Here’s How To Get Your $5 Drone Registration Fee Refund From The FAA

Image courtesy of Andrew Turner

Did you pay $5 to register your drone with the Federal Aviation Administration? Now that an appeals court has overturned the agency’s rule requiring hobbyist drone operators to register their aircraft, you can get your money back and remove your name from the federal database.

If you registered a model aircraft that you fly for fun and not to make money, you can fill out a request form [PDF] and mail it to the FAA at the address designated on the form.

You can expunge your name from the database and get your $5 back, or you can have it removed and let the FAA keep the money, though it’s unclear why anyone would do that.

In May, the FAA said that since drone registration first started in Dec. 2015, more than 820,000 people have registered. Multiply that by $5 per submission, and the agency could have raked in at least $4 million in fees, which includes commercial drone. Some of that money, however, is from commercial drone registrations, which are still required.

The agency is still encouraging folks to voluntarily register their unmanned aircraft. Once the law that the appeals court says the FAA violated — Section 336 of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 (FMRA) [PDF] — expires in September, you may find yourself forking over that $5 again if Congress decides to allow the agency to require registration again.