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UAS FAA Registration

Antonelli Law Provides FAA N Number Registration Service

Our $250 flat fee per UAV registration service provides you with helpful assistance in registering your UAVs with the FAA, a mandatory step before you can fly commercially with your Section 333 Grant of Exemption. Fleet discounts available for 5 or more UAVs.

Top 3 Reasons to Hire Antonelli Law to Register your UAV

1. Registering UAVs purchased from foreign countries is a complicated bureaucratic process. Why bother to go through this bureaucratic process yourself? Do what you do best instead.

Registering your UAV purchased online from foreign manufacturers involves obtaining FAA official original carbon copy forms, and tedious details including making requests directly with foreign Civil Aviation Authorities for assurances to the FAA that the UAV has not been previously registered.

This includes purchases through:

If you can plan ahead of time, we recommend purchasing these drones/UAVs domestically if possible to avoid this extra layer of complexity in registering your aircraft.

2. Establish a lawyer-client relationship with one of the leading drone law firms in the country. 

By hiring us, you are establishing a lawyer-client relationship with us and the ability to call or email us in the future with questions or concerns you have with the ever-changing regulatory environment of drones at hourly rates without high minimums. 

Even if you obtained your Section 333 Grant of Exemption without Antonelli Law's help we can assist your company in obtaining their required N Number registrations, also referred to as the 'tail number.'

3. Obtaining an N Number is required by the FAA prior to commercial operations.

Before you can use that highly coveted Section 333 Grant of Exemption, each UAV you use must have a "Tail Number" also known as an N-Number signifying it is registered with the FAA.

"All aircraft operated in accordance with this exemption must be identified by serial number, registered in accordance with 14 CFR part 47, and have identification (N−Number) markings in accordance with 14 CFR part 45, Subpart C. Markings must be as large as practicable."

For a flat fee of $250 per UAV/drone, Antonelli Law's experienced staff will do all the paperwork for you and deal with any necessary back-and-forth with the FAA. A service like this should not be necessary in our modern digital age, but it is needed. We love our clients and this service will help alleviate a lot of frustration by trying to deal with the FAA yourself. Note: Some registrations may be higher.

Contact Antonelli Law by clicking here to have us handle the FAA process to obtain your FAA registration and obtain your required N Number.

Obtaining your N Numbers can be done any time prior to commencing commercial flights, even prior to filing your Section 333 petition.
You will not be allowed to file for a non-blanket COA without an N-Number.


Standard Section 333 services for uses like GIS, construction, cinematography, precision agriculture, oil & gas, telecom infrastructure, etc.

Drone Democracy for simple uses like residential real estate by individual brokerages or agents, features a low $2,500 legal fee and less customization than our standard Section 333 services.

Do I Need A Section 333 Grant of Exemption?

If you want to operate commercially as a service, the short answer is yes, you do. For other uses like R&D, research, or law enforcement see this page from the FAA and click on the appropriate category.

Do I Need to Be A Licensed Pilot?

The company or individual running the operation that holds the Section 333 Grant of Exemption does not need to be a licensed pilot, but the person actually flying the drone/UAV must be. The licensed pilot may be a company employee or an independent contractor, as long as the licensed pilot has the UAV competency and other qualifications articulated in the holder's Section 33 Grant of Exemption,

The FAA currently allows a sport or recreational pilot license (officially called an airman certificate) to operate drones/UAVs under a Section 333 Grant of Exemption. A driver's license may substitute for a current medical certificate.

Will the FAA Do Away With The Licensed Pilot Requirement?

Eventually, it is expected that a new license called a Drone Operator airman certificate will be in place that will require only a written knowledge test and TSA vetting, and no traditional flight school with be required. This is part of the Proposed sUAS Rule referred to as Part 107, which the FAA has promised will release as a Final Rule by June 2016.

What we do not know yet is whether the infrastructure for obtaining the new Drone Operator airman certificate will be in place by June 2016. We hope that it will be.

We would love to see Congress mandate that the FAA waive the pilot license requirement sooner, such as in the 2015 FAA Re-authorization Bill. If you support Congress doing this, tell your United States Senators and Congressman to do so and why you believe small UAVs can be flown safely now by commercial entities without a traditional pilot's license obtained through manned aircraft flight training.  

Antonelli Law Drone/UAS Practice Group

The Drone/UAS Practice Group at Antonelli Law is a group of attorneys with deep knowledge of law, technology, privacy, and aviation. Our federal practice relating to the rapidly developing commercial "drone"/Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) industry allows us to serve clients nationwide. In addition, our attorneys are licensed in numerous states from California to New York and  in between.  

  • Kate Fletcher, an active commercial pilot with American Airlines as well as attorney
  • Mark Del Bianco, with more than three decades of federal administrative law, antitrust, and technology expertise
  • Jeffrey Antonelli, an unmanned aircraft pilot with more than a decade of litigation, general counsel, insurance defense and technology experience
  • Melissa Brabender, associate attorney who is an accomplished federal litigator and counselor in employment law
  • Amelia Niemi, associate attorney and graduate of the esteemed Intellectual Property program concentration at DePaul College of Law   
  • Megan Leffelman, associate attorney with an LLM in Intellectual Property from DePaul College of Law
  • Victoria Ferreira, UAS law clerk, LLM in Int'l Aviation Law
  • David Heath, research assistant

Research and support staff include research assistant , an engineering student, and law clerks to keep the Drone/UAS Practice Group stay current with produce supporting research for the DroneLawsBlog as well as our Survey of State Drone Laws.

Whether it is corporate work, privacy concerns, or you want to get a handle on what the FAA is doing and what your company is allowed to do, you will feel comfortable calling a lawyer at Antonelli Law.


Attorney Katie (“Kate”) D. Fletcher is Of Counsel to Antonelli Law’s Drone/UAS Practice Group. Fletcher is an attorney and 737 pilot with one of the world's largest airlines, with more than 10,000 hours of flight experience. She is Type-Rated in the Saab 340, Citation CE-500, DC-9, and Boeing 737, 757 and 767. Fletcher’s aviation experience includes traffic watch in the San Francisco Bay Area, Air Ambulance, flight instruction, and piloting major domestic and international-bound aircraft. She graduated from the University of Warwick with a B.Sc. (Hons) in Economics, and later attended law school at Loyola University Chicago School of Law. She graduated cum laude with a J.D. and an L.L.M. in Taxation.

Attorney Mark Del Bianco is Special Counsel to Antonelli Law’s Drone/UAV Practice Group. Mr. Del Bianco has substantial federal administrative experience, having represented clients in rulemakings and enforcement proceedings (or court reviews) at the DOJ, ITC, FCC, FDA, CPSC, and NHTSA. He has litigation experience ranging from state trial courts to case briefs in the U.S. Supreme Court, and in recent years has litigated the constitutionality of state laws at the intersection of technology and privacy. He also provides transactional and regulatory assistance to a wide array of clients, including fiber networks, satellite service providers, business owners, application developers and cloud services providers. Prior to starting his own practice in 2003, Del Bianco was an attorney in the U.S. Department of Justice and at both large and small firms in Washington D.C., including more than a decade at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, LLP.

Firm principal Jeffrey Antonelli has been general counsel to technology companies and a litigator for nearly 14 years. Jeffrey  began flying radio controlled aircraft several years ago which led to following "drone" development, and first-person viewing (FPV) flight and cinematography. Jeffrey leverages his experience in
business, litigation, intellectual property, insurance law, and employment law experience to help clients make their way through the exciting but perilous legal and FAA regulatory waters of drone/UAV law. 

Jeffrey's recent speaking engagements include the 2014 Illinois GIS Conference and the 42nd Search and Rescue Conference by the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department.

Antonelli Law is dedicated to understanding the technology as well as the regulatory issues involved with drone/UAV flight. To that end, Research Assistant David Heath has been brought onboard to help the firm's lawyers understand the technical challenges involved in safely addressing loss-of-signal, return-to-home, FPV (First Person Viewing), and other emerging issues.

"Whether we call them UASs, UAVs, or drones, these aircraft are an exciting new development in the aviation industry. But they also raise some serious safety and privacy concerns – that we need to address before the FAA licenses these vehicles for broad use in our national airspace."

- Senator John D. (Jay) Rockefeller, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Technology

Laws Applicable to Drone/UAS

Traditional state laws of tort and privacy apply to drone use, but so will forthcoming FAA regulations on the commercial use of drones, also known as UAVs or UASs.

The doctrine of federal preemption will likely displace traditional laws when the FAA regulation is specific enough. Legal advice is needed for uncertainties such as : Would use of a drone by the Chicago Police Department to scan the lakefront area for gang activity violate the privacy rights of sunbathers? This may depend more than Illinois' law on drones, but on the soon-to-be-published FAA sUAS NPRM (proposed regulations).

What Advice Can a Drone Manufacturer or Distributor Get From an Attorney?

In addition to learning the latest on local and FAA regulations on their use, manufacturers and distributors need an attorney familiar with their field and the drone/UAV/UAS industry to help them with all the commercial transactions and guidance needed to successfully run their operation, recruit talent, enforce supplier contracts, and manage their employees. Zoning issues, special use permits, and other land use laws likewise come up, especially with a new technology using airspace like drones.

To be smart after expending significant sums of money, time, and effort (and preferably planning ahead of time) in developing technology and products, businesses need to protect their intellectual property in the form of patents, trademarks, and trade secrets.

Jeffrey Antonelli is a proven go-to attorney for businesses needing outside general counsel, and Antonelli Law has experience in these legal areas to guide businesses and, when necessary, litigate conflicts in an intelligent and cost-effective manner.

What Advice Can a Drone User Get From an Attorney?

In addition to learning the latest on local and FAA regulations on their use, users of drones/UAVs
will need legal guidance on protecting the product they created while using the drone.

For example, filmmakers using aerial cinematography with drones need copyright protection for the visual images and may need work-for-hire documents to be signed by the drone operator to clarify who owns the copyright. Architects using drones for filming aerial views of their work product might have a competitor use the film and pretend they designed the building. No matter what the user intends to do with the drone, insurance coverage issues will be in play and in the event of an accident or injury your commercial insurance policy may deny coverage. You will need an attorney in that case to defend you from lawsuits and to file a lawsuit in court asking the judge to force the insurance company to indemnify you and reimburse you for your legal defenses.

Drone/UAV/UAS Background

The ability to remotely observe areas otherwise inaccessible due to cost, noise, or physical danger make drones - also called unmanned aerial vehicles or UAVs - a remarkable technology. However, privacy concerns as well as the possible danger of uncontrolled UAVs, such as loss of signal causing personal injury or property damage, make this a new area for the application of existing laws as well as the opportunity for new laws to be crafted.

The future opportunities in the United States seem to be both in the small drone category, those 55 pounds and under for very wide commercial and hobbyist applications, as well as the large drone catagory for limited, highly specialized commercial and law enforcement use. Both categories come under the UAS acronym for Unmanned Aerial System.

The 2013 FAA Annual UAS Roadmap describes the technical and regulatory challenges for UAS use in the national airspace. We expect much more stringent licensing requirements by the FAA for the large drone (UAS) category, quite similar to commercial aviation requirements due to the larger potential for crash impact in terms of property damage and loss of life.

Drone Laws Blog is the Antonelli Law vehicle for sharing news, insights, and updates to the drone/UAV industry. Check back often for news regarding the swiftly changing state of the law and the Drone/UAS Practice Group of the firm.

Antonelli Law Press

Click here for Jeffrey Antonelli's article in RotorDrone Magazine Winter 2015

Click here for Jeffrey Antonelli's article in RotorDrone Magazine Summer 2014

What is a Drone? Is it Like the Predator Used by the Military?

There are many types of drones, with many ranging from small quadcopters less than three feet across with a GoPro camera controlled by a radio control hobbyist, to the Trimble UX5, a five foot wide autonomous drone capable of flying, filming, and landing by itself due to stabilization software, gyros, and pre-programmed GPS waypoints. Much larger drones used by the military include the Navy Triton MQ-4C Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS)  and General Atomic's Predator.

Drone Nomenclature

UAS - Unmanned Aircraft System
UAV - Unmanned Aerial Vehicle

Why a Drone Law practice?

Click here to reach our Why Drone Law? page and why the firm's  principal, attorney Jeffrey Antonelli, launched the drone law practice in January 2014.

Press Release

Click here for the 2014 Press Release of the Drone/UAS Practice Group at Antonelli Law

35 East Wacker Drive
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Chicago, IL 60601

Tel (312) 201-8310

Please Note: By viewing this website no attorney-client relationship is formed unless you and the firm agree upon and sign an attorney agreement or similar letter agreement. We are not able to act on your behalf or protect your legal interests until that formal agreement is signed. Consult a qualified attorney to obtain legal advice for your particular circumstances. No endorsement is implied to the information, product, or services that may be contained or referred to in the articles or videos linked to in this page or within this website. Illinois does not recognize attorney specialties; no specialties are implied for attorneys of Antonelli Law.


Antonelli Law begins UAS N-Number Registration Service

11th Antonelli Law UAS Client Helios Imaging Receives FAA Section 333 Approval

View All FAA Approvals of Antonelli Law Section 333 Clients

Antonelli Law launches Drone Democracy for simple Section 333 uses like residential real estate featuring lower legal fees.

Antonelli Law press release on its Section 333 clients Nixon Engineering and Owlcam gaining FAA approval 

Antonelli Law is accepting clients wishing to submit exemptions to FAA under Section 333.  Contact firm Principal Jeffrey Antonelli for more information at 312-201-8310

Antonelli Law gives Continuing Legal Education seminar on Commercial Drones at Chicago Bar Association May 13th

Antonelli Law speaks at DePaul Law Review Symposium on UAS February 13 2015

Antonelli Law's Jeffrey Antonelli and Mark Del Bianco appear on drone panel at DC Independent Film Festival's Summit on the Hill on February 25 2015

Jeffrey Antonelli appeared on Chicago Tonight discussing drones on January 27 2015

View all of Antonelli Law's Section 333 petitions here

Jeffrey Antonelli's article "Dos and Don'ts of RC Flying" is published in RotorDrone Magazine, Winter 2015

UAS Practice Group

Jeffrey Antonelli
Mark Del Bianco
Kate Fletcher

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