Remote ID – Is Your Drone Remote ID Compliant?
A Remote ID is required to be active on your drone by September 16, 2023. My guess is that you're probably not ready. Finding out if your drone is compliant and broadcasting is not as easy as we wish. We put this through the test, and we're going to walk you through all the steps that you need to figure it out. Let's get to it!
For this video, I'm going to invite you to click around and find all the different things that you want to learn about using the timestamps down here. I'm going to explain what Remote ID is. If you're familiar with this, you can skip it.
I'm going to go over four different manufacturers: we'll talk about DJI, Autel, Parrot, and Skydio. Now, be sure not to miss the very last bit of the video, where I talk about the FAA Drone Zone and the registration process, how you can register or update your registration for Remote ID.
What is Remote ID
Now, before we go into all the details about how you're going to do this, let's talk about Remote ID because some of you may not be familiar with the term. Although we do have a lot of videos that cover this on the channel already.
Remote ID is going to be the technology in your drone that's going to broadcast a message. It's going to broadcast your serial number, the location of your drone, the location of your remote controller, and a bit more information. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) says that as of September 2023, you're going to have to comply and have Remote ID on board your drone.
There are two different methods:
- You can buy a drone that already has Remote ID (we're going to call this “Standard Remote ID” – the FAA calls it that), or you can have your newer drones, like DJI drones, all of which are standard Remote ID drones.
- Alternatively, you'll be able to use one of these little things right here, which is a Remote ID module. I'm going to cover the Remote ID module towards the end of the video. So, if your drone is not compliant already, you'll find information over there.
Is your drone Remote ID compliant?
Now, for each of these manufacturers, I'm going to cover two different steps, two different things that you have to verify. I'm going to help you determine if your drone is actually compliant.
We're going to find out if your drone is actually broadcasting because being compliant doesn't mean it's broadcasting just yet. You need to verify that it does. It's kind of a big deal because one doesn't mean the other.
Let's head over to the FAA website so we can find out if your drone is compliant. Go to uasdoc.faa.gov (that's the short link, and we'll put a link down in the description as well for you). Then, you'll see a list of what's called “DOC,” the Declaration of Compliance. This is where the FAA has a list of approved drones that can be used for standard Remote ID.
Let's get into this, and right here, what I want you to do is go to this area where it says “Filter By,” and you're going to filter by “Remote ID” or “ID,” not “OOP” because “OOP” is “Operation Over People,” a different topic altogether.
Once you're in here, I want you to go to the search bar, and you can go ahead and type your keyword for your specific drone.
ANSI Serial Number is required for Remote ID
Now, before we do that, I do want to mention a bit of information about the serial number because we're going to be looking at a bunch of serial numbers in here. Every manufacturer has a slightly different way of looking at their serial number.
The one commonality that we found is that all of these serial numbers that are approved for Remote ID are ANSI-compliant, which means that they are 20 characters long.
This is a standard that the FAA required for all drones that are compliant with Remote ID. So, you may see your drone having a shorter serial number. It probably means that either your drone hasn't been updated just yet or that your drone is actually not compliant with Remote ID.
At the beginning, there are five characters that are going to be what we call the “manufacturer prefix.” For example, DJI is “1581F,” which means all DJI drones that are Remote ID compliant will have serial numbers starting with that number.
Autel is “1748C,” Parrot is “1588E,” and Skydio is “1668B.” So, make sure that when you go into your controller and find the serial number, they start with those prefixes, which means more than likely, your drone is actually Remote ID compliant.
Is my DJI drone Remote ID compliant?
Now, we're going to get started with DJI, the first one, because they are the largest drone manufacturer at the moment. DJI is a bit of a mess because they're using the aircraft serial number, the battery serial number, the Remote controller serial number, and sometimes, we've seen that they use a Remote ID serial number.
Most commonly, in all of the drones that we've seen, there's a flight controller serial number. More than likely, there's a 99% chance your Remote ID serial number and your flight controller serial number are going to be the same.
So, for DJI, that's the number you want to be looking at. Now, make sure before you do any of this that your drone is updated with the latest firmware update on the controller and on the aircraft.
Alright, so from here, let's go ahead and take a look at the Mavic 3 Classic. I'm going to type “Mavic 3 Classic,” and there are three different Mavics. There's a whole bunch of them that were approved, so I'm going to click on the Classic because this is the one that we have on the table right here.
You can see the Mavic 3 Classic has been approved, and there's a serial number list. It starts with “1581F,” which is DJI's prefix, and then “67P” and anything else from “0000” to “67P” and “FFFF.” So that covers all the serial numbers in here.
What we're going to do next is power up our Mavic 3 Classic and look at the controller to make sure that these numbers are the same.
First, make sure you power up your drone. There you go, you'll hear a little beep. Then, make sure you power up your controller, and we're going to get into the settings right here.
Once you're in the app, tap on the top three little dots in the top right corner, go to the “About” section, and then from here, you're going to scroll. Again, make sure you have the latest update, and then you'll be able to see that we have a flight controller serial number starting with “1581F” and then it says “67PB.” Okay, “67PB” fits within the “67P0” to “67PF.” This means that this drone is Remote ID compliant.
Now, we're not done yet. We need to make sure that not only is it compliant but also that it is broadcasting. If you go back to the homepage by just tapping on the screen and tapping in the top left corner, you will see that Remote ID functionality is normal. This means that your drone is good to go; it is Remote ID compliant.
You're not done just yet. If you're not interested in the other brands, make sure you head over by using the timestamps down here into the section where I talk about how to go to the Drone Zone and update your drone information in there or actually register the drone.
Now, what might happen is that some DJI drones, unfortunately, are not Remote ID compliant. How would you know? Well, there are two key factors that you can look for.
- The first one is that your serial number is too short, so it would probably be around 8 to 10 digits,
- And then also that it's not showing that it's broadcasting in the top menu where I clicked and just showed you.
Now, another quick note in here is that the original Smart Controller from DJI, this one right here with the antennas that go up like this, does not seem to be Remote ID compliant.
We had a bunch of issues with ours and the Air 2S. The DJI Air 2S serial numbers are good; it is Remote ID compliant, but when using this controller, it was not able to transmit. It's actually not even showing us the full Remote ID serial number on here.
When we plugged it into the newer controller, then we actually had the ability to see the signal and also see the full serial number. So, just be careful if you have one of these original Smart Controllers, as it may not be compliant.
Are Autel Robotics drones Remote ID compliant?
Now, let's talk about Autel because Autel does things, well, slightly differently. Autel uses what's called the “aircraft serial number.” I want to make sure that you understand that some of Autel's drones are actually not Remote ID compliant.
We do have the original Autel EVO 2 here sitting on the table. This is the V1, and the V1, as well as the V2, are not Remote ID compliant. Only the new version, the V3, is compliant.
Now, we also have a smaller drone. You may have a smaller drone like the Autel Nano+ right here. This is a sub-250-gram drone. These drones don't need to be Remote ID compliant if you're flying them for recreational purposes.
However, if you fly them under Part 107, sub-250-gram drones still need to be Remote ID compliant. Lastly, we have the Autel Lite+, and the Lite+ is actually Remote ID compliant.
So, I'm going to show you how we can ensure that it is in compliance and that it actually fits within the serial number range.
We're going to do the same thing. We're going to head back to our compliance website, the DOC website, with the FAA. This time, we're going to type “Lite.” Now, the reason I typed it this way and not “Autel” is that I wanted to show you there are two different approvals for the Lite+.
This is the drone that we have. Here's the Lite+ right here, and it's also right underneath it. There's also the Lite+ right here. You can click on “View” again, and in here, you will be able to see the serial number range, which starts with “1748C,” which is the prefix for Autel, and then after that, we have an “LTCA2239” and so on.
Now, what we would do is fire up this drone, power it up, plug in our phone, and then go into the settings. There, we would be able to find our drone's serial number.
I do want to mention something here, which is the fact that the approval they have online starts with “LTC.” Our drone is “LTO,” which means that our drone, at the moment, is not Remote ID compliant, even though in the settings, it is showing as broadcasting Remote ID.
Now, I did reach out to Autel about this, and they mentioned that the LTO serial numbers are being submitted to the FAA for approval. So, even if your drone starts with LTO, it may still be Remote ID compliant once the FAA approves it.
Is Skydio Remote ID Compliant?
Now let's go ahead and talk about Skydio. Skydio has a few drones that are approved. If we go to the FAA website right here and type “Skydio,” you will notice that they have the Skydio X2E, which is this drone right here, and the Skydio 2+, which is not this drone right here; this is the Skydio 2.
So, if you have a Skydio 2, it is not Remote ID approved. The X2E is Remote ID approved. You'll notice there are two versions, V1 and V2. We were able to run the serial numbers, so you would go in here, click on the approval, and then you would see that the serial number range is right here. It starts with “1668B,” which is Skydio's prefix approval, and then you would be able to see the “JE10JA000” and “JE10JA00ZZ.” So, they basically have about 10,000 serial numbers that are approved in here.
To find the serial number, go to the smart controller that comes with the X2E, navigate to the details, and then you'll be able to see the ANSI serial number in here that starts with “1668B.” You can then compare it.
One thing that we haven't been able to see with Skydio is if the drone is actually broadcasting. This information is not available in the app, so at this stage, we have to assume that it is actually broadcasting and sending the signal.
Are Parrot Anafi US and AI Remote ID complaint?
Now, as far as Parrot is concerned, the process is the same. We can go to the FAA website right here, type “Parrot,” and then we'll see that the Anafi USA and the Anafi AI have been approved by the FAA. To check this, you can go into the app, specifically for the Parrot Anafi AI, for example.
You can go to the “Advanced” tab, then the “Connections” tab, and you will be able to see at the bottom that there's a “Broadcast DRI” (Direct Remote ID) option.
And then you'll see that there is a drone serial number. It starts with the ANSI serial number, which is “1588E,” and then the rest of it. Again, you can go and verify that it actually matches what is on the FAA website right here.
When you click on the Anafi AI, for example, you can see the serial number, and then it starts from “0404” and goes all the way to “0404” here, and that entire range is where your aircraft serial number needs to fit.
Now, one thing we found interesting with the Parrot application is that you actually have the ability to turn off Remote ID, which is intriguing because the FAA and the regulation do not allow that.
Now, it is possible that this feature might change over time. Parrot sells drones all over the world, and there is Remote ID all over the world, so they may have a different option for the United States.
To be clear, the FAA does not allow Remote ID to be turned off; it has to be on all the time, and you won't be able to take off unless Remote ID is functioning correctly.
My drone is not Remote ID Compliant. You have to use a Remote ID Module
Now, if you get all the way here and you realize that you have a drone that doesn't have Remote ID included in the aircraft itself, then you're going to need one of these: a Remote ID module.
Now, the one that we have here is the DroneTag Mini. This is something that the manufacturer has sent us for testing.
There will be a lot more, and there are actually a few more that are approved on the FAA list right now, so do some shopping and find the one that works for you. This is essentially just an on-off button. You're going to put this on top of the drone (you can tell we put some Velcro right here), turn it on, and then it's going to start broadcasting.
Now, how do you find information about your Remote ID module? What is the serial number? Well, in this case, it's straightforward. Right here on the back, it starts with “15996F,” which is DroneTag's prefix, and then it's got the long ANSI serial number right here.
You'll also be able to register it on the FAA website by simply going to the DroneZone, adding a new device, and then it's going to ask you for the type of device. You would pick “Remote ID module,” fill out the information, put that serial number in here and then you'll be good to go.
How to tell the FAA that your drone is Remote ID compliant?
Now, we've covered the big manufacturers. Let's go ahead and take a look at how you would deal with the FAA in this case in order to tell the FAA that your drone is Remote ID compliant. It is actually pretty straightforward.
You're going to go to the FAA DroneZone. Once you're in there, you log in, or if you haven't yet, create a login for yourself, and then you'll be able to go and see your list of aircraft if you already have some.
I'll get started with that. You can go to “Manage Device Inventory,” and we have quite a few drones in here. I want to go ahead and show you the traditional UAS we have; we haven't updated the Mavic 3 just yet.
So, I'm going to click on that registration number here, and then on the right side, you'll notice that there are three little dots. If you've already registered your drone, there are three little dots right here. You click that, and you're going to click “Edit.”
When you click “Edit,” there's going to be a question at the top: “Does your drone broadcast FAA Remote ID information?” Yes, we've identified that it does, so we're going to go right here, click “Yes,” and it's going to ask, “What is the UAS type? Is it a standard Remote ID, or is it using a Remote ID broadcast module?”
This is the module we just talked about. Ours is going to be a Standard Remote ID, so I'm going to click on that. Then you'll see it says “Remote ID Serial Number.” Well, in this case, it happens to be the same as our controller serial number, which we've had in here, so all I'm going to do is click “Save.”
Now, you'll notice it starts with “1581F,” which is DJI's prefix. I'm going to click “Save,” and that's it. It's really that simple. Now, you'll notice there is no new registration number. If you've already registered, this doesn't change your registration number.
Now, if you were to do a new registration, you're going to click “Add Device” right here, and it's asking you the same question at the top: “Does your drone broadcast Remote ID?” Yes, it does, and then you're going to pick “Standard Remote ID,” and then you're going to choose the manufacturer.
Let's say you have an Autel drone; you can give it a nickname, like “Evo 2 V3.” You're going to input the Remote ID serial number that you found, including the five-character number for the manufacturer for Remote ID. Once you're done, click “Add Device,” pay your five dollars, and then you're good for three years.
Alright, well, I hope this video helps you clarify a couple of things about Remote ID. I know it's a confusing topic on paper, but it's actually not that difficult to register your drone. Go on the FAA website, find out if that serial number matches what's been approved, go to the FAA website to actually register, and then you're good.
Go and fly and enjoy it! So, if you have any questions, leave them down in the comments. As always, we appreciate a like or subscribe, and we'll see you in the next video.
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