Which Drones Don’t Need to Be Registered – An Easy Guide

Explore "which drones don't need to be registered" with our comprehensive guide. Learn about specific models, rules, and the need to register your drone!

If you’re interested in flying a drone, it’s important to understand the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) regulations regarding drone registration. The FAA requires registration for all drones weighing over 0.55 pounds, or 250 grams. However, there are some drones that don’t need to be registered.

In this easy-to-follow guide, we’ll discuss the which drones don’t need to be registered and provide valuable insights for drone pilots.

Key Takeaways:

  • The FAA requires registration for drones over 0.55 pounds.
  • Not all drones need to be registered.
  • This guide will explore exempt drones and provide insights for drone pilots.
  • Understanding FAA regulations is crucial for drone enthusiasts.
  • By exploring exempt drones, pilots can enjoy their flights without the need for registration.

FAA Registration Requirements for Drones

If you are a drone pilot in the United States, it is essential to understand the FAA registration requirements for drones. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) enforces regulations to ensure the safety of the National Airspace System (NAS).

Part 107 regulations state that all drones that weigh more than 0.55 pounds (250gneed to be registered with the FAA. Failure to register your drone can result in penalties and legal consequences. However, there are exceptions for certain drones that don’t need to be registered.

The Process of Registering Your Drone

The process of registering your drone is simple and can be completed online. You need to create an account on the FAA’s registration website and provide the required information, including your name, address, and email. You will also need to pay a registration fee of $5 and receive a Certificate of Registration, which should be visible on the drone’s exterior.

Note: If you are a recreational drone pilot operating within the Exception for Limited Recreational Operations, you do not need to register your drone. You can find more information about this exception in Section 4 of this guide.

Renewing Your Certificate of Registration

Your Certificate of Registration needs to be renewed every three years. You will receive a notification from the FAA 180 days before the expiration date of your certificate. You can renew your registration online by providing your email address and registration number, as well as paying a $5 fee.

Drones Under 250 Grams

If you are looking for which drones don’t need to be registered, then drones weighing less than 250 grams are exempt from FAA registration requirements. These drones are also known as toy drones or mini drones.

Despite their small size, these drones are still capable of taking high-quality videos and photos. They are perfect for beginners who are just starting to learn how to fly a drone and want to hone their skills without worrying about the legalities of registration.

Some popular models of drones under 250 grams include:

Drone ModelWeightPrice
DJI Mavic Mini249 grams$399
Ryze Tello80 grams$99
Hubsan H107D+56 grams$99

Since these drones are lightweight, they typically have a shorter flight time and limited range compared to heavier drones. However, they are easy to transport, and some models are even foldable, making them convenient for travel.

If you are interested in purchasing a drone under 250 grams, be sure to check the drone’s weight and specifications before making a purchase. While these drones are exempt from FAA registration, you are still required to follow all FAA regulations and guidelines for safe drone flying.

Exception for Limited Recreational Operations

If you’re a recreational drone pilot, you may be able to take advantage of the exception for limited recreational operations. This exception allows certain drones, which drones don’t need to be registered, as long as they meet specific criteria.


To be eligible for the exception for limited recreational operations, your drone must:

  • Weigh less than 55 pounds, including any added payloads such as cameras or sensors
  • Be flown for recreational purposes only
  • Be flown in Class G airspace
  • Not interfere with other aircraft
  • Be flown within visual line-of-sight (VLOS) of the operator
  • Not be flown from a moving vehicle
  • Pass the Recreational UAS Safety Test (TRUST)

The Recreational UAS Safety Test (TRUST) is a free online test that covers drone safety regulations and best practices. You must pass this test before you can fly your drone under the exception for limited recreational operations and of which drones don’t need to be registered.

Safety Test

The TRUST covers the following topics:

  • Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations
  • Airspace classification and operating requirements
  • Emergency procedures
  • Crew resource management
  • Aeronautical decision-making and judgment
  • Physiological effects of drugs and alcohol

To pass the test, you must correctly answer at least 19 out of 25 questions. Once you pass the test, you will receive a certificate of achievement, which you must have on hand while flying your drone under the exception for limited recreational operations.

If you plan on flying your drone commercially, you will need to obtain a Part 107 Certificate of Registration and comply with all FAA regulations. However, for recreational pilots, the exception for limited recreational operations is a great way to enjoy flying your drone without the need for registration.

Drone over open field

DJI Mavic Mini and Other Exempt Drones

If you’re looking for a compact, easy-to-fly camera drone that doesn’t require registration, look no further than the DJI Mavic Mini. Weighing in at just 249 grams, the Mavic Mini is a popular drone that offers great features for recreational and beginner drone pilots.

The Mavic Mini boasts a high-quality camera capable of shooting 2.7K video and 12-megapixel photos. Its foldable design makes it easy to transport, and its three-axis gimbal ensures smooth, stable footage. With a maximum flight time of 30 minutes, the Mavic Mini is perfect for capturing stunning aerial shots.

Other Exempt Drones

While the Mavic Mini is a great option, it’s not the only exempt drone on the market. Which drones don’t need to be registered are:

  • DJI Mini 2: The successor to the Mavic Mini, the Mini 2 offers upgraded features such as 4K video and a longer range.
  • Hubsan H501S X4: This foldable drone boasts a 1080p camera and a GPS system for precise positioning.
  • Parrot Bebop 2: With a 14-megapixel fisheye camera and built-in GPS, the Bebop 2 is a solid choice for capturing aerial footage.

No matter which exempt drone you choose, remember to always fly responsibly and follow FAA guidelines to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.


Knowing which drones don’t need to be registered is essential for drone pilots. By understanding the FAA regulations and exploring exempt drones, recreational and beginner drone pilots can enjoy their flights without the need for registration.

While drones under 250 grams offer many benefits, such as portability and ease of use, they do have their limitations. It’s important to consider the purpose of the drone and choose the appropriate model.

For those interested in flying recreationally, the exception for limited recreational operations can be a great option. However, it’s crucial to take the required safety tests and adhere to the regulations set by the FAA.

The DJI Mavic Mini and other exempt drones provide great features for both recreational and beginner drone pilots. These drones are often lightweight, portable, and easy to use, making them ideal for travelers and those new to the hobby.

In conclusion, whether you’re flying for fun or as a profession, it’s important to follow the rules and regulations set by the FAA and to know which drones don’t need to be registered. By doing so, we can ensure the safety of our airspace and continue to enjoy the exciting world of drones.


Which drones don’t need to be registered?

Drones weighing under 250 grams do not need to be registered with the FAA.

What are the FAA registration requirements for drones?

The FAA requires drones that do not fall under the exempt categories to be registered. This process involves submitting an application and obtaining a certificate of registration.

What is the weight limit for drones that don’t need registration?

Drones weighing less than 250 grams are exempt from FAA registration.

What is the exception for limited recreational operations?

The FAA has established an exception for limited recreational operations, allowing certain drones to fly without registration. However, operators must still adhere to specific requirements and pass a recreational UAS safety test.

Are DJI Mavic Mini and other drones exempt from registration?

Yes, the DJI Mavic Mini is a popular drone that falls within the weight limit for exemption. There are also other drones available in the market that are exempt from registration. These drones offer great features for recreational and beginner pilots.


I'm Martijn, your dedicated drone enthusiast and writer here at Drone Operator. With a passion for all things UAV drone related, I'm committed to providing you with insightful and unbiased content.

Newsletter Updates

Enter your email address below and subscribe to our newsletter

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *