Registering your own drone or, more precisely, registering as a drone pilot/drone operator is an important topic. Anyone who is involved with drones initially asks the question: Do I have to register my drone? Do I have to register as a drone pilot? In this article we explain who has to register, when and where.
Part of the EU-wide regulations is the registration as a drone pilot, or correctly as a drone operator. Anyone who wants to fly a drone within the EU must familiarise themselves with the regulations on drone registration.
But what do you have to consider when registering a drone? Where do I register in Germany or Austria? Do you have to register each of your drones?
Let’s start with the most important question.
Note: If you have not yet familiarised yourself with the current laws, you should first read our detailed article on the EU Drone Regulation. This will make the following terms easier to understand. Don’t be put off by the length of the article. We have kept everything as comprehensible as possible and always keep the article up to date.
Who must register under the EU Drone Regulation?
Registration is required for owners of drones that …
- are operated in the special category
- are operated in the open category and have a maximum take-off mass of 250 grams or more and the kinetic energy of the unmanned aerial vehicle transmitted to a human in the event of an impact is greater than 80 joules; or
- are equipped with sensors to collect personal data (e.g. a camera), unless they are toys according to Directive 2009/4848/EC.
Since 31 December 2020, all drone pilots (correctly referred to as drone operators) of drones in classes C0-C4 and owners of so-called existing drones must register. These are drones that came onto the market before 01.01.2024 and do not yet have a marking in accordance with the EU Drone Regulation.
Registration is only required once, regardless of the number of drones you own. Registration is about the owner of the drone, not the drone itself.
This also answers the question:
Do I have to register my drone?
No. As mentioned above, you register as a drone operator. You do not have to register each of your drones, and after registration the number of drones you own is no longer relevant.
Where can I register?
Where you have to register depends on where you live. In this article, we will discuss the registration of drone operators from Germany and Austria.
In Germany, you have to register as a drone operator with the Luftfahrt Bundesamt(LBA). This is called UAS operator registration. The whole thing is possible online, but unlike at the start at the end of 2020, it is now no longer free of charge since 2022.
- natural person: 20,00€
- legal person: 50,00€
The online application for registration can be accessed online at https://www.lba.de/DE/Drohnen/UAS_Betreiberregistrierung/UAS_Betreiberregistrierung_node.html.
The following data is requested for the UAS operator registration of the drone operator:
- First name
- Date of birth
- Telephone number
- E-mail address
- Insurance number (think of drone liability insurance)
The registration of drone operators from Austria is done at AustroControl. The registration costs €31.20 once and is valid for 3 years. The following criteria must be observed:
Drone operator means a natural or legal person who intends to operate one or more unmanned aerial vehicles:
- Minimum age: 18 years and full legal capacity (natural persons)
- Main residence or main place of business (for legal persons) in Austria; multiple registrations in different EU member states are not permitted
- Insurance policy that meets the requirements of the Austrian Aviation Act (minimum insurance cover: 750,000 SDRs)
- Source: oesterreich.gv.at
Is my data publicly viewable after registration?
The personal data should explicitly not be publicly viewable. Only authorised authorities can view the associated personal data of thedrone owner by means of an e-ID(e-ID drone – UAS operator number – what is it and where do I apply for it?). In line with the purpose of a central database, this should also work across countries within the EU.
Source: EASA/(EU) 2019/947
What do I need to know after registering a drone?
After registration, drone operators receive their operator number or eID. By receiving the eID, which uniquely identifies the drone pilot or the owner of the drone, one is not only obliged to enter this marking into the system of the drones, which then permanently transmits it(electronic remote identification for drones of classes C1-C4), but must also place it on the drone itself. As before, the identification must be affixed to a sticker on the outside of the drone.
Important: The eID(UAS operator number) belongs on the drone, not the remote pilot ID also assigned by the LBA or other agencies! This should not be published! Further details on the eID can be found in the linked article.
The LBA states in this regard:
- Only the e-ID shortened by the last 3 characters is to be affixed to the UAS itself. The same applies for use in other documents, if applicable.
- The complete e-ID is intended for programming UAS or correspondingly carried devices, which serve e.g. remote identification. The last 3 digits are a security feature that must not be accessible to everyone.
However, a badge with eID and additional contact details can still be recommended. In case of loss of the drone, it can then be easily identified by anyone.
You can find more information on this topic in our article on drone registration plates and badges.
Registering a drone – Registration as a drone pilot FAQ
There is often a misunderstanding here. You don ‘t register your drone, you register yourself as a drone pilot or drone operator. In this article we tell you who has to do this and, above all, where and how.
All owners of drones in classes C0-C4. For details and more information, please seethe article.
In Germany, this is possible at the Luftfahrt Bundesamt (LBA). Residents of Austria should contact AustroControl. All links to the official offices can be found directly in the article.
As soon as a drone owner is obliged to register, he must also attach his ID (eID), which he received after registration, to the drone. You can find all the information in the article.
The eID is a unique identification number that you receive from the competent authority after registration. You can find all the details in the article.