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Do I Need to Register my Drone in the UK? (Explained)

Whether you live in or are traveling to the UK and you want to fly your DJI Mini 3 drone, there are strict laws and regulations that have to be followed by any drone pilot.

But DJI Mini 3 is under 250 grams. In this case, do you need to register your DJI Mini 3 in the UK?

To fly the DJI Mini 3 in the UK, you are still required by law to register for an Operator ID and have it labeled on your drone when flying, but because the drone is under 250 grams, you don’t need a Flyer ID. 

In this post, I will share everything you need to know about Operator and Flyer IDs and what else you need to know about registering and flying your DJI Mini 3 in the UK.

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Registering for an Operator ID in the UK

The Operator ID is a mandatory registration to cover any drone pilot in the UK, no matter what drone. 

It can be the pilot (you) or another person, a guardian (for pilots under 18), or the organization responsible for the registered drone.

For instance, if you have a DJI Mini 3 drone and you give it to another person to fly, you need to have an operator ID that covers the drone and other drones registered under your name. 

The only categories where an Operator ID is not required to fly a drone in the UK are:

C0 – The drone is a toy 

C0 – the drone is not a toy; without a camera. 

The Operator ID is required for DJI Mini 3 because it falls under Class C0 – not a toy with a camera and Open A1 & A3 subcategory.

The registration for Operator ID costs £10, valid for one year. You can register for an Operator ID in the UK by following the CAA (Civil Aviation Authority) link here: Register for Operator ID.

If you want to use your DJI Mini 3 for commercial purposes, you must submit details for any insurance when registering the drone. 

For personal use, you are not required to submit details of drone insurance.

What is Flyer ID in the UK, and do you need one for a DJI Mini 3?

Flyer ID is the pilot identification signifying that you have enough knowledge to fly a drone, in this case, the DJI Mini 3.

To get this, you will have to take a series of skill tests. 

According to the current category the DJI Mini 3 falls into, you don’t need a Flyer ID to be able to fly it for recreation purposes.

Notice: If you use the DJI Intelligent Batteries Plus or any accessories with your DJI Mini 3 where the drone weight will go above 250 grams, you will be required by law to have a Flyer ID.

A Flyer ID costs nothing and is available for five years.

Although it usually may not be required because the DJI Mini 3 is under 250 grams, we still recommend you take the 40-question test and get a Flyer ID that may help you fly other drones or this one with battery plus (following current regulations).

If you want to get started towards obtaining a free flyer ID, you can follow the Civil Aviation Authority’s official link here: Flyer ID.

What are open A1 & A3 subcategories, and does it affects the DJI Mini 3 registration process?

There are four main subcategory classifications in the UK with the drone flying risks assessment:

  • Open A1 & A3 – basic, low-risk flying
  • Open A2 – More risk than A1 & A3
  • Specific – Moderate Risk flying
  • Certified – High Risk and complex flying

The only subcategory we want to look at is the Open A1 & A3, which includes the DJI Mini 3. This follows the basic regulations to fly a drone in the UK, classified as low-risk flying.

What are the drone laws in the UK?

Having an operator ID (or even flyer ID) will still require you to follow the drone laws and legislation when flying your DJI Mini 3 in the UK, or any other drone, regardless of type and model.

If you are interested in an extensive read, you can find all the information required to know (and more) on the CAA UK Official Website here

But for now, let’s try to summarize the core drone laws in the UK that applies to your DJI Mini 3 drone:

  • You must have an operator ID to fly your DJI Mini 3 Drone. The ID has to be labeled on the drone. Flyer ID is optional but strongly recommended (it’s free of charge) for your Mini 3.
  • The law requires you to fly under 400ft / 120m altitude from the takeoff point.
  • Keep your DJI Mini 3 in sight and ensure you have a full view of the surrounding airspace.
  • For drones and aircraft under 250 grams, including the DJI Mini 3: you can fly closer to people than 50m or above them as long as you don’t place anyone in danger or intentionally fly towards them.
  • There is always a no-fly zone over crowds, no matter the drone model.
  • You can fly your DJI Mini 3 near residential, recreational, commercial, and industrial sites as long as it remains under 250 grams.
  • Never fly in flight-restricted zones such as airports, military bases, prisons, etc. Always check for hazards.
  • Respect other people’s privacy.

What else do I need to know?

You are required by law to place a label with your operator ID on any drone you are flying (if it is not a toy), including the DJI Mini 3.

You can use the same operator ID to label multiple drones.

Please keep in mind that not only do you need to display your Operator ID (and flyer ID where it is the case), but if requested by a law enforcement officer to land the drone in order to check your ID, you must comply.

The law enforcement officers in the UK will request you (if it’s the case) to land the drone safely if they require more information from you or to communicate anything.

After landing the drone, they will engage with you and check for your Operator ID (and/or flyer if required).

It is ethical to inform them that your DJI Mini 3 weighs under 250 grams and is part of the C0 class and A1 subcategory.

As in any country in the UK, you will need to follow their own regulations and laws about flying drones, including the DJI Mini 3.

Please keep in mind that because the UK is no longer part of the EU, there is a transitional change in drone laws and regulations.

In the end, please remember that to be able to fly your DJI Mini 3 drone, you need an Operator ID, and if the drone goes over 250 grams because of intelligent battery plus or accessories, a Flyer ID will also be required.