Subpart A—General


 

§ 48.1 – Applicability.

(a) This part provides registration and identification requirements for small unmanned aircraft that are part of a small unmanned aircraft system as defined in § 1.1 of this chapter.

(b) Small unmanned aircraft eligible for registration in the United States must be registered and identified in accordance with either:

(1) The registration and identification requirements in this part; or

(2) The registration requirements in part 47 and the identification and registration marking requirements in subparts A and C of part 45.

(c) Small unmanned aircraft intended to be operated outside of the territorial airspace of the United States, or registered through a trust or voting trust, must be registered in accordance with subparts A and B of part 47 and satisfy the identification and registration marking requirements of subparts A and C of part 45.

 

§ 48.5 – Compliance dates.

(a) Small unmanned aircraft used exclusively as model aircraft. For small unmanned aircraft operated by the current owner prior to December 21, 2015, compliance with the requirements of this part or part 47 is required no later than February 19, 2016. For all other small unmanned aircraft, compliance with this part is required prior to operation of the small unmanned aircraft.

(b) Small unmanned aircraft used as other than model aircraft. Small unmanned aircraft owners authorized to conduct operations other than model aircraft operations must register the small unmanned aircraft in accordance with part 47 of this chapter. Beginning March 31, 2016, small unmanned aircraft operated as other than model aircraft may complete aircraft registration in accordance with this part.

 

§ 48.10 – Definitions.

For purposes of this part, the following definitions apply:

Citizen of the United States or U.S. citizen means one of the following:

(1) An individual who is a citizen of the United States or one of its possessions.

(2) A partnership each of whose partners is an individual who is a citizen of the United States.

(3) A corporation or association organized under the laws of the United States or a State, the District of Columbia, or a territory or possession of the United States, of which the president and at least two-thirds of the board of directors and other managing officers are citizens of the United States, which is under the actual control of citizens of the United States, and in which at least 75 percent of the voting interest is owned or controlled by persons that are citizens of the United States.

Registry means the FAA, Civil Aviation Registry, Aircraft Registration Branch.

Resident alien means an individual citizen of a foreign country lawfully admitted for permanent residence in the United States as an immigrant in conformity with the regulations of the Department of Homeland Security (8 CFR Chapter 1).

 

§ 48.15 – Requirement to register.

No person may operate a small unmanned aircraft that is eligible for registration under 49 U.S.C. 44101-44103 unless one of the following criteria has been satisfied:

(a) The owner has registered and marked the aircraft in accordance with this part;

(b) The aircraft weighs 0.55 pounds or less on takeoff, including everything that is on board or otherwise attached to the aircraft; or

(c) The aircraft is an aircraft of the Armed Forces of the United States.

 

§ 48.20 – Eligibility for registration.

A small unmanned aircraft may be registered under 49 U.S.C. 44103 and under this part only when the aircraft is not registered under the laws of a foreign country and is—

(a) Owned by a U.S. citizen;

(b) Owned by an individual citizen of a foreign country lawfully admitted for permanent residence in the United States;

(c) Owned by a corporation not a citizen of the United States when the corporation is organized and doing business under the laws of the United States or a State within the United States, and the aircraft is based and primarily used in the United States; or

(d) An aircraft of—

(1) The United States Government; or

(2) A State, the District of Columbia, a territory or possession of the United States, or a political subdivision of a State, territory, or possession.

 

§ 48.25 – Applicants.

(a) To register a small unmanned aircraft in the United States under this part, a person must provide the information required by § 48.100 to the Registry in the form and manner prescribed by the Administrator. Upon submission of this information, the FAA issues a Certificate of Aircraft Registration to that person.

(b) A small unmanned aircraft must be registered by its owner using the legal name of its owner, unless the owner is less than 13 years of age. If the owner is less than 13 years of age, then the small unmanned aircraft must be registered by a person who is at least 13 years of age.

(c) In accordance with 49 U.S.C. 44103(c), registration is not evidence of aircraft ownership in any proceeding in which ownership of an unmanned aircraft by a particular person is in issue.

(d) In this part, “owner” includes a buyer in possession, a bailee, a lessee of a small unmanned aircraft under a contract of conditional sale, and the assignee of that person.

 

§ 48.30 – Fees.

(a) The fee for issuing or renewing a Certificate of Aircraft Registration for aircraft registered in accordance with § 48.100(a) is $5.00 per aircraft.

(b) The fee for issuing or renewing a Certificate of Aircraft Registration for aircraft registered in accordance with § 48.100(b) is $5.00 per certificate.

(c) Each application for and renewal of a Certificate of Aircraft Registration must be accompanied by the fee described in paragraphs (a) and (b), as applicable, paid to the Federal Aviation Administration through the web-based aircraft registration system, or in another manner if prescribed by the Administrator.