Your neighbor’s droning hobby is about to get a little more complicated after an announcement of a new task force from the Department of Transportation. The group of 25 to 30 will decide which drones won’t need to be registered with the feds. The takeaway? Some drones will need to be registered.

This announcement shouldn’t come as a huge surprise. Just a few days ago, NBC News reported that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) was about to announce new registration requirements for small drones. The report even stipulated that the agency wanted to have all drones registered by Christmas. Monday’s announcement appears to line up with that report, stating that Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx directed the new task force to finish its safety recommendations by November 20. Once again, the task force’s job is to decide which hobby and toy drones should be exempt from the larger registration process.

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For now it’s hard to tell how strict the new registration rules will be. While you can imagine that the tiny drones you buy at the toy store won’t need the federal government’s blessing to take the sky, it seems like popular models like the DJI Phantom might, especially given the fact that they’ve been involved in incidents that won national news coverage. All that said, we’ve reached out to some of the biggest drone makers to find out how they’re preparing for the final guidelines. But here’s hoping for a safe Christmas this year, despite any new drone-owning dads.

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Image via Getty


Contact the author at adam@gizmodo.com.
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