UAS Remote Identification

Drones or unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) are fundamentally changing aviation, and the FAA is committed to working to fully integrate drones into the National Airspace System (NAS). Safety and security are top priorities for the FAA and remote identification (remote ID) of drones is crucial to our integration efforts.

What is Remote ID?

Remote ID is the ability of a drone in flight to provide identification and location information that can be received by other parties.

Why Do We Need Remote ID?

Remote ID helps the FAA, law enforcement, and other federal agencies find the control station when a drone appears to be flying in an unsafe manner or where it is not allowed to fly. Remote ID also lays the foundation of the safety and security groundwork needed for more complex drone operations.

Final Rule on Remote ID

The final rule on remote ID will require most drones operating in US airspace to have remote ID capability. Remote ID will provide information about drones in flight, such as the identity, location, and altitude of the drone and its control station or take-off location. Authorized individuals from public safety organizations may request identity of the drone's owner from the FAA.

The FAA's Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on Remote Identification of Unmanned Aircraft Systems was published on December 31, 2019. The FAA received over 53,000 comments on the NPRM during the 60-day comment period following publication. The FAA reviewed all of the comments and considered them when writing the final rule. The final rule (PDF) was published in the Federal Register on January 15, 2021 with an original effective date of March 16, 2021. Corrections made to the rule and published in the Federal Register on March 10, 2021 delayed the effective date to April 21, 2021.

There are three ways drone pilots will be able to meet the identification requirements of the remote ID rule:

  • Operate a Standard Remote ID Drone (PDF) that broadcasts identification and location information about the drone and its control station. A Standard Remote ID Drone is one that is produced with built-in remote ID broadcast capability in accordance with the remote ID rule's requirements.
  • Operate a drone with a remote ID broadcast module (PDF). A broadcast module is a device that broadcasts identification and location information about the drone and its take-off location in accordance with the remote ID rule's requirements. The broadcast module can be added to a drone to retrofit it with remote ID capability. Persons operating a drone with a remote ID broadcast module must be able to see their drone at all times during flight.
  • Operate (without remote ID equipment) (PDF) at FAA-recognized identification areas (FRIAs) sponsored by community-based organizations or educational institutions. FRIAs are the only locations unmanned aircraft (drones and radio-controlled airplanes) may operate without broadcasting remote ID message elements.

3 Ways Drone Pilots Can Meet Remote ID Rule

Standard Remote ID Drones Broadcast Remote ID Info. Via Radio Frequency. e.g. Wifi & Bluetooth

Drone Remote Identification

  • Remote ID capability is built into the drone
  • From takeoff to shutdown, drone broadcasts:
    • Drone ID
    • Drone location and altitude
    • Drone velocity
    • Control station location and elevation
    • Time mark
    • Emergency status
Drones With Remote ID Broadcast Modules Broadcasts Remote ID Info. Via Radio Frequency. e.g. Wifi & Bluetooth

Drone Remote Identification

  • Remote ID capability through module attached to drone
  • Limited to visual line of sight operations
  • From takeoff to shutdown, drone broadcasts:
    • Drone ID
    • Drone location and altitude
    • Drone velocity
    • Takeoff location and elevation
    • Time mark
Drones Without Remote ID can fly in FAA-Recognized Identification Area or FRIA

FAA-Recognized Identification Area (FRIA)

  • Drones without Remote ID can operate without broadcasting
  • Drones without Remote ID must operate within visual line of sight and within the FRIA
  • Anyone can fly there, but FRIAs can only be requested by community-based organizations and educational institutions
 

Which Drone Pilots Must Comply With the Rule?

All drone pilots required to register their UAS must operate their aircraft in accordance with the final rule on remote ID beginning September 16, 2023, which gives drone owners sufficient time to upgrade their aircraft.

What Information Will be Broadcast?

Whether using a Standard Remote ID Drone or a remote ID broadcast module, the message elements must be broadcast from take-off to shutdown. A Standard Remote ID Drone or a drone with a remote ID broadcast module must transmit the following message elements:

  • A unique identifier for the drone;
  • The drone's latitude, longitude, geometric altitude, and velocity;
  • An indication of the latitude, longitude, and geometric altitude of control station (standard) or take-off location (broadcast module);
  • A time mark; and
  • Emergency status (Standard Remote ID Drone only)

See the Remote ID for Drone Pilots page for more details.

Effective Dates

Almost all of the final rule on remote ID becomes effective April 21, 2021. The subpart covering the process for FRIA applications from community-based organizations and educational institutions becomes effective September 16, 2022.

Here are other dates of note:

  • September 16, 2022:
    • Drone manufacturers must comply with the final rule's requirements for them.
  • September 16, 2023:
    • All drone pilots must meet the operating requirements of part 89. For most operators this will mean flying a Standard Remote ID Drone, equipping with a broadcast module, or flying at a FRIA.

Resources

Last updated: Thursday, November 10, 2022