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Drone license

Dean Lighty

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Dec 15, 2019
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Yesterday I was told off a friend that I now need a license to fly my Tello. I was still under the impression that with it being under a certain weight I was ok for now. Can anyone please shed some light on this for me? Apparently my friend says the Air Navigation Order 2016 was amended in 2020. Also I am in the UK, England.


Active member
Sep 5, 2019
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Not sure for UK, but in EU the low weight allow to classify drone as a toy. But it can't be classified as a toy if it has a camera, so it goes into the normal classes.

For the classes, the product doesn't have one assigned, so it goes under transitional regulations. There, it is treated in the same way as Minis. You should read the details yourself, but simplifying: you need to be registered and know the instruction manual.


Sep 2, 2021
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Because the tello has a camera it doesn't classify as a toy so you need to register as an operator and as a pilot but that's all. £9 a year for the operators license the pilots is free but you need to do a free online training and exam and lasts 5 years. You do need to put the operators licence number on every drone you are responsible for


Jan 11, 2022
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Norfolk UK
Something I've just been looking at too...

As I understand it... This is the Official CAA Registration Website confirming what's needed to fly a drone

According to information on this page (at time of writing Published Oct 2019 and updated Nov 2021)...

The Tello doesn't seem to have any' CLASS marking' so as its below 250g one might think it qualifies as a 'TOY' and therefore does not require registration or an Operator License to fly it outdoors. BUT the bottom of the page identifies how to identify a 'TOY' drone.

So I'm left with the info at the bottom of the webpage which at the time writing this reads:

Working out if your drone or model aircraft is a toy​

There is no standard mark to show that a drone or model aircraft is a toy.

Your drone or model aircraft is likely to be a toy if:

  • the manufacturer or store you bought it from describes it as a toy -
    • NB: My RYZE Quick Start Guide reads 'This product is NOT a toy'
  • you bought it from a toy department or retailer
  • it is marked as suitable for below age 14 or a younger age group
    • NB: My Ryze Quick start guide reads 'is not suitable for children under the age of 14 (15 in Japan)
  • it was advertised or packaged to attract children
It seems to me the important bit of info is "Below 250g - Not a toy - with Camera requires Operator ID"

Based upon this information.... This is why I'm thinking the Tello is NOT classed as a toy and therefore outdoor flight DOES require an Operator Licence. So I wont do doing that until I have that Operator ID sorted.

Update: Well that was easy.... in the UK a Flyer ID is free so that's a no brainer, (just a simple multi choice test once you've read up on it) and the Operator ID is just £9 a year for peace of mind.. Both sorted!

As always its important for each individual to check these things for themselves...
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