You Don't Actually Have to Own a Drone to Register One With the FAA

It takes literally one minute to register your drone with the federal government ... or to make one up.

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In an expectations defying-twist that would make J. J. Abrams proud, getting through the Federal Aviation Administration’s drone registration website today — its very first day of operation — is as easy as smashing into the side of a barn with your new, $2,000 holiday toy.

Anyone with an address and credit card can sign up — it’s so easy, you don’t even need to actually prove you own a drone to register one, which seems … problematic.

Head on over to the FAA website, and it will ask you to Agree that you’ll be playing nicely.

After you enter some personal information — address and name is all you need, cell phone number is optional — and acknowledge you won’t fly like a maniac (though they left off “I will not deliver narcotics with my DJI Phantom” and other not-expressly-hobbyist or legal definitions).

At the end of the process, which literally takes a single minute, it sends a registration number into your inbox and gives you a suggestion of how to label your drones with your spiffy new digits.

Will the plain fact that authorities can track you via that number be a enough of a deterrent to keep rotorcraft away from scalps and stadiums? You tell us, drone operators from the future.

If you don’t mind sharing your name, address, and credit card information with a government body — and potentially making that info (minus the credit card) publicly available — which, to be fair, is a perfectly reasonable thing for the more libertarian-leaning among us to mind — you might as well get a registration number while they’re free.

It’ll last you for the next three years, so if you plan on getting in on this drone thing between now and 2018 and want to save yourself $5, you can sign up here.