You need to register a drone under 250g and use RID in the USA if you use the drone for commercial purposes.Its under 250gr and does not need registration or rid for recreational purposes in the USA.
Not sure where he is located but it sounds like he is either unable to get LAANC in his controlled airspace area (i.e. not yet available) or all the grids are zeros. Agreed he should not be flying without proper authorization but in many such areas, the drone is not going to prevent you from taking off. All of my DJI drones will take off in my controlled airspace whether I get LAANC authorization or not.You do need LAANC authorization to fly in controlled air space