Federal Court Drone Registration Ruling Could Mean Refunds

By James DeRuvo (doddleNEWS)
When the US Court of Appeals ruled that the FAA Drone Registry was unlawful, drone enthusiasts hailed the ruling as a victory for liberty. But now that the FAA will no longer require registration of your UAV, what happens to the money those of us paid to register our drones? Well, you may be able to get a refund.

In short, the 2012 FAA Modernization and Reform Act provides that the FAA ‘may not promulgate any rule or regulation regarding a model aircraft,’ yet the FAA’s 2015 registration rule is a ‘rule or regulation regarding a model aircraft.’ Statutory interpretation does not get much simpler. – Washington DC District Court

What the FAA Drone Registry required was that all drones weighing between .55 and 55 pounds were to be registered with the FAA and the succeeding registration number was to be placed onto all your UAVs. That nice thing was that if whether you had one drone or twenty, you only needed one drone registration number. And at a cost of $5, it really wasn’t that big a deal.

But the Federal Appeals Court ruled the the FAA overstepped it’s authority and had no right to create the registry. I’m not so sure about that. As a private pilot, I know that all airplanes are required to have an “N” number affixed to its tail for identification. That was an FAA rule (14 CFR Part 45).  But the court decided that the 2012 FAA Modernization and Reform Act didn’t allow that rule to legally exist. As such, the FAA overstepped it’s authority.

Ok. Sure. But frankly, I never had a problem with it. If you’ve ever had your drone fly away, you’d understand that having a means by which it can be recovered could be helpful. It could also show what irresponsible drone pilot who flew where they were supposed to could then be apprehended.

This form is for owners of model aircraft who would like to delete their registration record in the small UAS registration database maintained under the Privacy Act System of Record DOT/FAA- 801, Aircraft Registration Records, in accordance with the ruling in Taylor v. Huerta by the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on May 19, 2017.

By the looks of it, the FAA is going to continue with the registry, however, but on an optional basis. With the ruling, the FAA now has to delete any registry upon request and that means drone operators who complied with the original  registration mandate may get a refund on the $5 registration fee.  Uncle Sam seldom just sends money out without being asked for it, so you will have to make a formal “registration deletion and self certification” request with this form.  Also, you have to include your “Owner unique identifier” number.

Send your form via snail mail to:
FAA Civil Aviation Registry
PO Box 25504
Oklahoma City OK, 73125

Now you may think that it’s only $5. Who cares? But note, that the request also states you must request your registration be deleted, and in order to do that, you must certify that you understand the new federal and Local rules regarding flying drones, that your drone weighs no more than 55 pounds, and will be flown strictly for hobby or recreational use. Violation will still bring forth civil and criminal penalties.  A form that will no doubt be produced by the FAA should you be fined or charged with a criminal violation.

You are then given the option of having your registration expunged with or without a refund being issued.

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About doddle 16509 Articles
Doddlenews is the news division of the Digital Production Buzz, a leading online resource for filmmakers, covering news, reviews and tutorials for the video and film industry, along with movie and TV news, and podcasting.

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