So you got yourself a drone, and now you want to take it out for its first test flight?

Well, before you do, you need to be aware of the rules and regulations that the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) has put in place for flying drones in the United States. You should also know your rights and the rights of those around you.

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General rules for flying a drone in the US

Here we’ve outlined the general drone laws USA.

Register your drone.

The first thing you want to do, if your drone weighs more than 8.8 ounces or 250 grams, you’ll need to register for an FAA identification number, which comes at the cost of 5$.

This will allow you to own and fly drones, as many as you want, for three years, before having to register again. You will need to place your assigned identification number on the exterior of your drone so it is visible at all times.

Now you’re one step closer to flying your drone. The next step you need to know is the rules of the sky, and they are as follows:

  • Fly at or below 400 feet (120 meters)
  • Keep your drone within your line-of-sight
  • Don’t fly in restricted airspace.
  • Don’t fly near other aircraft, especially near airports, and never interfere with manned aircraft.
  • Don’t fly dangerously, including under the influence of alcohol or drugs or near emergency response or law enforcement activities.
  • Don’t fly over groups of people.
  • Don’t fly over stadiums or sporting events.

Additionally, keep in mind that National Parks have banned the use of drones within their territories.

To show that you know these rules, you’ll need to take a short test. You can take the TRUST test for free through several FAA-approved websites, and you can keep on trying till you get all the correct answers. Once you pass the test, you’ll get a certificate.

The FAA also has an app called B4UFLY that you can use to check if you’re flying in legal airspace before you take to the air.

Now you know the general US drone regulations, but also remember to use common sense and be mindful of others when flying your drone. Remember that not everyone will be as comfortable with your drone, especially if they don’t know you.

Also, while it is not illegal to fly over private property, private property owners can ask you to leave and not fly on their property, so it’s a good idea to obtain permission to fly on a property you don’t own.

Another thing to keep in mind is that the rules might vary from state to state.

drone in nyc

Rules for flying a drone for recreational use

The rules for flying a drone recreationally areas we have outlined above.

Be sure to register for your FAA identification number and mark your drone, take the TRUST test and keep the certificate on you, when you fly, check the B4UFLY-app to make sure your flight is legal, and follow the rules of the sky and your common sense, when taking to the skies.

Rules for flying a drone for commercial use

If you want to use your drone commercially, you will need to take the more extensive and more challenging Part 107 certification; then, once you’re certified, you’ll be able to capture photos and video footage for commercial purposes.

To get the Part 107 certification, you’ll need to fulfil the requirements outlined in the next part.

Certification requirements in the USA

First and foremost, you must be at least 16 years old; you must be able to speak, read, write and understand English and be physically and mentally able to operate a small UAS safely.

Learn the rules

Ensure you understand what is and is now allowed under “Part 107 Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems”-rules and which operations aren’t covered by Part 107, which requires a waiver.

drone in mountains

Take the knowledge test to become an FAA-certified drone pilot

Study for the knowledge test, using the suggested study materials provided by the FAA. Obtain an FAA Tracking Number by creating an IACRA-profile before registering for the knowledge test. Schedule an appointment and take the test at an FAA-approved knowledge testing center.

Register your drone

Register your drone with the FAA. It will cost you 5$ and be valid for three years.

Remote ID

The Remote ID is the ability of a drone in flight to provide identification and location information that other parties can receive. It’s not in place yet but will serve as a virtual license plate for your drone.

Basic FAA guidelines

We’ll once again go over the basic FAA guidelines for flying your drone here:

  • Fly at or below 400 feet (120 meters)
  • Keep your drone within your line-of-sight
  • Don’t fly in restricted airspace.
  • Don’t fly near other aircraft, especially near airports, and never interfere with manned aircraft.
  • Don’t fly dangerously, including under the influence of alcohol or drugs or near emergency response or law enforcement activities.
  • Don’t fly over groups of people.
  • Don’t fly over stadiums or sporting events.

Rent or subscribe to your next drone

So there you have it, the drone laws US. Now that you know the rules consider using our website to help you rent or subscribe to your next drone.

Drone Laws USA FAQ

Who regulated drones in the US?

The FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) regulates the drone laws in the USA.

Do you need a license to fly a drone in the USA?

You need to register for an FAA identification number and mark your drone and complete the TRUST test to fly a drone recreationally.

You’ll need the more extensive Part 107 certification to fly commercially.

Which states have banned drones?

There are nine states — California, Kentucky, Michigan, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Wisconsin, and West Virginia, where you will need to look into the specific laws of the states.