Law Enforcement

ASIs may encounter sUAS in performing surveillance or responding to accidents, incidents, occurrences, or complaints reported to the FSDO. ASH Special Agents may receive information from law enforcement relating to unauthorized and/or unsafe operation of sUAS which will be shared with AFS. Media reports may also be an initial source of information.

No, UAS registration inspection will not be the primary function of an ASI or Special Agent however, the FAA follows up on all reports of aircraft being operated in an unsafe manner and registration is a material matter which will be examined when identified.

The FAA has multiple options available for enforcing FAA regulations. These range from education to administrative actions (in the form of a formal warning notice or letter of correction) to the ability to assess civil penalties up to $27,500. Criminal penalties include fines of up to $250,000 and/or imprisonment for up to three years.

There is no one-size-fits-all enforcement action for violations. All aspects of a violation will be considered along with mitigating and aggravating circumstances surrounding the violation. In general, the FAA will attempt to educate operators who fail to comply with registration requirements. However, fines will remain an option when egregious circumstances are present.

Laws governing liability for damage caused by drones vary by state. If the individual operating your drone is a minor, in some states you might have some liability if the drone causes damage. For federal civil aviation law purposes, the operator of the drone is liable for its use.

Yes, a Certificate of Aircraft Registration must be carried by the operator of the UAS and made available to law enforcement and/or the FAA upon request. If you are asked to show your certificate of registration, you can show it electronically, you do not need to print the certificate.

Yes. All UAS greater than 0.55 lbs being operated in the US must be registered or they will be subject to enforcement. If a foreign UAS is similarly registered in another country, it may be operated in the US provided the operator can present sufficient registration documentation.

No. A UAS may also be registered by a foreign citizen with permanent residence in the US. Also, foreign citizens who hold a valid registration from another country can operate in the US. A foreign national may also register their aircraft as a recognition of ownership.