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By Kerri Anne Renzulli
January 22, 2016
Richard Newstead—Getty Images/Flickr

The Federal Aviation Administration has seen nearly 300,000 drone owners register their small unmanned aircrafts in its online registration system during the program’s first month.

The FAA introduced the registry on Dec. 21, and those who registered in the first 30 days could avoid paying the $5 registration fee.

Anyone who currently owns a drone weighing between 0.55 and 55 pounds and uses it for recreational or hobby purposes must now register it before Feb 19. Those who fail to register could face civil fines and criminal penalties that include up to three years in prison.

The FAA says that requiring owner to register their small UAVs will make the skies safer and prevent drones from flying too close to commercial airplanes or crashing in improper locales, like the White House lawn.

Advertiser Disclosure

The purpose of this disclosure is to explain how we make money without charging you for our content.

Our mission is to help people at any stage of life make smart financial decisions through research, reporting, reviews, recommendations, and tools.

Earning your trust is essential to our success, and we believe transparency is critical to creating that trust. To that end, you should know that many or all of the companies featured here are partners who advertise with us.

Our content is free because our partners pay us a referral fee if you click on links or call any of the phone numbers on our site. If you choose to interact with the content on our site, we will likely receive compensation. If you don't, we will not be compensated. Ultimately the choice is yours.

Opinions are our own and our editors and staff writers are instructed to maintain editorial integrity, but compensation along with in-depth research will determine where, how, and in what order they appear on the page.

To find out more about our editorial process and how we make money, click here.

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