[Update] Labeling requirements for drones: Labels will be mandatory from April 2017

Drones license plates are mandatory from April 2017, order a badge for the drone in March!

From April 1, 2017, an update of the Air Traffic Regulations (LuftVO) will apply with regard to model aircraft, quadrocopters, octocopters, Drones in general and their obligation to label them by means of drone labels. What these "license plates for drones" are all about, what changes are still there, where you can get a drone license plate and a few more things I would like to bring you closer in this article.

The labeling requirement for the drone comes - unlike in the example illustration, equipping the aircraft with personal data can also be solved in a more elegant way;)

The labeling requirement for the drone comes - unlike in the example illustration, equipping the aircraft with personal data can also be solved in a more elegant way;)

Drones license plates are mandatory for the drone from April 2017!

So now it comes, the labeling requirement for the drone. Other planes or model planes that are brought into the air must also be marked with a license plate. The drone must therefore be able to be assigned to the owner. Incidentally, the new regulation will apply to all models weighing 250 grams or more. The name and contact details, i.e. at least the address of the user, must be noted on the drone license plate. Ideally, a phone number for acute cases. You can already buy drone license plates at various points of contact; among others at Amazon.

Fly drones over 250 grams from April: not without a name tag

So if you want to fly your drone from April 2017, you should order a license plate in March and have it made. Weigh your drone less than 250 grams, then of course you are fine and do not have to invest in a license plate. Such a badge is also not bad for the mini-fliers, just in case it gets lost ... You can order a drone badge with your name and address engraved directly from Amazon. One reviewer for the following product wrote: "I ordered this address label to mark my Phantom 4 Pro - it fits perfectly into the battery compartment and the adhesive strip sticks perfectly."

Address label ALU anod. 40x10mm with high quality laser engraving including adhesive tape "drone license plate"
  • Address label including adhesive strips - high quality laser engraving
  • Weather resistant, UV resistant, abrasion resistant, salt water resistant
  • Anodized aluminum - size: 40x10 mm (material thickness: 0,51mm)

Further changes and regulations for unmanned flying objects

When March comes to an end, more new rules will apply to drones. Some of them are actually quite positive in nature. Here is a little summary:

  • Drones weighing less than 5 kg do not need an ascent permit nationwide, both privately and commercially
  • Flying over properties is forbidden, which is particularly difficult for commercial drone photographers
  • In order to fly over properties, permission must now be obtained from the owner
  • For ascent or flying from Drones weighing 2 kg or more Proof of knowledge is required

Overview of "Rules for the operation of drones" by Minister Dobrindt

The Federal Minister Alexander Dobrindt has presented a "regulation regulating the operation of unmanned aerial vehicles," according to the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure. There is also a point in it about using video goggles when flying drones: "Flights using video goggles are permitted if they take place up to a height of 30 meters and the device is not heavier than 0,25 kg or another person is constantly watching it in sight and is able to draw the driver's attention to dangers . This counts as operation within sight of the driver.“- the entire pamphlet you can find here.

Update March 24.03.2017th, XNUMX: New information about the LuftVO

Today I spoke again on the phone with a colleague who is also a commercial drone pilot. He had some new information, which I would like to briefly summarize here:

  • April 1st is not the deadlineon which the ordinance comes into force. The cabinet only said that they would vote on it in April and the day after the vote the regulation will be in effect. When the vote will take place has not yet been determined, but it is set to happen in April 2017.
  • The flight ban over properties currently only applies to residential areas. This means that you can fly over land in commercial areas - as well as over parcels, pastures or arable land in nature. Sports fields and similar areas can probably also be used when they are free. The background to this point is data and privacy protection, which should be taken care of. Nobody seems to have considered that you can "spy on" your neighbors from your own property by setting the camera at an angle. ;-)
  • Furthermore, there is a ban on overflights for highways (expressways, federal highways and motorways) as well as waterways (rivers that are open to shipping) and railways. Lakes and rivers closed to shipping seem to be excluded. Likewise, apparently smaller roads in town or country roads are cleared for overflights.

Since the drone ordinance has not yet been decided on at the moment, all information here is initially without guarantee and only to the best of our knowledge and belief. ;) In the course of April 2017, the final version will emerge.

At this point I would like to briefly mention one DFS leaflet for drone pilots Clues. It summarizes in simple words what you should pay attention to and what you should do before starting for the first time. I think it sums up important points very well without going into legal details.

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The page contains affiliate links / images: Amazon.de


  1. Thomas says:

    which means: flying over properties is prohibited? EVERYTHING is "property" and belongs to someone ..... hmmmmm

    • sir appleot says:

      Hello Thomas! It is particularly about land owned by companies and private individuals. You can still fly around outside in the meadow and maybe also in public areas (avoid flying over people here), but unfortunately you are no longer allowed to fly for oblique shots of a house over a neighboring property. Even if this is not captured by the camera, it is still forbidden. That makes the work of a commercial drone photographer difficult or even impossible. In larger cities with lots on which there are apartment buildings, you can completely forget about it. You can hardly ask permission from the owner and all the residents. In this respect, in my opinion, the drone regulation is somewhat unsuitable for everyday use. :-(

  2. sir appleot says:

    Hello Thomas! So the overflight ban without permission from the property owner seems to apply to residential areas. I explained it in more detail as an update in the article. LG! Jens

  3. chick-pea says:

    Where, specifically, does it say that drones will have to be labeled from April 2017? Which law was passed when by whom and when did it come into force? Apart from the printed matter for the submission, I am not aware of any law.

    • sir appleot says:

      Hello chickpea! That's right. The law has not yet been passed. There is a proposal that will presumably be passed in April and will thus become valid. The identification of the drones is included and is certainly one of the points that will surely come. I would also welcome it, because it would prevent all the aerial cowboys from doing nonsense, because if their drone is then in a windshield, you can at least read his address. ;) But yes, currently there is nothing "valid law" about it.

  4. chick-pea says:

    Good afternoon Sir Apfelot!

    Your answer, as nicely phrased as it is, shows a small trace of naivety. You should agree that labeling unmanned aerial vehicles is not going to stop what you say "air cowboys" from doing nonsense. Who wants, wants! Just think of the drivers of motor vehicles, whether motorcycles, cars or trucks, whose vehicles have license plates. Nevertheless, a few do not behave according to the rules, not to say rowdy. Or how do some cyclists behave? Their bikes do not need to be marked either. I don't want to offend any pedal knight now, but in the time my comment is being read, more violations are happening by cyclists (and not just these), such as drone pilots. The case is similar with the proof of expertise in the operation of "heavy" drones. The possession of a driver's license is also no guarantee of proper behavior for some unteachable drivers.
    Well, let's not go so deep into the matter. Otherwise we would certainly write ourselves in ecstasy. Just wait and see. When I pick up my dear wife from work afterwards, then there is a high probability that I will have more trouble with cyclists than a drone crashes into my windshield.
    By the way, your page is a really nice thing, keep it up!

    • sir appleot says:

      Thank you very much for your feedback and praise for the site. I am pleased! ;)
      Yes, there are also some cyclists and motorcyclists who are cowboy-style. But I am thinking of the motorcyclists who knowingly drive through speed traps because they know that they only take photos from the front (without a visible license plate). If you were to put a license plate on the front, the idiots would already be filtered out. And that's exactly how it is, in my opinion, with the drone pilots. There are plenty of responsible people who also fly model airplanes, but unfortunately they "suffer" from the people who act against their senses and fly over crowds, over highways or at airports to film the jumbos when they land. Or they film their neighbors and thus cause displeasure, which all drone pilots then get. When I think about how we were turned on for legally clarified customer projects ... at some point it's really no longer fun. And that's why I see the labeling as a useful addition. You will only get a fraction of it to stick to the rules halfway, but that's an improvement ... but apart from that, you can discuss the drone regulation one way or another. If that happens, you are no longer allowed to fly over residential areas, but if you want to, you can still somehow violate people's personal rights. You should just make rules that apply to photographers on foot and then everyone will be helped. But in Germany people like to be more papal than the Pope. ;)

  5. Erwin. Laurinate says:

    I don't think that's so bad. If you have nothing to hide, you should attach the sticker, there are advantages and disadvantages if what happens is the scream, if the drone is gone by self-employed then man is happy when you get in touch with your drone man must imagine if a drone injures you or crashes into your car, then man is happy to have the address. So that the damage that man has to be covered, so is better. If you don't have a sticker or have no insurance should take the drone away immediately, and met a fat money pay.

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