People who are new to drones don’t realize that there are actually tons of rules regulating their use. You can’t fly them anywhere and everywhere.
And you can’t pick one up at the store and launch it into the sky right away. In fact, more often than not, you have to register your drone with the Federal Aviation Administration.
That’s right, you need to tell the government about that new drone you got, and obtain a license to use it. That is unless you get a mini drone.
So does the DJI Mini 2 fall into this registration-free category? Since it’s one of the most popular drones on the market, it’s one of the first questions that prospective customers ask.
For information regarding the laws around drone use, and if you need a license to fly DJI Mavic mini 2, keep reading below.
Drone License Requirements
So what does the government say about drones? Well, they are quite picky about them, as they want to ensure airspace remains safe.
As a result, they require that all drones be registered with the FAA. The owner must be at least 13 years old to register. If they are younger than this, a parent or guardian must register it on their behalf. And the owner must be a US resident.
Drones must be registered for recreational use only. That means no making money with the footage obtained with your drone. Otherwise, you’ll need a special commercial license with more requirements.
But the only time you don’t need to register your drone with the FAA is when it weighs less than 250 grams. AKA, it needs to be a mini drone.
It costs $5 to register each drone, and each license is valid for three years. Upon registration, you’ll receive your certification from the FAA. Any time you fly your drone, you need to keep your certificate with you, either the physical copy or a digital copy on your phone.
Federal, state, or local law enforcement can ask to see your certificate, and you must present it to them upon their request when you are flying your drone.
Upon registration, your drone will be assigned a registration number. You must display the registration number on the outside of your drone at all times.
To remind you of how serious the government takes drone use, a failure to certify your drone can lead to civil fines upwards of $27,000, criminal penalties upwards of $250,000, and imprisonment of up to three years. It’s safe to say that it’s much easier to spend $5 to register your drone ahead of time.
Is a License Required for the DJI Mini 2
So what about the DJI Mini 2? Is it light enough to bypass registration with the FAA?
The DJI Mini 2 weighs 249 grams. That means it’s under the 250-gram registration requirement. You can tell the weight of this drone was intentional by DJI.
They created a drone that had enough power and enough features to provide an adequate drone flying experience, yet light enough to bypass registration.
So if skipping the registration and saving $5 is important to you, then the DJI Mini 2 should be the first drone on your list. There are other drones out there that weigh 249 grams or less. However, DJI is far and above the leader in the drone space.
Every product they make is of the highest quality, utilizing great cameras and mechanics for professional performance. You can even check out this DJI Mini 2 review to compare the DJI Mini 2 with some of the other popular, affordable models, such as the DJI Mini 2 vs Mavic Air 2.
Upcoming License Requirements
There are also new drone rules coming into effect regarding licensing. In the near future, all drones are going to need to be equipped with remote IDs.
Currently, registration numbers, which are linked to the owner of the drone, are listed on the outside of a drone. In order for authorities to view this number, the drone needs to land and be inspected by someone.
However, the remote ID requirement will ensure that future drone models will be equipped with technology to broadcast the registration number. That way the FAA can identify drones as they fly to monitor the skies in real-time.
The law will go into effect in 2023. Once it does, you’ll need to ensure the model you buy has a remote ID built-in.
Other Drone Laws
Regardless of which drone you choose and how much it weighs, you’ll still need to follow all of the other drone laws. Here are the things you cannot do with your drone, even if it’s a mini.
If you plan to use your drone for commercial purposes, such as selling images or videos, you’ll need a commercial license. To get this, you need to take an exam and get your part 107 certification.
This is what all drone operators need to get if they plan on filming weddings, taking real estate photography, or working with brands and media companies to capture footage.
There are places you cannot fly your drone. Doing so would be either unsafe, a privacy infraction, or a nuisance.
This means you cannot fly your drone inside of official government-restricted airspace. This coincides with most federal owner property, as well as airports.
The good news is that many drone models contain mapping software that can identify restricted airspace while flying so that you don’t actually cross into a location that is illegal. This includes DJI drones.
You cannot fly over groups of people, or over stadiums during sporting events or music events. You don’t want to fly over emergency events, such as wildfires or crime scenes.
And you need to follow the rules regarding any other organization or entity that has banned the use of drones on their property. This includes the National Parks system. No flying drones inside a National Park, as it ruins the experience for other park visitors.
Other parks and recreation areas may prohibit the use of drones. This is especially true among popular tourist destinations. Be sure to look up the rules of any location that you visit.
Getting Your Drone
So which drone will you get? If you want a drone that has the highest quality camera, you’ll want to invest in a heavier drone, such as the DJI Mavic or the DJI Air.
While not humongous, they are heavy enough to require registration with the FAA. But they can fit a lot more camera technology into the package that won’t fit in a drone weighing less than 250 grams.
The cameras on these larger drones can capture images at up to 20 megapixels and 4K video at up to 60 frames per second. Plus, the larger drones can also carry larger batteries.
The DJI Mini 2 can fly for up to 30 minutes on a single charge. Having multiple, fully-charged batteries can provide you with a few hours of fly-time on any given day. Higher-end models can fly for a few minutes longer. But they can also fly faster and farther than the mini version can.
The Mini 2 also has a few intelligent flight modes but is limited in capability compared to the other popular DJI models, which have many different flight modes for easy, effective flight and footage capture.
Who Should Get the DJI Mini 2?
The DJI Mini 2 is the cheapest model available from DJI. If you are on a budget and looking to test the waters of drone photography out, this model is great.
It’s also perfect for the traveler or outdoors person. Because it’s so small and light, it hardly takes up any room inside your back. That’s why these are the preferred model by backpackers who head out into the mountains for days at a time, as the drone won’t weigh down their back.
They are also used by travel photographers, who are often living out of a backpack as they explore. The quality of the photos and videos is still good enough to capture their travels and share them with friends and family.
There are also plenty of DJI Mini 2 accessories you can stock up on to improve the flying experience. By purchasing the DJI Mini 2 Fly More Combo, you’ll get your hands on a few of these accessories for a bundled price.
One of the most popular accessories is the charging hub. The DJI Mini 2 charging hub can juice up three batteries at once. It can fully charge three batteries in just a few hours, which is just enough power for a typical day out shooting.
You should also stock up on extra propellers, as these are the first thing that will get damaged. Luckily, they are easy to pop on a replacement so you can keep flying after a hard landing.
Buying a bag or case specifically meant to carry a drone is also a good idea. It will protect it when packed into a larger backpack. And if you just want to carry along your drone, a drone bag will carry all of the accessories you need as you go out and fly.
The Best Beginner Drone
Now that you know all about the FAA’s rules, drone regulations, and which drone to get to avoid registration, you can make your drone purchase in confidence.
The DJI Mini 2 is light enough to bypass registration. And it’s also the perfect recreational drone for those who like to travel or head into the backcountry with a portable, lightweight package.
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