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, the FAA and state authorities have been continuously working towards making these drone laws practical while preventing drone misuse and protecting citizens.
We keep a close eye on the updates and try to keep this information as recent as possible.
Disclaimer: The content 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/drones.
Now 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.
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. All drones must be registered and should not weigh more than 55 pounds (25 kg).
3. Use B4UFLY Mobile App – the safety app from the FAA, which uses your GPS location to provide real-time information about airspace restrictions and other flying requirements.
4. You must be aware of No Drone Zones.
5. You must fly within the visual line of sight so that you or the observer can see the drone at all times.
6. You must learn about airspace restrictions, especially around airports, so your drone does not endanger people or other aircraft.
7. Drones can be flown without Remote ID equipment within FAA-Recognized Identification Areas (FRIAs).
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) and carry proof of test passage when flying.
2. You must follow the safety guidelines of an FAA-recognized CBO (Community Based Organization) like AMA – The Academy of Model Aeronautics.
3. You must fly your drone at or below 400 feet in Class G (uncontrolled) airspace.
4. You need to have authorization using LAANC or DroneZone before flying at or below FAA-authorized altitudes in Class B, C, D, and E controlled airspace.
5. Keep a current FAA registration, mark your drones on the outside with the registration number, and carry proof of registration with you when flying.
If you’re not sure which rules apply to your flight, fly under Part 107.
There are some exceptions for Limited Recreational UAV Operations. You can read Advisory Circular 91-57C for more information.
Following are the rules for flying drones for non-recreational purposes:
1. To fly drones commercially you must obtain a Remote Pilot Certificate – Part 107 license from the FAA.
2. You must pass the initial aeronautical knowledge exam: “Unmanned Aircraft General – Small (UAG)”.
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 and obtain an FAA Tracking Number (FTN).
7. 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.
If you are a non-U.S. citizen and intend to bring your drone when you visit the United States, here are the rules you need to follow.
You can register your drones at FAA DroneZone either under Part 107 or the Exceptions for Recreational Flyers. To be sure what kind of a drone pilot you are, use FAA’s User Identification Tool or go to the Getting Started page to know more.
Points to Consider
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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.
All drone operators required to register their UAS must operate their aircraft in accordance with the final rule on remote ID beginning September 16, 2023, which gives drone owners sufficient time to upgrade their aircraft.
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.
There are two ways for recreational or hobby UAS fliers to operate in the National Airspace System in accordance with the law and/or FAA regulations.
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 under Part 107. However, airspace authorizations are required for night operations in controlled airspace under 400 feet. For more information visit the Part 107 Waiver page.
Watch this video to get the answer:
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