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FAA Announces Drone Owners Must Register by February 19

The agency expects hundreds of thousands of new units to be purchased during the holidays.

The Verge

Regulation of drones in the hands of civilian pilots took a big step forward today. The Federal Aviation Administration announced that all units weighing between 0.55 pounds and 50 pounds must be registered by February 19th, 2016.

Anyone caught flying without proper registration after that date could face stiff penalties. The FAA says civil penalties include a fine of up to $27,500. Criminal penalties include a fine of up to $250,000 and up to three years in jail.

The registration will usually include a $5 fee, but the FAA is waiving that for the first 30 days in an effort to encourage participation.

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This article originally appeared on Recode.net.

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