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FAA offers to refund hobbyists' $5 drone registration fees

The agency also offers to delete your registration data after a court ruling.


If you registered your drone for fun flying, you may be looking at getting some money back from the government.

Dave Cheng/CNET

If you're a drone hobbyist who registered your device with the FAA, you may be eligible for a refund of your $5 registration fee and deletion of the data you provided.

The Federal Aviation Administration's drone registration system took flight two years ago, telling owners to pay $5 apiece or face potential criminal charges. Meanwhile, drone sales continue to climb, more than doubling in the past year.

But the agency's registration process ran in to turbulence in May when the US Court of Appeals said the registration rule violated the FAA Modernization and Reform Act (PDF), which states the FAA "may not promulgate any rule or regulation regarding a model aircraft."

To qualify for the refund, drones owners will be required to show their aircraft was used only for recreational purposes and in accordance with community safety guidelines, among other requirements.

The FAA has posted this form (PDF) online for those applying for the refund and delisting of data.

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