lifehacker.com

Photo: Pixel Enforcer (Shutterstock) If you woke up last week and found a drone under your tree (or more likely, in a cardboard box wherever you receive package deliveries) you probably can’t wait to try it out. But unlike other new gadgets, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) like drones take a little more effort to get up off the ground. Specifically, you might need to register it with the government and get approval before taking it on its first flight. It’s also important to know that the laws governing drones keep changing. So even if you operated one three or four years ago, you’re going to want to take a look at the current regulations. Here’s what to know if you’re planning to fly a UAV in 2021. Before you register your drone The first thing to do is figure out which category your drone falls under, according to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Though you probably are considered a recreational flyer, if you’re also using your drone for educational purposes, you may need some additional clarification. This tool from the FAA will help you know for sure. Assuming you fall into the “recreational flyer” category, the next categorization is based on weight. If your drone weighs more than 0.55 pounds (250 grams), it must be registered with the FAA through the FAADroneZone website—otherwise, if you are caught flying it you could be subject to civil and criminal penalties (including fines of up to $250,000 and/or imprisonment for up to […]