Drone registration Canada: What you need to know

To ensure the safe ownership and operation of drones in Canada, all drone operators and owners must know about the country’s drone laws. As drone usage continues to expand for personal and commercial purposes, it is crucial to establish new rules and regulations that ensure secure and controlled airspace and well-regulated airspaces. Canada’s drone regulations are relatively new, continually evolving to maintain the highest levels of safety and air traffic control within Canada.

Do all drones need to be registered?

Transport Canada is in charge of Canadian aviation regulations. They state on the Government of Canada’s website that all drones between 250g and 25 kg must be registered. This includes custom-built drones from a kit or drones bought off the shelf.

Drones under 250g only need to be registered if they have an attachment that increases the weight to over 250g.

Drones over 25kg do not need to be registered but require a special flight operations certificate.

How to register your drone

Registering your drone is quite simple. The cost to register a drone is $5 per drone. Drone registration can be done through the drone management portal.

What you need to register your drone

To register a drone, you need the following:

  • Drone purchase date
  • Make, model, serial number, weight, and type of drone
  • Visa, Mastercard, American Express or Interac card to make the $5 payment

All registered drones must be marked

Every registered drone must be clearly marked with its unique drone registration number. The Transport Canada website clearly outlines three ways to mark your drone with a permanent marker, a permanent label, or an engraving.

Fines cost more than registration does

You may be fined if you fly a drone without meeting Transport Canada’s requirements. Fines are $1,000 for recreational drones and $5,000 for commercial drones.
Class A Airspace and Class B Airspace Differences

Special permission for drones over 25kg

To get permission for a drone weighing over 25kg, you must apply for a Special Flight Operations Certificate (SFOC) for Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS). This gives you permission you need to fly any drone over 25kg. This special permit is needed because flying a larger drone is listed as a high-risk SFOC-RPAS. While larger drones weighing over 25kg do not require registration, a special drone pilot certificate is required for any drone operations that are not classified as basic or advanced operations.

Special permissions are also required for the following:

  • Foreign operators (not a Canadian citizen or permanent resident)
  • Flying a drone beyond visual line-of-sigh
  • Flying above 122 metres (400 ft)
  • Carrying dangerous or hazardous loads
  • Flying at an advertised event

For a complete list of what requires registration and what requires registration or special permission, visit Transport Canada’s website.

Class A Airspace and Class B Airspace Differences

Our online courses turn drone enthusiasts into drone pilots

If you want to fly your drone safely and responsibly, Coastal Drone is a team of long-time commercial pilots of drones, airplanes, and helicopters. We can help you understand the new Canadian laws and regulations. From basic operations to advanced operations, we are here to help!

We believe in accessible, quality education

We believe in having a safe Canadian airspace where pilots of all skill sets and levels can enjoy owning and operating a drone in Canada. Coastal Drone offers quality education courses for drone pilots of all levels to help make this industry safe and efficient. If you want to learn more about how Coastal Drone can help you start your drone journey, check out our courses, or contact us directly.