Over 770,000 quadcopter enthusiasts have registered their birds in the U.S. since the FAA announced the requirement back in December of 2015. However, a model aircraft enthusiast by the name of John Taylor recently took the FAA to court.
The case ruled in John's favor saying the FAA violated their 2012 Modernization and Reform Act which states the agency cannot make new laws restricting hobbyist model aircraft (a label consumer drones fall under).
This technically means that non-commercial drone owners do not have to register their quadcopters although the FAA can still appeal this decision. Furthermore, the 2012 Modernization and Reform Act is due to expire i 2017, so its effectiveness in this matter is only relevant for a short period.
DJI who is part of the Drone Manufacturer's Alliance issued the following statement:
“DMA is studying the implications of today's registration-related court ruling, but believes the existing system has worked well to protect the interests of safe and responsible pilots as well as the interests of society at large. As we wait for word on whether the FAA will appeal this ruling, we hope all sides see the benefit of a reasonable and minimally restrictive form of basic regulation that has helped make drone operations in America overwhelmingly safe. We look forward to working with policymakers on a long-term legislative solution.”
Despite this court ruling, we still recommend drone enthusiasts register their new drones as the FAA is not an organization that you want to be on the bad side of plus the process is both easy and affordable.