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United States to require license plates for drones?

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The United States Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) may soon require drone owners to display a visible license plate – just like with cars.

Current aviation law already requires US drone owners to register their crafts with the FAA and place a means of identifying their craft somewhere onboard. This new rule would be taking things one step further.

The abstract to the rule, originally discovered by Bloomberg states:

“This action would require small unmanned aircraft owners to display the unique identifier assigned by the FAA upon completion of the registration process on an external surface of the aircraft.”

The idea behind the move is it would make it far easier for authorities to track down people who are up to no good, such as people flying too close to airports or being a peeping tom.

Would this rule apply to all drones? Even the tiny toy ones?

Precise details of exactly what the new rules will entail and how much it will cost the government to administer such a program are thin on the ground. At present the rule is only at proposal stage. You can view the information currently known about the law on the US General Services Administration website.

Questions we have:

  • When will these changes takes effect?
  • Would all new drones be issued with a plate?
  • How long would existing owners have to comply with the new regulation?
  • What would be the fine / penalty for not displaying a license plate?
  • Will you get to choose where to fix the plate? What about colours?

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