As a drone owner, you should be familiar with FAA regulations about drone registration. The FAA requires that all drones weighing 0.55 lbs and above used for recreation and fun must be registered. All commercial drones, regardless of weight, must be registered.
You’ll be given a unique FAA registration number after registration to mark on your drone. And you must mark your drone on the exterior in a permanent, legible, and easily recognizable manner.
If you are not sure about the best way to display your drone’s registration number, you have come to the right place. Below, you’ll find the three best ways to display your drone’s registration number as well as the pros and cons of each method.
Engraving is one of the best ways to display your drone’s registration number. All you need is to select a spot on the exterior of your drone and then use a pen engraver to write your drone’s registration number. Remember that you have to engrave your registration number on the external surface of your drone, where it can be easily seen upon visual inspection of your aircraft.
Make sure you have some experience with a pen engraver so that you can engrave your registration number neatly on your drone. If you’ve never used a pen engraver before, practice on a plastic surface before using it on your drone.
One of the benefits of engraving is that it’s permanent which is in line with the FAA’s requirement. But this benefit can also turn out to be a disadvantage if you end up wanting to sell your drone. This is because your drone’s registration number is tied to your identity. And if you decide to sell your drone, your registration number has to be removed.
Never sell a drone without first removing your registration number because if a drone with your registration number is used for any illegal or criminal activity, you are going to find yourself in trouble. Unfortunately, it’s almost impossible to remove the engraved registration number on your drone without damaging the surface.
So before you engrave your drone, you should make up your mind that you are never planning to sell it. If that’s okay with you, go ahead and engrave your registration number. If not, continue reading to learn of other methods to label your drone.
Another issue with engraving is that some people may not be comfortable with it. Let’s face it, there are drones that cost thousands of dollars and it may not sit well with some people to ruin the aesthetics of the drone by engraving on it.
- Easy, especially if you have experience with a pen engraver.
- Difficult to remove which may make it difficult to sell the drone.
- Some people may not be comfortable engraving their drones.
2. Permanent marker
Another way to display your drone’s registration number and comply with the FAA’s requirements is to write your registration number on any easily accessible surface with a permanent marker.
You already know how to use a permanent marker and probably have one lying around in a drawer somewhere in your home. If you don’t have a marker, it’s easy and cheap to buy one.
An advantage of using a permanent marker over engraving is that you can remove the number with solvents like alcohol. This comes in handy when you want to sell the drone or give it to a friend or family member as you can easily remove your registration number.
Even without using a solvent to remove your registration number, it’s going to fade away over time. The more your drone is exposed to sun and wind, the faster the number will fade. And this means you’ll have to rewrite your registration number every now and then.
- Easy to use a marker.
- Fades over time requiring you to retouch it every so often.
The last recommended method of displaying your registration number on your drone involves sticker labels. All you have to do is to print out a couple of sticker labels and attach them to your drone.
Using a sticker label is a lot more convenient than using a pen engraver although a permanent marker remains the most convenient option. There are many benefits of using a sticker label or label maker.
For one, a sticker will remain on a drone for as long as you want as you can remove the sticker at any time. So if you are planning to sell your drone or pass it along to someone, all you have to do is to remove the sticker. Even when the sticker is old and isn’t coming off well, you can apply some solvent to it for easy removal, or to remove any gooey residue.
If you are concerned about your drone’s appearance, you can design your stickers to match the color or appearance of your drone. You have complete freedom over the appearance of your sticker.
Two options are available if you decide to go for stickers. You can print the stickers yourself using a label maker, or have someone else do the design and printing for you. You should be able to find businesses that offer customized sticker labels. Such services can help you come up with a professional-grade design if you so desire.
For longevity, make sure your stickers are laminated, UV-resistant, and waterproof as this will protect them from the elements.
- Easy to attach to your drone.
- Can be customized to match the drone’s appearance.
- Slightly inconvenient to source a sticker printer if you don’t already have a label maker.
Why you should label your drones properly
The main reason for you to display your registration number on your drone is to comply with the FAA’s directive which aims for increased accountability from drone owners. This makes sense when you consider the increased incidence of drone accidents and the fact that drones sometimes interfere with aircraft operations. Also, drones are being used for criminal and illegal activities like smuggling goods into detention centers.
Displaying your registration number on your drone is also beneficial to you especially when your drone gets lost or goes missing. Your registration number is proof that your drone belongs to you and should you put contact information on the drone, a good Samaritan may just return your precious drone to you.