United States Drone Laws

United States Drone Laws

Img 1: Aerial Photography In United States


  1. General United States Drone Laws
  2. Drone Permits In United States
  3. Brining Your Drone On Airplanes Guide
  4. Buying Drones In United States
  5. Drone Travel Guide Articles
  6. Contact Information For Questions

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General United States Drone Laws

United States Drone Laws and regulations allow drones to ONLY be used for recreational use. They recently however have begun requiring users to register their drones. For more information on this, please see our article called “Do I Need To Register My Drone?” When using your drone please adhere to the guidelines below.

  • Respect others privacy when flying your drone
  • Maintain sufficient distance from populated areas.
  • Do NOT fly your drone higher than 400 feet.
  • It is illegal to fly your drone in national parks, or within Washington DC regardless if you are flying for recreational or commercial purposes. A comprehensive Where can you fly? in the United States is available here.
  • Stay away from airports, helicopters, and sensitive sites such as military and power installations.
  • Stay away from individuals and vulnerable property when flying your drone
  • Do NOT fly your drone beyond the line of sight.
  • Do NOT fly a drone weighing more than 55lbs.
  • Prior notice MUST be given to the airport operator and air traffic control tower when flying your drone within 5 miles of an airport.

Permit Needed For Recreational Drone Use?

A drone permit is not required for recreational drone use. Please adhere to the above General United States Drone Laws however when flying your drone. (What Is Recreational Drone Use?)

Permit Needed For Commercial Drone Use?

A permit is not required for commercial drone use in the United States. (What Is Commercial Drone Use?)

Bringing Your Drone On Airplanes Guide

For a detailed guide to bringing your drone on airplanes click here. All drones should be brought on carry on luggage if possible. This is because according to the Montreal Convention, airlines are only liable for losses up to ~$1,000 USD. When traveling internationally, theft and lost luggage can be common issues, particularly if your flight has many connections. If your drone is worth more than $1,000 USD and you cannot bring it onto the plane you should consider shipping it with DHL, Fedex, or UPS instead and fully insure the shipment.

You should NOT place drone batteries in your checked baggage. All drone batteries should be placed in a Medium Size Lipo Battery Bag" data-src="//ir-na.amazon-adsystem.com/e/ir?t=uavsystemsint-20&l=am2&o=1&a=B007V9MN44" alt="" width="1" height="1" border="0" /> like the one shown here in the link and brought onto the plane in your carry on bag. Lithium-ion batteries are considered “dangerous goods” by airlines and rules surrounding these batteries on planes are EXTREMELY strict due to multiple incidents of these batteries catching fire. Failure to properly pack lithium-ion batteries in a bag such as the one shown in the link above can result in the airline seizing them, you getting fined, or being denied boarding.

Here is some video footage shot by Saywerhartman when flying a drone in Hawaii, United States.

Buying Drones In Uganda

Read all of our United States Drone Laws, and now looking for drones, parts, accessories, or something else? Read our guide for Buying Drones In United States. It includes information on drones for sale in United States, import taxes, payment options, and shipping.

Drone Travel Guide

United States drone laws are up to date as of March 2, 2022. Please email [email protected] , or click “leave a message” at the bottom right of the screen if you have any questions or comments.