State and Other Drone Laws and Rules

Introduction

I thought it might be helpful for all of us, myself included, to start gathering state laws and requirements related to drones. Of course, the federal laws are the most common and the ones that we hear much more about. Many states have considered or enacted laws related to drones. There are also some other random requirements that aren’t well advertised. For example, there are limitations on using drone in national parks. I will include that information here as well.
We will do everything we can to keep this up to date. It’s a rapidly changing landscape with a lot of nuances around the country. I’d love your help so please let me know about any information that you have on your state (or any state) or other similar requirements.
Each state and other areas have their own page. Below is a list of each state. If there aren’t any links then I don’t have information on that state yet.
Each of the pages is organized as follows:
  • Recent changes to state laws
  • Upcoming changes (changes that are passed but not yet in place)
  • Current state laws (including references and sources where I have them)
  • Changes being proposed, discussed or just rumored
  • Other information
  • Any state agencies you should know about

We have also included additional resources at the bottom of the page.  These include links to other sites, podcasts and other resources related to drone law and where it is today.  If you know of any more, please let us know.

Hopefully, you find this a helpful resource.  We are open to any ideas that you have on how to make it more useful.

General Trends

While each state differs, we have noticed a few patterns in our research.  Think about these as you plan your flights.

  • Specific drone rules are rare.  In some cases, it’s difficult to tell where the federal rules end, allowing the states some ability to pass rules.  Therefore, even in states with drone specific rules, there might be confusion.  In general, if the federal government has rules for something then they trump the state rules.  State rules apply on top of the federal rules, usually.
  • In most states, general rules like privacy, trespassing, reckless endangerment apply whether you are in a drone, your car or your backyard.
  • Most states have an aviation division of the department of transportation.  That can be a good source for information.

Other Drone Requirements

 

State Drone Laws


Drone Laws in Other American Territories and Related Areas

American Samoa

American Virgin Islands

Guam

Puerto Rico

 

Additional Drone Law Resources

Drone Law Today

This is great drone law information by attorney Steve Hogan where he interviews current players in drone law throughout the country. He provides an attorney’s perspective with a lot of information on the current state of drone laws, practical information and where things are headed.  Included is the Drone Law podcast.  He has also written a couple of books on drone laws that are available on his site.  This includes a book specifically on State Drone Laws.  It’s a great resource from a very knowledgeable source.

J Rupprecht Law

Jonathon Rupprecht is another aviation attorney and pilot.  He is a prolific writer of a number of great resources including an FAR 107 Study Guide, an early book on US Drone law (which, we hear he is updating now), a drone specific logbook and a number of resources on his site on current events in drone law.  His site is a great legal resource and worth watching.