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Drone owner? You must register by the end of the month

Drone owner? You must register by the end of the month

Drone owners will face fines of up to £1,000 from Saturday 30 November if they fly their device without passing an online theory test and registering as an operator.

The registration scheme opens today, and anyone who owns or is responsible for a drone or unmanned aircraft, such as a model plane weighing between 250g and 25kg, must register as an operator. You don't need to apply if you only fly your drone indoors, or in a "securely netted area". 

It costs £9 to register as an operator, and you must do this each year. If you fly your drone you must also take a free online theory test to get a flyer ID. 

If you only fly someone else's drone, you don't need to register as an operator, but you must take the free theory test to get a flyer ID. 

I fly a drone – what do I need to do?

If you own and fly a drone, you need to sign up at register-drones.caa.co.uk to register as an operator and complete the theory test, featuring 20 multiple-choice questions, to get a flyer ID. Here's how the scheme works: 

  • The person who owns or is responsible for the drone or model aircraft must get an operator ID. After getting this ID, they must make sure only people with a valid flyer ID use it. Only those over the age of 18 can register for an operator ID. If you're responsible for drones or model aircraft, but won't fly them, you'll need to register as a non-flying operator, which also costs £9.

  • Anyone who will fly the drone must get a flyer ID. To get this they must pass a theory test. The rules apply to adults and children. A parent or guardian must register children aged under 13, but the child must take the test.

If you're responsible for a drone or model aircraft, you must label it with your operator ID.

The Civil Aviation Authority's new system will also be used to help return errant drones to their owners; anyone who loses a drone is advised to post their details on the 'Drones Reunited' platform, while anyone who finds one is encouraged to check if it has a registration number and enter the details online.