Attention drone owners get your markers ready because your FAA registration number must be externally visible on your device starting February 25, 2019, according to a new FAA rule.
The regulation was posted in the Federal Register on Feb. 13, 2019 and will take effect Feb. 25, 2019. The new rule is part of an effort to bring more oversight to the rapidly growing hobby and commercial drone industry.
Labeling your drone with your FAA registration ID number isn’t new. When you register a UAS, the FAA requires drone owners to mark their drone with the registration number, but now it must be external instead of inside the battery compartment.
This change comes after law enforcement officials and the FAA’s interagency security partners expressed concerns about the risk a concealed explosive device might pose to first responders upon opening a compartment to find a drone’s registration number. The FAA believes this action will enhance safety and security by allowing first responders and law enforcement agents to view the unique identifier directly without handling the drone.
The FAA has issued this requirement as an Interim Final Rule—a rule that takes effect while also inviting public comment. The FAA issues interim final rules when delaying implementation of the rule would be impractical, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest. In this case, the agency has determined the importance of mitigating the risk to first responders outweighs the minimal inconvenience this change may impose on small drone owners and justifies implementation without a prior public comment period.
The FAA will consider comments from the public on this Interim Final Rule, and will then review any submissions to determine if the provisions of the ultimate Final Rule should be changed. The 30-day comment period will end on March 15, 2019. To submit comments, go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for “RIN 2120-AL32.”