FAA Non-US Citizen and Non-US Resident Registration

All pilots, including those visiting from outside the United States, are required by the FAA to register if they plan to fly most unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) weighing 250 grams or more outdoors. FAA registration can only be completed online using a United States based computer. Therefore, it is recommended these non-US citizen or non-US residents register once he or she arrives in the U.S. at a hotel, guest house, or flying field. For our AMA affiliate members, we can provide a computer to allow registration in the AMA HQ lobby.

Registration, including for non-US citizen or non-US resident pilots, takes approximately 15 minutes.  All pilots will receive their FAA/UAS number immediately after registering. This number will be provided on the confirmation screen, sent via email, and accessible in the FAA website user profile. The FAA registered number must then be placed in or on all aircraft that is being flown in the U.S. This number can be placed inside aircraft/battery hatch, if area doesn’t require a tool to open.

Successful registrants will also receive a matching certificate of registration, which pilots must be able to present in either electronic or printed form. While this certificate is similar to the US resident or citizen certificate, it will function solely as a “recognition of ownership” document. This document is required by the Department of Transportation for foreign nationals to operate legally in the US. This certificate will be available for print and will be sent to the pilot’s email immediately after completing FAA registration.

To accomplish registration a pilot will need an email address, credit/debit/or major credit card gift card, and a mailing address (the FAA website will accept foreign addresses and foreign nationalities). Proceed to https://faadronezone.faa.gov/#/to complete the registration process.

Once registration is completed, aircraft are properly labeled, and the certificate is accessible, non-US citizen and non-US resident pilots will be compliant with FAA regulations and permitted to fly safely and responsibly.

For those who would like to complete this process before coming into the United States, pilots can ask a friend or family member living inside the U.S. boarders to register on his or her behalf.


  1. Thanks
    Is it OK if I remove the dagger frommy back now AMA?
    Bull is what I expected and bull is what I got.
    I paid for better representation than this!
    You burned the bridge not I.

  2. What is your basis for stating they have to register? I’m not arguing that they have/not have to be registered. The newly released Final Rules for sUAS state that Part 107 does not apply to models used for recreational/hobby purposes and that Section 336 does apply. Sec. 336 makes no reference to registering a model airplane used for hobby purposes. I did register back in Dec, however under this new Final Rule that will be law in sixty days, I see no reference to any registration for hobby model airplanes, commercial yes, hobby no. Under this new rule where is it stated that hobby model airplanes have to be registered?

  3. Interesting approach by the FAA, without a big publicity campaign I doubt that many visitors to the US will ever be aware of this requirement. I notice in their “Fly for Fun” section they have the following text:

    Quote: “You don’t need permission from the FAA to fly your UAS (aka drone) for fun or recreation, but you must always fly safely.

    Before you fly outside you must:

    Register your UAS if it weighs more than 0.55 pounds and less than 55 pounds
    Label your UAS with your registration number
    Read and understand all safety guidelines

    You must be:

    13 years of age or older (if the owner is less than 13 years of age, a person 13 years of age or older must register the small unmanned aircraft) A U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident*

    * Visiting foreign nationals must register their UAS upon arrival in the United States (online registration serves as a certificate of ownership).”

    Cost to register at time of writing (12th July) is $5 and registration is valid for three years, more info here:

    Personally I don’t have an issue with this but it does seem a bit OTT I’m not sure if this “rule” will be adhered to by visiting drone pilots. Time will tell!

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