need to register your name, physical address, and email address.

 

Q: Do I need to list both my AMA number and my federal registration number on my aircraft?

A: Yes, you need to list both your AMA number and Federal registration number on your aircraft. We are advocating to allow members to use their AMA numbers. We believe an AMA membership already meets the intent of registration, but at this time place both numbers on your aircraft.

 

Q: How does UAS registration affect my membership?  

A: AMA club or member benefits are not contingent on UAS registration.  We encourage all members to follow Federal regulations, but we are not policing UAS registration.

 

Q: Is my club expected to police UAS registration?

A: We do not expect clubs to police UAS registration, that decision is left to each individual club and the clubs leadership.

 

Q: Am I required by law to comply with the guidelines listed on the UAS Registration site?

A:   The FAA acknowledged that AMA members should continue to follow AMA’s community-based safety code.  We also discussed and the FAA confirmed that the language on the FAA registration site is a guideline, not regulation.  This guideline is not directed at the AMA community but rather, it is a simplified set of safety guidelines geared to the general public.

 

Q: Why did AMA change its position on registration? Why are they telling members to register now?

A: AMA has not changed its position. We continue to be disappointed with the registration rule and believe it is contrary to Congress’s intent within the Special Rule for Model Aircraft, which is part of the 2012 FAA Modernization and Reform Act. We have been working with our legal counsel and the FAA to find a solution for our members on the registration rule. To date, the FAA has agreed in principle to several items that will help ease this process for our members.

However, we want to emphasize that this is not the end of our efforts to protect AMA members from this overreaching regulation. We are continuing to explore all legal and political options available, but these conversations may take time and a definitive solution is unlikely before the February 19 registration deadline. For this reason, we are suggesting that AMA members may wish to take advantage of free registration period, which is available until January 21.

 

Q: Is the AMA giving up? Why doesn’t the AMA take this matter to court?

A: AMA is by no means giving up. We are resolute in our commitment and will continue to advocate on behalf of our members.. We are continuing to fight for the aeromodelling community and working to protect modelers from unnecessary and burdensome regulation. AMA is exploring several legal options that would address the registration rule as well. These legal strategies will take time to develop and pursue. We ask for your continued loyalty and patience as we work closely with our legal counsel to find the best path forward.

 

Q: I am already registered through the AMA, why do I have to register twice?

A: We understand the concern of our members and, while the FAA is open to streamlining the registration for our members, unfortunately the technical issues involved will not be resolved before February 19. Therefore, it will be necessary for current AMA members to register separately with the FAA. For future AMA members, we are working on an agreement with the FAA where for new members federal registration will automatically be fulfilled when they join the AMA, thereby creating one simple registration.

 

Q: Am I permitted to fly above 400 feet? What if I had to check a box saying otherwise on the federal registration website?

A: Yes. AMA members who abide by the AMA Safety Code, which permits flights above 400 feet under appropriate circumstances, and are protected by the Special Rule for Model Aircraft under the 2012 FAA Modernization and Reform Act. Checking the box on the federal registration webpage signifies an understanding of the 400 foot guideline. This is an important safety principle that all UAS operators need to be aware of, and is the same guideline established in AC 91-57 published in 1981. However, the placement of this guideline on the FAA website is intended as an educational piece and more specifically intended for those operating outside of AMA’s safey program.  We have been in discussions with the FAA about this point and the agency has indicted that it will be updating its website in the next week to make clear that this altitude guideline is not intended to supplant the guidance and safety procedures established in AMA’s safety program.

 

Q: Do only drones and multirotor operators need to register?

A: No. Everything that uses a ground-control system with a communications link, such as an RC transmitter that is over 0.55 lbs (or 250 grams) and under 55 lbs. is required to register. This includes operators who fly fixed-wing RC aircraft and helicopters, not just multirotors or drones.

 

Q: I am an Affiliate Member, do not live in the US, or I am not a US Citizen.  How do I register?

A:Everyone, including foreign nationals and tourists, who operate a UAS for hobby or recreational purposes outdoors in the U.S. must use the FAA’s online registration system. These non-U.S. citizens or non-permanent U.S. residents will receive the same registration certificate as U.S. Citizens or permanent U.S. residents. However, this certificate will function as a “recognition of ownership” document. This document is required by the Department of Transportation for foreign nationals to operate legally in the US.

In the near future, the www.faa.gov/uas/registration website will begin allowing non-citizens and non-residents to register.  For now you can only use a computer with a United States IP address.  For assistance you can call 877 396 4636 or  email FAAHotline@faa.gov.

 

Q: I only fly CL or FF, do I need to register?

A: No. If you exclusively fly FF or CL and never plan on using a model that involves a transmitter, then you do not need to register.

 

Q: Can I fly my large model aircraft? Turbine jets?

A: Yes. The Special Rule for Model Aircraft, which is part of the 2012 FAA Modernization and Reform Act, allows AMA members to operate model aircraft over 55 lbs as long as they are operating in accordance with AMA’s Large Model Aircraft safety program. AMA members can also fly turbine jets provided the operator holds a current AMA Turbine Waiver.

 

Q: Does my large model aircraft require an N number?

A: AMA representatives, including AMA’s legal counsel, met with the FAA on January 15, 2016, and this was one of the many questions that were raised. The FAA representatives verbally indicated to our representatives that AMA member, operating models under the Large Model Airplane Program, should not have to apply for an N number, and that they would address/change their information accordingly.

At the end of the January meeting there was an understanding that FAA would provide written acknowledgement of the items discussed for AMA to share with its members. Although we have not yet received the document(s) from the FAA, we were told to advise AMA members in good faith that an N number registration is not required for their LMA models.

 

Q: Am I permitted to fly first person view (FPV)? Can I fly at night?

A: Yes. AMA members are still protected by the Special Rule for Model Aircraft, which is part of the 2012 FAA Modernization and Reform Act. As long as AMA members continue to follow AMA’s safety guidelines for these activities, they can continue to fly. The guidelines listed on the FAA UAS website do not negate the modeling activities and related safety procedures established in AMA’s community-based safety program.

 

Q: Should clubs require all members to be registered?

A:  No, we are not asking our clubs to police UAS Registration.  That decision is up to each individual club and club leaders.

 

Q: What happens if I don’t register by February 19?

A: According to the FAA, failure to register an unmanned aircraft may result in regulatory and criminal sanctions.

 

Q: Can I register by paper?

A:  We understand there are AMA members who do not have a computer.  The FAA offers a paper application, which currently is only available at local FAA Flight Standards Ditrict Offices (FSDO).  Unlike the online application, the paper application requires pilots to register every single aircraft separately.  If a member does not have a computer, we encourage them to have a club member help create and email and register or visit a local library.

 

Q: I do not want to give my credit card information over the internet or have a computer?  What should I do?

A: As for members who cannot or do not want to submit credit card information online, the FAA has agreed to accept gift credit cards such as Visa or Mastercard.   You can purchase these gift cards, which closely resemble a credit card, through many retailers.

 

 

 

302 comments

  1. I think the person who wrote this blog for the AMA must not have been in attendance today at the AMA Expo. Mr Gibson did not confirm many of these statements. When asked about 400ft limits he said he hoped we might see adjustments in the future. I heard nothing of concession from him on Free Flight. Mr Gibson was a brave man to stand before that crowd and I applauded him for what he did. I also believe in time under his leadership position with the FAA he may become a true friend of the model aircraft community. But at this time from him I did not hear these changes.

    1. We understand your concerns, but it is worth noting that Marke “Hoot” Gibson has only been in his position for a few months. He did not sit on the UAS Task Force and has not been in all of the conversations between the AMA and FAA. As he admitted on stage, he only registered for the first time the evening before on 1/09/2016.

      We are grateful that Gibson flew to the Expo to speak and answer questions. We allocated time for Q&A, but he was not expecting to answer detailed or specific questions on UAS Registration. His purpose in coming to the Expo to demonstrate that the FAA has an interest in the AMA and to hear our concerns.

      1. Where do we go to register? I haven’t found a link that takes me to the site.

        1. I wont register no matter what. Now the AMA in small print has backed down on saying Don’t Do It. Gotta love the no guts attitude. When you believe in something you take a stand not follow a squiggly line which the AMA has been doing for a long time. The Government is not going to over see my hobby. Good Luck to the rest of you who wimped out and registered. I will take my chances.

          1. Ive been an AMA member since I was 16,im with Joe!!! Im not going to renew if this crap from the government doesnt stop.Drones should be put in a class their own along with people who use onboard cameras to fly!!! AMA should be required for all Modelers for insurance reasons,anyone caught flying without should be fined,these models can cause damage of all sorts!!!I will be in Monroe to talk with AMA people to get another update.Government has been over stepping their boundries way TOO MUCH!!! This is a Hobby and if it doesnt stop soon people wont do it anymore then it will kill off Hobby shops,many companies and there will be no more anything!!!

      1. I have a question about your statement here:

        “We have been in discussions with the FAA about this point and the agency has indicted that it will be updating its website in the next week to make clear that this altitude guideline is not intended to supplant the guidance and safety procedures established in AMA’s safety program.”

        Does this mean the FAA will reword the “Acknowledgement of Safety Guidance” during the registration process? If so is there a timeline for this to occur?

        -TK

    2. Please provide a source for you statements:
      “You can also use your AMA number exclusively on your aircraft, you do not need to add your Federal number”

      “No. If you exclusively fly FF or CL and never plan on using a model that involves a transmitter, then you do not need to register.”

      Your FAQs are DIRECTLY counter to the guidance provided by the FAA to this point. (see questions 20 and 47)

      https://www.faa.gov/uas/registration/faqs/

    3. The AMA website says FREE REGISTRATION is until February 19th – but the FAA says January 21 ????

      1. I have noticed this also, Pete.I have also noticed, “only the pilot has to register and in another post from AMA ,” you must register Your Plane.”
        We modelers are really getting confused AMA. Get your act together and communicate to us with Accurate facts. PLEASE.

    4. As of 01-25-2016, the FAA UAS Registration site HAS NOT been updated to show an exception to the 400′ altitude limit for AMA members! The FAQ’s on the AMA web site specifically states that the FAA site WILL be updated to show the exception. The FAQ states, “We have been in discussions with the FAA about this point and the agency has indicted that it will be updating its website in the next week to make clear that this altitude guideline is not intended to supplant the guidance and safety procedures established in AMA’s safety program.” I have no idea when this piece of information was placed on the AMA web site but clearly the FAA doesn’t show any exception! It appears that the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing! Please get this matter straightened out and let us know what we’re held accountable for.

  2. I have a comment on the above and a question.

    1) “…failure to register an unmanned aircraft may result…”

    I’m not sure that reply is accurate. As far as I could deduce from the FAA Registration site and their FAQ, you only need to register before flying an unmanned aircraft in the US Airspace. If you don’t intend to fly any aircraft (such as if it is for static display only), you don’t need to register, even if it has the capability to fly. Furthermore in that same answer, as per the FAA and your previous answers, you are not registering the aircraft itself but the owner of the aircraft. It might make that answer a little clearer if it is reworded.

    2) “…continue to follow AMA’s safety guidelines for these activities…”

    Are the AMA documents referenced only “guidelines,” or are they rules that AMA members must follow? There are some people I fly with in my club who say that everywhere the AMA says Guidelines, they are only suggested operating practices (my words) and not required operating procedures for AMA members.

    Jerry

    1. Hi Jerry,

      Let me address each question.

      #1 – Yes only pilots register not aircraft. The language of “registering aircraft” still sneaks into text from time to time because some of the original proposals required modelers to register each and every aircraft. We spearheaded that change to only allow pilots to register just once.

      #2 – The answer depends on the situation. Generally they are rules members must follow.

      1. I just reluctantly registered. The language on the FAA registration does say you will need to have your FAA Number marked on your aircraft if you fly it in US airspace. The FAA numbers are assigned to the person. But you need to have it affixed to your Model. I plan on just putting it on a small piece of paper and taping it near my AMA Number Name, Phone Number, and Address I already have on my flying models. I am presently building a giant Scale model, I intend to put my AMA Number on, in 2 1/4” numbers on the wings and much smaller on the tail. But I will never put the FAA number in large numbers AND letters – 10 more characters. That is overkill ! And if our AMA representatives can not get the FAA to allow members only to display the AMA number, then that would really be a shame.

        I probably should have waited until Feb 19. I am still hopeful that AMA registration will suffice.

        1. Why on Gods’ green earth did you register for? There is no LAW stating you must register. As a RC modeler who flies for hobby and recreational purposes only, you are EXEMPT from ANY RULES and/or regulations coming from the FAA! Do you earn money by flying your aircraft? If so, then you need to register. If your solely flying for hobby and recreational purposes only and your flying safely, then your EXEMPT from ANY rules and regulations, and yes, that includes not having to register with the FAA, according to Section 336 that is in fact, LAW!

          1. Is this true? I am not an AMA member, but I also do not fly at a club or anything. I have a lot of land in the country where I live and fly alone. Only fly for fun, not for income. I do not plan on registering because of that fact.

          2. Congress exempted this hobby from FAA over reach. Too many alphabet agencies, too many ‘rules and regulations’ made by appointees – and not elected officials. Enough is enough. If someone causes damage or injury, prosecute. Short of that – hands off, Feds!

  3. AMA proved me right in know they are full of bureaucratic bullshit.

    A year ago was the time to uh…. grow a …. uh get to COURT dammit.

    When my membership expires in 2017 I will not renew. Sad because until the last few years I was proud to be a member.

    Now I am glad I did NOT put their decal on my vehicle. Wish I hadn’t but their logo on my aircraft.

    I’ll make RCM decals and some will know what I am saying with that logo.

    I hope I mellow towards AMA but at the moment I feel betrayed.

    I did NOT expect that.

    Jim
    142088

    1. Jim, we are addressing the FAA through the US Court of Appeals. Many members suggest we file an injunction, but we have been advised that would be a poor use of resources, time, and money. This case does not meet the qualifications to be presented to a judge for an immediate injunction.

      We cannot control what the Federal government mandates, know that this is not over.

      We also have spearheaded many changes with registration. Many members have dozens of aircraft and now you only have to register once.

      Without the AMA, others in our hobby like jets and giant scale would be grounded. We spent months on Capital Hill drafting a law to allow members to fly FPV or over 400′. Locally we halted legislation in CA, NY, OH, and other states that would have grounded all aircraft.

      Your membership keeps these efforts going. I hope you continue your support of the AMA and keep flying!

      1. OK…
        Show me,
        I don’t need another helping of buloney that I have pay for.
        I await “further developments”…
        film at 11… right?
        Jim

        1. I add this is AMA’s last chance to impress me that I haven’t just wasted my money over the years.

          Safety I support by habit. I was a Union Ironworker I know about betrayal/copout by turdbirds. I can keep safe without AMA.

          I hope AMA proves my view wrong, I really do for the sake of the hobby of R/C Aircraft and Sailplanes too.

          I await…..please show me to be wrong.

      2. If you guys at the AMA delete posts like the one I posted in regards to Jim’s comment, are you foolish enough to think a load of federal pencil pushing desk flyers aren’t doing the same thing with any comments they receive? That’s the acme of self delusion.

      3. Chad, can you please cite your source for the comment that “now” you ONLY need to use your AMA number INSTEAD of the Federal number AFTER registering? The only information I received from AMA was that the FAA agreed in principal to do this but nothing has yet been determined or published by the FAA and it would take several months before that happened. Please explain. Thanks for your help, Larry

        1. While the FAA indicated they would to allow AMA members to use their AMA number, we are meeting with the FAA on 1/15 and 1/16 and will seek clarification.

      4. Chad, is it a NEW statement from AMA that once a AMA member “registers” with the FAA that his/her AMA membership NUMBER on a model satisfies the FAA???

        1. We are meeting with the FAA this weekend and the use of your AMA number vs a Federal registration number is on our agenda.

          1. Have I missed it or has the AMA addressed whether clubs will be required to enforce the registration and/or numbering of aircraft regulation. Does the liability end with the modeler with no consequence to the club (charter), AMA or insurance?

          2. I’d like to know if they have clarified whether or not we can use our AMA# on our aircraft instead of the FAA#. It’s also my understanding that if you use your AMA#, you must have either your FAA registration available, either printed or electronic. Please tell the sheep which way to go the slaughter…

          3. Sheldon, the FAA agrees in spirit to this idea, but cannot commit their IT team to this project until the UAS recreational and commercial registration sites are completed.

          4. Currently, you MUST use your AMA number AND your FAA number on all aircraft under 55 pounds. The FAA registration process also states that you WILL not fly above 400 feet. Aircraft over 55 pounds will need an “N” number for each aircraft. This is my understanding of the wording printed on the FAA registration website. It seems to be “very clearly written” despite what AMA representatives are saying.

      5. Chad,

        It seems to me that your 3rd paragraph is inaccurate. It is my belief that planes over 55 lbs must have an individual N number. So in my case with 9 LM-2 aircraft I will need 9 N numbers. Each aircraft will also need form 8050-1 to be submitted. Please correct me if I’m wrong.

      6. Chad,

        Really? What court decision is NRA appealing? First I’ve heard about it. Specifics please.

        1. Sorry, “… AMA appealing”. (I’m an NRA member, too, but the difference, sadly in the case, is NRA has 4.5 million members, to AMA’s 188,000.)

      7. The AMA has nothing but excuses including excepting bad advice from unknown sources!
        Stopping the government from taking over the rc flying hobby should be the greatest crusade the AMA has ever undertaken! The AMA should pull out all the stops, spend all the money available, use all resources available and raise more money if needed from members who are outraged by the heavy handed government!
        It is time for the AMA to step up or step down. This is no time to be a wimp, it is time for action! I don’t want to be a member of WIMPAMA.

    2. AMEN Jim! And another thing. Regardless of what anyone says, if you hold any kind of pilot license (like me) and you just happen to violate some overbearing or arcane FAR, the FAA will suspend or at worse revoke your ticket without a second thought and if you think that they will make some great distinction between what you do with your rc and what you do as a PIC you are fooling yourself.

      These are the very same regulators/unelected law makers who want their tentacles on the “drones” and they don’t know the difference and don’t want to learn. These silly “drones” that everyone thinks are so wonderful has gotten their attention and that has ruined the freedon that the responsible rc AIRPLANE hobby has enjoyed. Heck, I saw a guy walking down the sidewalk the other day with one of the things hovering in front of him as he casually walked along.

      Anyone naive enough to think that by sending an email or comment to them will have any effect has their head as deep in the sand as you can get it. These people are answerable to no one. Any pilot who values their ticket would never allow themselves that kind of exposure. The main difference between God and the FAA is that God knows he’s not the FAA…..

      1. Mike, I’m with you. As a commercial pilot who enjoys flying RC occasionally, I, too, am concerned with possible faa enforcement action against my ticket arising from avocation operations. And, it wouldn’t necessarily be restricted to airspace violations. This thing is a whole new can of federal worms!

    3. I am with Jim until I see some ACTION from the AMA!
      Membership is as high as ever and we get this!

      1. Thanks all.
        I await still, holding contempt at bay one-more-time.
        The subtle arm twist of ‘do-it-now, it is FREE’ stands muted.

        I keep hearing an old Mellencamp line about standing up for something
        or falling for anything.

        I’ll wait a little longer in the face of unlawful “fines” as a threat.

        Jim

  4. What concessions? I have not seen any thing on the FAAs part that indicates any special treatment for AMA members? Unless you count the closure of all the clubs in the DC SFRA?

    Best Regards, Allen

    1. You no longer have to register every aircraft. Many members have over a hundred aircraft and now you only have to register once.

        1. The FAA registration website still says you need to put their 10 character identifier on any aircraft you fly in US Airspace.

  5. Where are the lawsuits, where is the representation?! The AMA has done nothing to stop this govt infringement on modeler’s rights!

    Is the AMA going to force compliance to this unlawful FAA registration at their Chartered clubs? Are the clubs in need of new officers to make sure all members are compliant now that the AMA is telling their members to register.

    I haven’t heard one peep out of the AMA clubs around here? I would prefer to see the AMA, which has benefited greatly from the onslaught of new multicopter hobbyists in the form of membership dues (I am a member) take a firm stand and should have preempted this unlawful “regulation”.

    I will not register for the simple fact that there is no law saying I have to register. If the AMA and/or their clubs try to enforce this on their members, I will quit the AMA and fly elsewhere using my HOI.

    The AMA is all talk and no action. At this point, they are almost irrelevant.

    1. The AMA filed a petition with the US Court of Appeals. We consulted with legal counsel and determined an injunction is not an option. This case does not meet the qualifications to be presented to a judge for an immediate injunction.

      In the meantime we have spearheaded many changes with registration. #1 You no longer have to register every aircraft. Many members have over a hundred aircraft and now you only have to register once. #2 You can use your AMA number exclusively on your aircraft, you do not need to add your Federal number.

      We cannot control what the Federal government mandates, but know this is not over.

      1. Since the interim final rule doesn’t explicitly state that I can write my AMA number in lieu of the FAA registration, is the ama encouraging me to break the law as it stands written?

      2. This exactly what the purpose of an injunction.
        The injunction can only be denied, trying to do nothing is much worse.

        The AMA caved, no reason to renew. I don’t see what the purpose of the AMA is if it doesn’t attempt to do what the members want.

  6. What about Canadians who may want to fly in the US?
    Do they need to register and how as the form only allows US citizens to register?

    1. We are receiving conflicting information and will find clarity soon. We know this affects our MAAC partners, FAI competitors, and our affiliate members.

    2. Only United States citizens are allowed to register, according to the published rule.

      1. That’s exactly what it says on the FAA site. USA has to register, foreigners just need a certificate and DONT have to prove ownership.
        I suppose our government trusts foreigners more than its own citizens!
        What a bunch of crock this LAW is.
        I’m still trying to figure out why the AMA is still trying to “streamline” the REGISTRATION process when it says specifically that an National Organization that promotes safety is EXEMPT from ANY RULES AND REGULATIONS by the FAA!!!!!??????
        This is really disgusting and disheartening hearing this and is really leaving a bad taste in my mouth to the point I’m just going to say the hell with it. AMA needs to majorly LAWYER up and stand its ground. You can’t serve two masters you know. Is the AMA for its members or is it for streamlining things with the FAA? I just don’t get it AMA, I really don’t. Your asking people now that they may as well just go ahead and register while its free while you and the FAA work thing out because its going to take longer than the deadline. I can assure you that once EVERYONE signs up with the FAA registration, the FAA will go south on your ass and go to Congress and nullify what Congress has already written into LAW. Don’t you get it yet? The FAA is in no position to making ANYONE register. What the LAW does say is, if one is a member of a national organization that promotes safety and operates under them guidelines, they are exempt from ANY RULES and regulation promulgated by the FAA. I repeat! FAA has absolutely no AUTHORITY to make rules,regulations and laws concerning rc model aircraft. All one really needs to do is just be a member of, yeah, the AMA! So tell me, why in the hell are you trying to streamline ANYTHING!!!!!!!!!!!!

      2. Actually FAA has conflicting information on their website. It says that “Only us citizens are allowed to register”, and right below it says “non citizens or permanent residents are required to register”
        From what I see so far, non residents/citizens are required to register but it should be done trough classic paper method, not trough website.

    3. I live in Australia and I was able to register. For Non US Citizens the certificate becomes a “recognition of ownership” document as per Q11 in the FAA FAQs

      Q11. Updated: Are non-U.S. citizens visiting the United States on vacation or for drone competitions required to register?

      A. Everyone, including foreign nationals and tourists, who operate a UAS for hobby or recreational purposes outdoors in the U.S. must use the FAA’s online registration system. These non-U.S. citizens or non-permanent U.S. residents will receive the same registration certificate as U.S. Citizens or permanent U.S. residents. However, this certificate will function as a “recognition of ownership” document. This document is required by the Department of Transportation for foreign nationals to operate legally in the US.

      1. Registration is not allowed from my country (Hungary). May I worried with my phantom 3 drone, that should register according to its weight. I will travel to Hawaii

        1. Tamas,

          “If you are a foreign national and you are not eligible to register your sUAS in the United States there are two ways for you to operate. If you want to operate your UAS exclusively as model aircraft you must complete the steps in the web-based registration process and obtain a “recognition of ownership.” This recognition of ownership is required by the Department of Transportation to operate a model aircraft in the United States. Alternatively, if you want to operate your UAS as a non-model aircraft you must register your UAS in the country in which you are eligible to register and obtain operating authority from the Department of Transportation.”

          NOTE: at this time, the FAA’s online registration website can only be accessed from a computer located in the United States or its territories or possessions. You will need to a friend or family member who lives in United States complete this for you, or wait until you reach the United States to complete your registration. https://registermyuas.faa.gov/

  7. This is an extremely disappointing response from the AMA to say the least. I am extremely surprised by the absolute lack of legal action taken against the FAA by the AMA. It is embarrassing and disappointing to that it is a solo hobbyist and not the AMA which has filed a lawsuit against the FAA to review the legality of the registration process. Shame on you AMA.

    As such, I will be re-considering my AMA renewal membership as it not longer provides any tangible function.

    1. We cannot control what the Federal government mandates, but know this is not over. We are addressing this with the US Court of Appeals. We also have spearheaded many changes with registration. #1 You no longer have to register every aircraft. Many members have over a hundred aircraft and now you only have to register once. #2 You can use your AMA number exclusively on your aircraft, you do not need to add your Federal number.

      Without the AMA, jets and giant scale would be grounded. We also helped draft Federal law that grants members the opportunity to fly FPV or over 400′. We also recently stopped legislation in NY, OH, PA, CA and other communities that would have grounded aircraft.

      In addition to all the member benefits such as insurance, your support keeps these efforts going.

      1. Where does the federal government prohibit turbine powered aircraft? I’d like to see that cited somewhere in either US Code or FAA regulation.

        Thanks

      2. Where can i find this law in writing and how do i know it is still valid after the FAA new rules.

      3. You too can control what the Federal government mandates. It’s mandated that one is already EXEMPT from ANY RULES and REGULATIONS if one operates under a national organization that promotes safety (aka AMA)
        Section 336-This is the LAW written by Congress, MANDATED by CONGRESS!
        Not by the FAA, the FAA doesn’t make the LAW, CONGRESS makes LAWS!!!
        I’m not registering and I’m not renewing my membership until AMA wakes up and realizes and respects what the LAW says. Meanwhile, I’m going to fly my aircraft, and the only number I’m putting on mine is 336. They come after me I’m filing a lawsuit!!!

    2. I agree. The “successes” the AMA talks about seem less like lobbying on our behalf and more like a membership drive for the AMA.

      1. Agree. Note below that Chad has not answered whether (1) AMA is working with FAA on language to make AMA membership required to fly above 400′, and (2) that AMA will not certify large aircraft of non-members, therefore making it mandatory to be a member to exercise that aspect of the law.

        1. Hi Frank, we are answering as many blog posts, social media questions, phone calls, and emails as possible. Thank you for your patience.

          1) No, we are not working with the Federal Government to boost AMA membership. The Federal Government would never consider that as an option. The laws do provide exemptions for Community Based Organizations. Congress for obvious safety reasons will not provide a blanket exemption for any hobbyist unless they are abiding by a clear set of safety standards.

          2) We will only certify those who are members abiding by our safety code.

          1. Chad, you answered it privately, but not in public.

            So fellow modelers, you can see from Chad’s comment above, that they are indeed using part of PL112-95 Section 336 to compel membership – you have to be an AMA member if you want to legally operate a “model aircraft” >= 55lbs.

            Now, one has to wonder if AMA will use language in the next transportation bill to compel membership to exercise even more privileges.

          2. Chad,

            I just got off the phone with my Senator’s Commerce Committee staffer and made them aware that per your comment above, AMA is refusing to certify non-member aircraft, thus using PL112-95 section 336 (a)(3) to require membership to exercise privileges in the PUBLIC airspace.

          3. Frank, we are not going to be productive if we keep throwing stones at each other. Let’s work cooperatively to get this resolved. Please re read my answer “We are not working with the Federal Government to boost AMA membership.” What you are suggesting would compromise the integrity of 336 and possibly revoke all the rights and privileges we fought hard to put into law.

          4. First I would like to say that the AMA and to an extent the FAA are operating in as much as possible the charter which they are formed. The real players in this decision are much higher up in the Fed Gov food chain.First – The FAA sits on some of the security committees for the Fed Gov but is not the big Gorilla in the room. If the national security agencies are uncomfortable with the current state of UAV, and they are, then the word comes down to the FAA to enforce whatever they decide. Keep in mind that the Fed Gov of which the FAA is a small part always has the legal power to enforce Eminent Domain over the land water and air space if they so desire. I would say that, we need to be somewhat supportive of our AMA as it represents us members in relationship with the FAA. I would also say our board members have done a commendable job in keeping the FAA dialogue open. Without this relationship there would be a big gov hammer coming down on our selves and our hobby. So as unsavory as our situation is, celebrate the fact, without the AMA, it could be much, much worse.

  8. What if I don’t fly my models weighing more than 250 grams after the 19th of February? Do I still have to register even though these models are grounded?

    1. You do not have to register if you only fly models under 250 grams. If you have models over 250 grams that you never intend to fly with a system like a transmitter, you do not have to register.

      1. THANKS FOR YOUR EFFORTS AND INFO IN THIS MATTER.
        I JUST REG. AND IT WAS VERY EASY.

  9. It’s funny that we didn’t have these problems with the FAA until these manufactures started selling these quad copters a few years back! A very large percentage of the (drone) owners do not even belong to a RC clubs or know any of the guide lines for operating one! So let’s penalize the RC groups that are AMA members that fallow the AMA and FAA guide lines that have been in place!
    Gary Fisher
    President: Georgetown Aero Modelers Association, Inc. (GAMA)

    1. Its just like the gun grabbers.. Go after the CRIMINALS instead of the LEGAL GUN OWNERS!!!

      1. Exactly, do you think any criminal thinking of doing something stupid with any kind of RC aircraft is going to register? Do they use registered guns in their own names to commit crimes or use their own automobiles or leave their personal info. in a knapsack full of pipe bombs? I could go on and on, this registration process is ridiculous and serves no real purpose. Except to gather more information on law abiding citizens.

    2. Spot on Gary. The only really sensible response I have seen sofar. This blog is important to Aussies too, because if we are not careful we will suffer the same treatment our US cousins are enduring. After all, bureaucrats are same the world over. If they aren’t in control they have no purpose in life.

  10. So what, if anything, did we learn on Sunday from the FAA guy at the AMA expo? Are we going to update anyone on status?

  11. I have already paid my dues for 2016 but if I have to register with the FAA I will not continue to after this year. I feel AMA should already be in court fighting this.

  12. Q: Am I permitted to fly FPV? What if I had to check a box saying otherwise on the federal registration website?

    I assume the same answer applies to this as the 400ft question… Fair enough?

    1. If you are an AMA member you are protected by Sec 336 allowing you to fly FPV and over 400′ as long as you if you comply by our safety standards.

      1. do you really need to be a member? 336 just says you need to fly under the guidelines of a national group. can’t I just follow the AMA guidelines without joining?

        1. David,

          I just got off the phone with my Senator’s staffer handling these issues. They were most interested when they heard that AMA is interpreting parts of PL112-95 section 336 as requiring membership (section a3 specifically). They seemed very concerned about that.

        2. Exactly! What ALL of this boils down to is the damned insurance companies that went to Congress lobbying to make it LAW that ANYONE who wants and needs to fly RC aircraft must have insurance. All this really only benefits is the greedy big business insurance companies which in turn violates ones CIVIL RIGHTS and liberties, all in the name of GREED!!! Oh yeah, let’s not forget about “safety”……………….

      2. care to answer my question about if I really need to be a member? not answering seems to indicate that AMA wants our money and is not really interested in disseminating correct information.

  13. They stills seems to be a gray area regarding the temporary closure of AMA Club fields. Can model aircraft weighing less than 0.55 lbs fly within the Washington DC SFRA outside of the FRZ?

    1. No models can fly in the SFRA area at this time. The FAA confirmed at the AMA Expo this is being reviewed.

  14. Until this comes in official form from the FAA, I would not follow this document. The FAA has lied many times to the RC community and this could be another lie… one which you can be held accountable for and pay steep fines.

    1. the government lie?? Please.. We all know a bunch of towel heads from the sand dunes were able to hijack 3 planes using nothing but box cutters while 100 or so passengers sat picking they’re noses as the planes made turns incapable of being made by human piloted aircraft, directly into the world trade center. .., Then magically sell the steel from the blown (I mean collapsed) buildings to some chinese shipping company within weeks before a proper forensic investigation of the evidence could take place.. Then get us into a protracted war with said towel heads, killing thousands of US service men in the line of duty.. lie.?? You need to goto a re-education camp if you don’t believe these ‘truths’..

  15. what compromises were and what convictions were put aside to come to a consenus between the AMA and the FAA, since that meeting the new has carried that those who attend had to
    put their beliefs aside so a new rule for all could be made? Why were we not asked about all of this, what compeled you to enter into the Task Force Meeting and agree not to tell your members about it. Or as you have told us before not to register our planes
    now you say we might now register them. I am a union man for life and it sound like you sold us out behind closed doors or is that just a rumor as well. Please prove to your membership thats not what you did?

    1. If you review the task force team, you will see it was heavily weighted toward full scale and commercial UAS. We are were the only unbiased hobbyist voice https://www.faa.gov/news/updates/?newsId=84125.

      During Marke Gibson’s visit at the AMA Expo, he mentioned a few times that the AMA is one of louder opposition voices.

      We will be sending an email communication today with more details. It may be in your inbox now.

    1. Understand that this is not over. We cannot control what the Federal government mandates, but we can make our voices heard. We are addressing the FAA through the US Court of Appeals. We also have advocated and made many victories with registration. #1 You no longer have to register every aircraft as originally proposed. I know many members have over a hundred aircraft and we spearheaded that change. #2 You can use your AMA number exclusively on your aircraft, you do not need to add your Federal number.

      In the past few years we have fought to keep jets and giant scale from being grounded. We also helped draft Federal law that grants members many extra freedoms such as flying over 400′. We also recently stopped legislation in NY, OH, PA, CA and other communities that would have grounded aircraft.

      In addition to all the member benefits such as insurance, your support keeps these efforts going.

      1. This issue is.. The Federal Aviation Administration, DOESN’T know the difference between an Airplane and a Model Airplane. Thats how sad things are. They want to regulate us as pilots/operators but we are more than that. We are HOBBYISTS!!! THE FAA has no business regulating this. This is EXTREME federal overeach and a breach of my tax dollars. I WILL NOT COMPLY with this. MY DAD went 3 tours in vietnam to preserve our FREEDOMS and I WILL NOT SEE HIS BEING CAPTURED BY THE VIETNAMESE AND SENT TO A PRISON CAMP AND ESCAPING BEING TURDED ON BY AN OUT OF CONTROL FEDERAL GOVERNMENT>!!!

        1. Correct, we and Congress do not believe model aircraft should be treated as regular aircraft. We have made this position into law in 2012, we are currently advocating this position to the FAA, and we are addressing this through the US Court of Appeals.

          1. AMA, please explain this terribly vague statement you keep repeating: “We are addressing the FAA through the US Court of Appeals.”
            Give us details, timeline, etc.

          2. You can find more details in Model Aviation and our blogs.

            The Council is considering all legal and political remedies to address this issue. We believe that resolution to the unnecessary federal registration rule for our members rests with AMA’s petition before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. This petition, filed in August 2014, asks the court to review the FAA’s interpretation of the “Special Rule for Model Aircraft.” The central issue is whether the FAA has the authority to expand the definition of aircraft to include model aircraft; thus, allowing the agency to establish new standards and operating criteria to which model aircraft operators have never been subject to in the past.

          3. So, if Congress understands this, and the AMA understands this, why is the AMA trying to streamline “registering” with the FAA? That to me is beyond CRIMINAL!!!!!!!

          4. Chad,
            Maybe I am the only member who understands your answers.
            May I state from my own UAV/UAS experience of 15 years, a “DRONE” is a vehicle, either air or land or water, that has AUTONOMOUS

      2. I absolutely oppose any language that makes AMA membership a requirement to operate in the public airspace. I’m happy to comply with AMA guidelines, but the moment you require me to be a member to exercise a privilege in the public airspace, you lose my support.

        I’ll so state that in my comments to FAA, to legislators, and transportation committee staff, to include your statement that under existing law, AMA views membership as a requirement to exercise privileges under PL112-95 section 336 (a)(3).

        1. We are not trying to position ourselves to require membership. The Federal government would not support that approach either.

          The laws we advocated and helped draft provide exemptions for any Community Based Organization.

          1. But you are. You stated specifically that AMA, currently the ONLY CBO for non-MRs, will NOT certify non-member aircraft under PL112-95 section 336 (a)(3). I just shared your quote with my Senator’s office, and they’re reaching out to both the Commerce Committee working the next FAA authorization and the FAA. They seemed particularly concerned to having a private dues collecting organization acting as a gate keeper over privileges in the PUBLIC airspace.

      3. I just checked the FAA registration faq @ https://www.faa.gov/uas/registration/faqs and they still use the term ‘drone’ and ‘UAS’ many times, but there is no reference to the term ‘fixed’ or ‘plane’ (except for the silly disclaimer for paper airplanes).

        I know this is a purely FAA issue, and getting updates/corrections through any large organization seems to require an act of Congress 😉 😉

        The point is, despite claims either way, their FAQ gives a very clear impression that only multi-rotors are covered here, and not fixed-wing aircraft. Their own faq is leading to significant confusion.

        The term ‘drone’ has been so mis-used as to not covey any useful meaning- It would be helpful if we/they avoided it. Those curious about what a real drone looks like may do a web-search for the MQM-107 or BQM-167. These are Air Force target UAS and are not multirotors…

      4. Where does US Code or the FARs prohibit turbine powered models? Would like to see the citation.

      5. It is over, the AMA gave in. Compliance is accepting the order as legal. I guess the founding fathers should have just payed their taxes.

  16. PL112-95 (a)(3) states that citizens of the US can operate UAS in excess of 55lbs if the aircraft “certified through a design, construction, inspection, flight test, and operational safety program administered by a community-based organization”

    Will AMA require membership in order for citizens to exercise this privilege in the public’s airspace?

      1. Sorry I haven’t answered, I’m not clear on the question. I think you are asking if the AMA trying to position ourselves to force citizens to be members.

        The answer is NO. We cannot mandate nor is reasonable to expect the Federal government to support a mandate requiring citizens to join an association to comply with Federal legislation.

        1. Ok. PL112-95 Section 336 (a)(3) states that if it is >=55lbs, then it is not a “model aircraft” unless “otherwise certified through a design, construction, inspection, flight test, and operational safety program administered by a community-based organization”

          Honestly, I don’t think Congress nor the Transportation Committee understood that you’d use this or any section of the law to mandate membership in any way.

          So, will AMA “certify” – as described above – for non-members? Keep in mind, if the answer is no, then that means AMA is using this section of the law to mandate membership to exercise privileges in the public’s airspace.

          1. You are correct, as I stated already in this post, the Federal government will not support what you are suggesting.

            The intent of Section 336 is to protect our hobby and promote safety. There are hobbyists who are not flying in a safe manner. Congress will not extend a blanket waver to those who do not abide by established safety codes.

  17. Question: Am I permitted to fly above 400′?

    AMA Answer: [quote] The federal registration box requiring agreement to only fly under 400 feet applies to individuals who are not operating within the safety guidelines of a community-based organization. We have been in discussions with the FAA about this point and the agency has indicted that it will be updating its website in the next week to make clear that this altitude restriction does not apply to AMA members.

    please provide a link to this change in “interpretation” when it is posted by the FAA.

    I do not wish to start the registration process just to discover, on page 2 that I must acknowledge, and accept a 400′ ceiling for my RC flying.

    1. CBO protection is a law and can be found on the FAA site at https://www.faa.gov/uas/media/Sec_331_336_UAS.pdf. We have verbal confirmation from the FAA of our protections as it relates to registration and have requested this in writing. We are told that the CBO protection as it relates to registration will appear on FAA’s site soon.

      1. Chad,
        Thank you for your reply.

        Please post the written FAA document on the AMA site, when available, that states,
        “As members of a CBO, AMA members are not subject to any 400′ altitude restriction.”

        Or however the FAA word it. I can live with the registration process, as long as this altitude restriction is clearly not applicable to AMA members.

        Section 336 of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012, may be the “law” but the FAA have ignored this legislation up until now.

        1. Understood. Your concern has been expressed by many members which is why we are advocating for a clearer public statement in writing.

          We are meeting with the FAA later this week and will raise this concern again.

      2. What determines whether or not I am “operating within the safety guidelines of a community-based organization”?

      3. So you are going to ask FAA add language to require membership in the CBO to fly above 400′ AGL?

        1. We are asking the FAA to state in writing that pilots who belong to a CBO can abide by their safety code.

          1. Again, there’s that “belong” requirement. You’re using the law to require membership.

  18. As an ancient RCer (76yrs old) I have 24 planes over 10 lbs each. Do I pay for each one when I register? How do I register?

    1. Originally the task force suggested all aircraft required registration. We argued that is not realistic since many pilots own dozens of aircraft. The task force and FAA agreed and changed their position so you only need to register once to cover all your current and future aircraft for the next three years.

  19. The FAA registration site still requires a credit card that they debit for $5. The FAA then credits the $5 back a week or so later. The FAA’s site is so poorly designed that one individual’s personal and credit card information was presented to another registrant when he went to verify his own information. This is outrageous. If the FAA is not going to charge us, then they should not require credit information on such a poorly designed site.

  20. several times in the answers above the AMA refers to registering aircraft, for example, …

    Q: What happens if I don’t register by February 19?

    A: According to the FAA, failure to register an unmanned aircraft may result in regulatory and criminal sanctions.

    could you please get this point correct? my understanding is aircraft are not registered, only pilots. you could save all sorts of hassle and uncertainty with your members and non-member pilots if you would just stick to what the requirements are. registering aircraft/models is not and has never been a requirement. am I correct?

      1. Originally the FAA and task force suggested all aircraft are to be registered, not pilots. We argued against that citing that many of our members have dozens or hundreds of aircraft. It is unrealistic to register every aircraft. The language of “registering aircraft” is still creeping into text, but it is no longer true. Only pilots register.

        1. Yup, Scratch building sorta segregates one to another level of airplane buildin’. IMHO.

          I don’t build drones either!

    1. You are correct and the question has been modified to reflect that pilots are to be registered, not aircraft.

  21. Where is the official email concerning this? This has created a mass amount of questions with club officers from its membership. I am a club officer and leader member, but have not received any official communication regarding this.

      1. Just checking if this email was sent. The last email I received from the AMA was on Nov 17, 2015.

  22. What do I do if I haven’t flown in 6 years and don’t have a current AMA ? Are the scratch built planes that have been sitting in my garage now subject to a $250,000 penalty if I DONT FLY and DONT RENEW with AMA this year?? If i choose NOT to renew and the planes sit there and I dont register with FAA, I feel they are MY personal property and the government has NO BUSINESS fining me for my personal property.??
    -Mike