Skip to main content

PSA: Australian drone registration deadline is next month

The Australian drone registration deadline is looming, so we thought we’d share the info for those required to register and become accredited before going out to fly. This post is a MUST-READ if you are flying or wanting to fly your drone for commercial purposes in Australia.

The deadline for drone registration was supposed to be this year, but due to COVID, the Australian Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) postponed it to January 28, 2021.

This might seem like a long time away, but it is exactly 41 days away from coming into play. If you are caught without your registration and accreditation papers, you can face a fine of up to AU$11,100.

CASA has said that police will also be informed to check for the correct registration, so don’t be surprised to see police at some of the most popular drone areas worldwide.


If you are flying or planning to fly commercially and use your drone in the following ways, it likely means you are flying commercially and will have to register your drone and become an accredited pilot.

  • Selling photos or videos are taken from a drone
  • Inspecting industrial equipment, construction sites, or infrastructure
  • Monitoring, surveillance, or security services
  • Research and development
  • Any drone activities on behalf of your employer or business

If your drone fits into one of the following groups, this means you will need to register your drone and become an accredited pilot as well.

  • 250 g or less (micro RPA)
  • More than 250 g but no more than 2 kg (very small RPA)
  • More than 2kg but no more than 25 kg and you only fly it over your own land (small RPA).

Drone registration

If you are flying commercially or it’s a part of your job, you need to register your drone before the January 28, 2021, deadline. If you aren’t planning to fly your drone or are flying for fun you don’t need to register it. As the registration came into effect recently, CASA is allowing pilots to register their drones for free until June 30, 2021. The registration lasts for 12 months.

Pilot accreditation

To fly a drone commercially, you are also required to become an accredited pilot. You do not need to become accredited if you currently hold a remote pilot license (RePL) or are flying for fun. This will last for three years and is a short free online test.

How to register and become accredited?

Registering your drone and becoming an accredited pilot is easy. Head over to the myCASA website, create an account or log in, and hit the RPA operator accreditation button to begin the process. To be accredited, you will need the following:

  • To be 16 or older (an accredited is required to watch you while flying)
  • Proof of identity, such as an Australian passport, Australian birth or citizenship certificate, or ImmiCard
  • myCASA account
  • An aviation reference number (ARN)
  • Make, model, serial number, weight, and type of drone
  • Download and/or print your certificate of registration from myCASA.

Photo: CASA



Avatar for Josh Spires Josh Spires

Josh started in the drone community in 2012 with a drone news Twitter account. Over the years Josh has gained mass exposure from his aerial photography work and spends his days writing drone content for DroneDJ as well as pursuing his business.