Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.
 / Updated 
By Keith Wagstaff

The FAA announced the deadline for drone registration on Monday, just in time for the holiday season.

Drones that have already been purchased must be registered by February 19, 2016.

The rules apply to any unmanned aerial vehicle weighing between 0.55 pounds and 50 pounds, which includes any extra weight from items like video cameras.

Drone operators can register online starting on December 21, 2015. Any drones bought after that date must be registered before it's flown.

"We expect hundreds of thousands of model unmanned aircraft will be purchased this holiday season,” said FAA Administrator Michael Huerta in a statement. "Registration gives us the opportunity to educate these new airspace users before they fly so they know the airspace rules and understand they are accountable to the public for flying responsibly."

Drone owners have to submit their name, home address and email address to register. Once that is done, they will receive a Certificate of Aircraft Registration, which will include an identification number they must attach to their drone.

Normally, the process costs $5. But the FAA, in hopes of encouraging "as many people as possible to register quickly," is waiving that fee until January 20.