A couple of days ago we reported that drone owners could now register their drones with the FAA. We expect that there will be plenty of drone owners out there who think that they can get away with not registering, but it seems that the program is somewhat of a success as they have seen 45,000 registrations within the first 48 hours.
According to the FAA, “The agency has seen strong initial demand, with more than 45,000 registrations completed since the site opened for business Monday afternoon. According to industry estimates, as many as 400,000 small UAS could be sold during the holidays.” However with 400,000 drones estimated to be sold and in addition to the number already available, 45,000 seems like a drop in the ocean but a good sign all the same.
However it seems that due to the onslaught of registrations, the registration website had to be taken offline for maintenance. This means that registrations will only go back online either later today or on Thursday. In the meantime for those who think that they can get away without registering their drones, the penalties can be quite harsh.
If caught flying an unregistered drone, owners can be punished with fines up to $27,500 or face up to 3 years in prison, neither of which is appealing especially when the registration process is so straightforward not to mention for the first month, will be free of charge (it would cost $5 normally).