Children who get drones as presents this Christmas will have to sit through driving theory-style tests before they can fly them, regulators have said.
Budding pilots of all ages must show they are capable of flying the devices "safely and legally" by passing a multiple-choice quiz before taking them to the skies.
Anybody who flies a drone without doing so will face fines of up to £1,000 under a new system being launched by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) on Tuesday.
It comes as figures reveal a "sky-tipping" crisis that has seen hundreds of drones crash-landing in trees, parks, gardens, rivers and beaches.
The new regulations, which become law on November 30, applies to drones or model aircraft weighing between 250g and 20kg.
Anyone who wants to fly one outdoors will have to pass a free online test and get a flyer ID from the CAA.
The exam will consist of 20 questions about the laws and safety measures relating to remote-controlled aircraft.
If aspiring pilots answer 16 questions correctly, they will be granted a flyer ID, which must be renewed every three years.
There is no limit to the number of times a person can sit the test, and no minimum age requirement, but children under 13 can only register with a parent or guardian present.
The tighter regulations could make parents think twice before buying their children drones for Christmas.
With prices ranging from £15-£194 for cheap models, the flying gadgets have become a popular stocking filler in recent years.
The CAA has raised concerns about the Christmas drone craze, saying families are clueless about the strict laws governing their use.
The regulator's new "drones reunited" service comes after a quarter of pilots admitted losing their devices mid-flight in a new CAA study, with half going missing due to battery loss, poor signal or technical faults.
There is currently no official scheme to return missing drones to their owners, but dozens of people have reported finding them in parks, gardens, beaches and school playing fields on social media.
The regulator said it expects that 90,000 people will be required to register as drone operators under the new rules.
The British Airline Pilots Association (BALPA), a trade union for UK pilots, said the new rules will help to improve airspace safety.
Dr Rob Hunter, BALPAs Head of Flight Safety, said it was "desperately needed to ensure a collision between an aircraft and a drone is avoided".
Last year pilots in British airspace reported 125 potentially serious incidents involving drones to the UK Airprox Board, rising from only six in 2014.