Remote ID for Drones – A sh!t storm brewing on the horizon?

Check out this video from Greg from the Pilot Institute about the Remote ID for Drones sh!t storm that is brewing on the horizon. See video at the end of the article.

What is Remote ID for Drones?

(RID) is the ability of a drone in flight to provide identification and location information that can be received by other parties, it states on the FAA website.

Remote ID for Drones will apply to all people flying drones in the . There are only two exemptions:

  1. You operate a drone recreationally that weighs less than 250 grams.
  2. You exclusively fly your drone at an FRIA.

“Basically, if your drone needs to be registered with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), then you need to have Remote ID. That is basically the bottom line,” Greg says at the beginning of the video.

How to comply with Remote ID for Drones?

How to comply with Remote ID for Drones as described in 14 CFR Part 89 (April 2021)?

Here are the three options to comply with Remote ID for Drones

  1. You buy a drone with Remote ID built-in.
  2. You outfit your drone with a Remote ID module.
  3. You only fly your drone at FAA-Recognized Identification Areas (FRIAs)

When are the remote ID deadlines?

There are two important dates for Remote ID for Drones.

September 16, 2022: Drone manufacturers will have to comply with Remote ID as of this date, meaning that all drones produced by a drone maker must comply with standard RID.

September 16, 2023: You will not be allowed to fly your drone after this day unless you have a drone that complies with the Remote ID requirements, you fly exclusively at an FRIA, or you fly a sub-250-gram drone recreationally.

What information will be broadcast under Remote ID for Drones?

On the FAA website, we can find the following information:

A Standard Remote ID Drone must broadcast the following message elements:

  • A unique identifier for the drone. Operators of a Standard Remote ID Drone may choose whether to use the drone's serial number or a session ID (an alternative form of identification discussed below that provides additional privacy to the operator) as the unique identifier;
  • An indication of the drone's latitude, longitude, geometric altitude, and velocity;
  • An indication of the control station's latitude, longitude, and geometric altitude;
  • A time mark; and
  • An emergency status indication.

A drone with a Remote ID Broadcast Module must broadcast the following message elements:

  • The serial number of the broadcast module;
  • An indication of the drone's latitude, longitude, geometric altitude, and velocity;
  • An indication of the latitude, longitude, and geometric altitude of the drone's take-off location; and
  • A time mark.

The drone pilot's name and address will not be made available to the public. However, the above-mentioned information will be publicly available to anybody who can pick up the signal.

Can you move a Remote ID module from one drone to the next?

In the comments on the video, Dave Messina from the FPV Freedom Coalition explained that:

“The Remote ID rule is explicit. Recreational operators may move a Remote ID Broadcast Module from aircraft to aircraft. pilots must have a dedicated Broadcast Module for each aircraft,” Dave said.

Nobody seems to be in a rush to comply with Remote ID

There is currently no means of compliance that has been approved by the FAA. As far as we know, no drone manufacturer has an FAA-approved means of compliance for Remote ID.

Why is the September 16, 2022 deadline so important?

After September 16, 2022, no person may produce an unmanned aircraft for operation in the airspace of the United States unless it is designed and produced to meet the minimum performance requirements for Standard Remote ID UA. See also 14 CFR 89.515.

“This means that any drone that is produced after September 16, 2022, will need to meet the standard Remote ID requirements. A standard that hasn't been set yet because we don't have any means of compliance that have been approved. You can see where this is going, right? This is troubling at best,” said Greg.

This means that the production date of the drone becomes very important. but, hang on, what is the production date of a drone, and how will that be established? What date will the FAA be looking at to determine if a drone was produced before, on, or after September 16, 2022? And, who will enforce this? And what are the penalties if you don't comply?

How will a home-built drone comply with Remote ID?

What about amateur-built aircraft such as remote-controlled model airplanes and home-built ? How are they supposed to comply with the Remote ID requirements?

Here's the definition of an amateur-built aircraft:

An aircraft “the major portion of which has been fabricated and assembled by person(s) who undertook the construction project solely for their own or recreation.”

An amateur-built drone must comply with Remote ID if you plan to use it for commercial purposes. For instance, when you want to use a home-built FPV drone for aerial shots of real estate. This means you will have to go through all the paperwork and meet the FAA requirements in order to be compliant. You cannot simply buy a Remote ID module and attach it to your self-built drone in that case.

If you ‘produce' a drone after September 16, 2022, you will need to comply with the Standard Remote ID for Drones. You cannot use a module if you produce a drone after this deadline.

This will be an issue for people wanting to build their own drone and use it commercially, as the Standard Remote ID rules require a system that will prevent the drone from taking off if Remote ID is not working correctly on the aircraft. The RID module would not be able to do that.

This will be a requirement that is hard to meet for people who like to build their drones and also for small manufacturers.

But wait, there is more to Remote ID for Drones

Can a drone maker retrofit Remote ID on older drones? For instance, could DJI, with a , make a DJI Mavic 2 Pro Remote ID compliant?

Not easily, if you follow the letter of the Remote ID requirements.

“A person responsible for the production of standard remote identification unmanned aircraft… is required to issue each unmanned aircraft a serial number that complies with the ANSI/CTA-2063-A serial number standard,” according to the Federal Register.

And guess what? The serial number on your DJI Mavic 2 Pro does not comply with the ANSI/CTA-2063-A serial number standard. Sorry…

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So, now what?

How do we avoid the Remote ID for Drones sh!t storm?

Will RID be delayed by the FAA? Greg doesn't think so. He refers to the introduction of ADS-B for manned aviation. the FAA, in that case, gave a decade advanced warning but did not delay the implementation.

Greg points out that it would take an act of Congress to delay Remote ID.

Other questions that remain unanswered are: how will the FAA enforce Remote ID? Will the agency go after the drone manufacturers with fines and penalties?

Should you wait to buy a drone?

No, Greg recommends you not wait to buy your next drone. We have one more year before we as pilots are required to comply with the Remote ID rules, and hopefully, by then, you will be able to retrofit a module on your unmanned aircraft system (UAS).

And, in case you do not comply with Remote ID? What happens then? Nobody knows.

Lots of questions remain unanswered at this point, so stay tuned!

What do you think about Remote ID for drones? Do you think the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will delay further implementation? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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Haye Kesteloo
Haye Kesteloo

Haye Kesteloo is the Editor in Chief and Founder of, where he covers all drone-related news, DJI rumors and writes drone reviews, and, for all news related to electric vehicles. He is also a co-host of the PiXL Drone Show on YouTube and other podcast platforms. Haye can be reached at haye @ or @hayekesteloo.

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