Now that the dust from your landing has settled and your props have turned off, you see someone approaching you.
As you silently let out a sigh, wondering if it will be one of THOSE encounters.
You hear them say, “Good Day! My name is such and such, and as a representative of the FAA,” as they flash some legal-looking ID badge, “I just wanted to check and verify that you are operating under the new Remote ID regulations.”
Naturally, you’re a bit taken aback.
After all, you never thought for a single moment, anyone would ever ask that question, let alone an actual Representative of the FAA. Heck, you didn’t even know such representatives were even really out there or existed.
You look around to check if this is just a prank. After all, you do hang out with some pranksters who would find this to be hilarious content.
You take a moment to think.
You believe you are flying in compliance with Remote ID and respond in the affirmative to the person.
After all, while flying you did catch a small pop-up window in the upper left-hand corner during the startup of your flight.
It was something or other Remote ID related. It was there and gone. The thing is, you were enjoying your flight and didn’t really catch it; it popped up and was gone so fast.
That’s when the FAA Rep says, “Well let’s just check it and make sure.” To which you reply, “Sure, how do we do that?”
Now, this is, of course, a made-up scenario, one which will probably never actually happen. One reason is that there are no FAA Representatives just lurking about to hassle a random drone pilot.
Also, that’s just not how the FAA operates generally.
What it does though, is raise a very good question. Just how do you verify or find out if your DJI drone is Remote ID compliant or not?
If you happen to own a DJI drone system, then the likelihood that you are compliant with the new Remote ID rules is actually very good, as DJI has worked hard and, through firmware updates, has been able to bring most, not all, but most of their aircraft within compliance.
To verify whether your particular model is or isn’t, you’ll need to find your aircraft’s RID serial number, as this number will provide you with the answer, simply by being present or not.
This is important, not only for our made-up situation above – you’ll also need it when registering or updating your aircraft’s FAA registration.
So, how do we find the RID serial number? Well, we’ll cover that below, and some other things you need to know about Remote ID.
Here’s How To Find the Remote ID on your DJI Drone
Here’s one more reason it’s important to be sure that your firmware is current. As I’ll show you, it can be easy to miss one, and as a result, you may be missing something important.
As I was preparing for this article, one of the included instructions was to include photos. Not a big deal, for an instructional article, it’s a pretty common request.
Naturally, I fired up the DJI Mavic 3 and hit record. Now the steps for locating your DJI Remote ID are fairly straightforward. We’ll go through them now.
With the aircraft powered on and within the DJI Fly app, select the Ellipsis in the upper right-hand corner.
This will bring up your aircraft’s main information menu. You will want to make sure you’re viewing the ABOUT page.
If that is not the menu page you’re viewing, select the About tab on the top of the screen. Typically, by default, when you open this menu, it will be on Safety.
With the About menu page open, scroll down to the menu page, and you will see the DJI Remote ID Serial Number.
There you have it! Located towards the bottom of the About menu page will be your Remote ID Serial Number.
Now, I know some of you readers are very observant. You may have noticed a little bit of trickery above. Trust me, it was unexpected and yet intentional.
As I mentioned above, I intended to use my Mavic 3 for the pictures. The pictures used above are from an Air 2S. The reason for that is simple and I’ll show you.
When duplicating the steps above with the Mavic 3, this is what I got.
As we see, my DJI Mavic 3 does not show a Remote ID Serial Number like the Air 2S did.
I say my Mavic 3, as when communicating with DJI (we’ll get more into that momentarily) I was left with the impression that they were unaware of any display issue such as mine.
As someone who only wants to relay solid, verifiable information to you, my readers, I reached out to DJI customer service to see just why my Mavic 3 was like this.
We had a good discussion, and I did get some detailed information about DJI Remote ID. One bit of information was this, from Spencer at DJI Customer Service.
There are several ways to check if Remote ID is working properly.
- Way 1: Remote ID status display on the DJI flight control app
- Way 2: Remote ID serial number displayed in “Available networks” of the WLAN
Now, way 1 is one of the methods we are all pretty much aware of. We’ll cover it below.
First, however, way 2 struck me as a method I haven’t seen come up or being discussed anywhere. So, let’s check that out really quick.
Way 2: Remote ID serial number displayed in “Available networks” of the WLAN
First, we’ll want to power on the drone and controller. Then using another device, such as your phone or tablet, follow these steps:
- Bring up your App listings menu and select Settings.
- Once on the Settings menu page, select Connections.
- From the Connections page, select Wi-Fi.
- This will take you to the Wi-Fi page of the settings. This is where you would view the current Wi-Fi connection, and as we see, below that is a generated list of other Wi-fi connections in the area. We did indeed see the Mavic 3 listed as an available connection.
Now I know, right? It was available as a connection. Out of curiosity, I did try and connect with it.
It does request a password, and without it, I wasn’t able to get anywhere. It didn’t accept any passwords I used.
Pretty interesting, though, all the same. Makes you wonder what that password is that it’s looking for and could you really actually connect to it.
As to Way 1, we haven’t forgotten about you.
Way 1: Remote ID status display on the DJI flight control app
The drone automatically initiates a pre-flight self-test (PFST) of the Remote ID system before takeoff, and cannot take off if it does not pass the PFST.
The results of the PFST of the Remote ID system, i.e. the working status, can be viewed in the DJI flight control apps below.
If the Remote ID is working properly, DJI Fly will display “Takeoff permitted”. After clicking “Takeoff permitted”, you can see “Remote ID functionality normal,” as shown in the following Figure.
This is found on the Flight Checklist, which is accessible by tapping on the Take Off Permitted Tab located in the upper right-hand corner of the Fly App.
We gleaned another little factoid out of that, though. If a DJI aircraft fails the pre-flight self-test (PFST) on startup, it will not take off! That includes the Remote ID preflight check as well.
So, what happened!?
Why doesn’t my Mavic 3 show a Remote ID Serial Number? It’s a glitch in the firmware. One that may or may not affect you.
I myself was not aware that I had any issue; writing this article is what brought it to my attention. DJI, on the other hand, found my situation to be really strange, the fact is.
Yes, my DJI Mavic 3, should have a Remote ID Serial Number showing. Which means yours should too.
Spencer informed me that all of the DJI RID-compliant systems should be showing an RID serial number like the Air 2S does.
After going through and checking the firmware – and this is one of the reasons for always keeping up with your firmware – we did find that my RC controller was not running the most recent update.
This did not, however, fix the issue.
We also went as far as unbinding the RC controller from the Mavic 3 and re-binding them together. Nothing we attempted worked in my case.
Nope, the issue I found myself having will require going deeper into the DJI technician realm, and they will contact me at a later date through email to see what we can do about this.
So, there are some steps you can take if you find yourself where I am. In all likelihood, though, you may have the same bug I have and will have to await a new firmware update before it’s resolved.
No one at DJI really could explain why I have this issue, and it would seem that it was new to them as well.
For now, method two does verify that Remote ID is present and functioning within my Mavic 3 as it should, just missing that RID Serial Number, for now.
Fly Safe, Fly Always, Always Fly Safe!