WSDOT Aviation Division to Administer Commercial Drone Registration Program

The last Washington state legislative session saw the enactment of SHB 1379, entrusting the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) Aviation Division with the establishment of the State Unpiloted Aircraft Systems Coordinator position and commercial drone registration.

WSDOT Aviation is in the process of establishing the commercial drone registration program as outlined in the legislation. This work will occur over the next several months with implementation in the Spring of 2022. The program will mirror the registration process that is currently in place for regular aircraft registration but tailored for drones used for commercial purposes.

The plan is for the WSDOT Aviation website to facilitate the registration process. You can find information on the program and updates on their website as they move closer to bringing the registration application online.

The goal is to foster the advancement of UAS technology where it adds value to the state’s current transportation system and enriches the lives of Washingtonians. If you have input you feel is important to advancing UAS operations in the State, please reach out to the Division.

Commercial drone owners will also need to check with their local county assessor’s office to see if their drone is subject to personal property tax. Most personal property owned by individuals is specifically exempt. However, if these items are used in a business, personal property tax applies. The county assessor will make the determination if personal property tax is due and explain any actions that need to be taken. For detailed information about personal property tax, please refer to the Department of Revenue’s Personal Property Tax publication.

Contact Eddy Hensley, State UAS Coordinator and Aviation Emergency Management Planner, or (564) 999-3337 for questions or comments.