Law and Regulations

US wants to require registration for drone owners

Getty Images

NBC News has learned the federal government will announce a new plan within days that will require anyone who buys an unmanned aircraft system — or drone — to register that drone with the Department of Transportation.

The government has been very concerned about the rise in close-calls between unmanned drones and aircraft, flying in and out of some of the nation's biggest airports.

A firefighter in Lake County, California, July 30, 2015.
Ban proposed after drones interfere with wildfire efforts
A smartphone mounted on a drone can steal data by intercepting signals computers send to wireless printers, even from outside an office building.
Drones can steal data off wireless printers

Under the plan, the government would work with the drone industry to set up a structure for registering the drones, according to sources familiar with the situation. The regulations could be in place by Christmas, these people say.

Drones are expected to be a very popular gift this holiday season.

—Reported by NBC News' Tom Costello