On this page, we have provided a comprehensive summary of USA drone laws as well as new rules for each state.
With the rising adoption of UAVs, FAA and state authorities have been continuously working towards making these drone laws practical while preventing drone misuse and protecting consumers. We are keeping a close eye on the developments and try to keep this info as recent as possible.
We have also compiled a list of the recent drone laws for each state. Feel free to click on a state link to read further on corresponding regulations.
Disclaimer: While we have made every attempt to keep this information current and accurate, the reader’s description is advised. Please do not treat this information as legal advice.
First, let’s take a quick look at the new FAA drone laws.
It is legal to fly drones in the United States subject to the rules outlined by Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) manages most of the airspace in the United States. And they’ve outlined detailed regulations that every drone pilot in the United States must be aware of.
These are some of the most common rules when flying drones in the U.S. but there may be additional regulations in certain states. If you’re unsure whether you need a permit, check out our guide to flying drones in the U. S.
The following regulations are applicable for both commercial and non-commercial (recreational) drone pilots.
1. You must fly your drone at or below 400 feet.
2. Avoid interfering with law enforcement or emergency response operations.
3. All drones must be registered and should not weigh more than 55 pounds.
4. You must register each drone at the FAADroneZone, the registration costs $5 and is valid for 3 years.
5. Drones registered under section 107 may be used for both commercial and recreational flights.
But drones registered under Exception for Recreational Flyers are not permitted for Part 107 operations.
6. Use B4UFLY Mobile App – the safety app from the FAA, which uses your GPS location to deliver up-to-date information about flight regulations and airspace restrictions.
7. You must be aware of No Drone Zones.
8. You must fly within the visual line of sight so that you or the observer can see the drone at all times.
9. You must move aside and let manned aircraft pass – without interfering in its path.
Here are the rules for flying drones for recreational purposes:
1. If you want to fly drones for fun in the USA, you need to take the TRUST exam (The Recreational UAS Safety Test).
2. You don’t have to register your drone if it weighs less than 250 grams.
3. You must follow the safety guidelines of a CBO (Community Based Organization) like AMA – The Academy of Modern Aeronautics.
4. You must fly your drone in Class G (uncontrolled) airspace.
5. You need to have airspace authorization if you want to fly in Class B, C, D or E controlled airspace.
There are some exceptions for recreational UAV operators. You can read Advisory Circular 91-57B for more information.
Following are the rules for flying drones for non-recreational purposes:
1. To fly drones commercially you need a Remote Pilot Certificate – Part 107 license.
2. You can not fly your drone at a speed of more than 100 MPH.
3. To become an FAA-Certified drone pilot you must be at least 16 years old.
4. You must be able to understand, read, write, and speak English.
5. You must be mentally and physically able to operate a UAV safely.
6. Before signing up for the knowledge test, create an IACRA (Integrated Airman Certification and Rating Application) profile.
7. You must be aware of airspace restrictions and avoid flying drones, particularly near airports. Make sure to not put anyone or any other aircraft at risk.
8. Commercial UAV pilots can fly drones at night, over people and moving vehicles without a waiver under Part 107 as long as the rules are followed. You must have airspace authorization for night operations.
To learn more about how to get a Remote Pilot Certificate you can visit FAA’s website.
Download our free Part 107 drone certification study guide.Download your Free Copy
If you’re planning to travel to the US and plan to bring your drone, here are a few things you need to know before flying:
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) sets rules and laws for all types of airspace in the United States. But the airspace isn’t only regulated by the FAA. Each state has its own set of laws governing drones, and it’s important to be aware of them before you take off. Rules can get overwhelming we have tried our best to simplify and organize them on this page so you get a clear overview of state regulations.
*The rest of the states’ drone laws will be added soon.
You can register your drones at FAA DroneZone either under Part 107 or the Exceptions for Recreational Flyers. To be sure which type of recreational pilot you are, use FAA’s User Identification Tool or go to its Getting Started page to know more.
Points to Consider
Drones are permitted in the United States of America for both recreational and commercial purposes, subject to FAA and local regulations. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approves commercial drone flights under Part 107 and flying recreational drones under the FAA TRUST test.
A typical range for mid-range drones is between 400 meters to 3 kilometers (0.25 to 1.5 miles). However, a toy drone may only be able to fly up to 100 yards. A high-end consumer drone can travel up to 8 kilometers (4.5 miles).
Yes, you need to obtain an FAA drone license to fly a drone in the USA.
The Recreational UAS Safety Test (TRUST) is a recreational drone pilot certification program designed to help recreational pilots prove their skills and obtain a certificate proving they’ve passed a basic aeronautical knowledge and safe flying test.
Prepare for the FAA TRUST test with Drone U, an FAA-approved Test Administrator.
Yes, they do. Every state has different laws and regulations regarding UAS (drones). That’s why we suggest you go through the information provided above to get aware of the new drone rules and laws within a state.
Yes, you can fly drones at night. For more information visit the Part 107 Waiver page.
Watch this video to get the answer:
Note: The information on this page is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for legal advice. We encourage you to consult with an attorney before performing any operation involving UAS.
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