Chapter 4 Registration of UAS

Within the US, all UA must be registered under the regulations specified by 14 CFR 47 or 14 CFR 48, depending on the weight of the aircraft, location of the aircraft’s operation or primary purpose of the aircraft. Aircraft flown exclusively outside the US or within military airspace may be subject to other registration requirements.

4.1 Registration of UC-owned UAS

The Regents are the legal owners of all UC property. Similarly to BFB-BUS-19: Registration and Licensing of University-Owned Vehicles, all UC-owned UA must be registered to the “Regents of the University of California” to meet compliance obligations under 14 CFR 47 or 14 CFR 48 (See Figure 4.1)

Example UAS Registration Certificate

Figure 4.1: Example UAS Registration Certificate

All UAS that weigh between 0.55 lbs and 55 lbs (under 14 CFR 48) must be registered online at

UAS that weigh more than 55 lbs or are required to have UAS registration that is valid internationally must be registered under 14 CFR 47 and must be done through mail with an Original Aircraft Registration Form, AC Form 8050-1.

4.2 Registration of Recreational UAS

Drones used for recreation, including model aircraft, are required to be registered under 14 CFR 48. Though typically most UAS owned by the UC will be registered individually, there are some cases where they may be registered as for recreational use only.

In general, UAS that are used for recreation may be registered as a group under the owner of the drone. In the case of the group or company owned drone, they may be registered under the primary user or manager of the drone as Part 48 registration is not considered proof of ownership.

Common Scenarios for Recreational Drones

  • Recreational Drones owned by students should be registered by the student
  • Recreational Drones owned by a student club can be registered by a member of the student club, a club mentor or faculty adviser.
  • Recreational Drones used in classroom or educational activity should have the faculty, instructor or department staff member register for an FAA registration number to be placed on all aircraft.

4.3 Record Keeping Policy Requirements

Records of UC-owned UAS registration must be provided to the designated local authority or the systemwide designated authority. Registration of all unmanned aircraft used for University business must be provided to the designated local authority or the systemwide designated authority. UC Drones may be used to submit records electronically and other electronic submission processes may be available in the future. A University location may additionally implement a centralized registration process using a single FAA online account.

4.4 Fraudulent Drone Registration Websites

Unfortunately, there are several fraudulent websites that advertise Drone registration. The only registration site is at and registration only costs $5 per aircraft. UAS registration through the FAA’s website requires you to create an account with the FAA, but is otherwise instantaneous. Any website that offers to register an aircraft on your behalf, or offers an ‘enhanced’ or ‘expedited’ registration is fraudulent. The correct website looks as in Figure 4.2

FAA DroneZone

Figure 4.2: FAA DroneZone