Even the sky has limits. Learn the drone laws.

Got a drone? You need to learn the drone laws before you take flight – otherwise you risk big fines!
This applies to everyone taking to the skies – for recreational, educational or commercial purposes.

1. Determine which of the two legal ways to fly works best for you.

All drone pilots need to obtain a remote pilot certificate from the FAA. The only exception is for some non-commercial pilots who are active participants in and follow the safety guidelines of a community-based organization.

Remember, you must follow one of the two drone laws.

Follow Part 107,
the Small UAS Rule:

The default law drone pilots must follow is known as the FAA’s Small UAS Rule. This rule requires a drone operator to obtain a Remote Pilot Certificate from the FAA. Any and all drone pilots can operate under Part 107.

Learn more about Part 107

Follow Part 101,
the Special Rule for Model Aircraft:

The only exception to the FAA’s Small UAS Rule is for members of the AMA or those otherwise operating within the safety programming of a community-based organization. This is known as the Special Rule for Model Aircraft. This option is only available to drone operators flying for hobby or recreational purposes.

Learn more about Part 101

2. All drone pilots must register with the FAA.

WARNING: Anyone flying in a careless and reckless manner could face civil and criminal penalties, as well as jail time. The FAA could fine you up to $27,500 for civil penalties and/or up to $250,000 for criminal penalties.

Most importantly, everyone flying drones should follow these basic safety guidelines at all times:

  • Keep your sUAS in eyesight at all times, and use an observer to assist if needed.
  • Remain well clear of and do not interfere with manned aircraft operations, and you must see and avoid other aircraft and obstacles at all times.
  • Do not intentionally fly over unprotected persons or moving vehicles, and remain at least 25 feet away from individuals and vulnerable property.
  • Contact the airport and control tower before flying within five miles of an airport or heliport.
  • Do not fly in adverse weather conditions such as in high winds or reduced visibility.
  • Do not fly under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • Ensure the operating environment is safe and that the operator is competent and proficient in the operation of the sUAS.
  • Do not fly near or over sensitive infrastructure or property such as power stations, water treatment facilities, correctional facilities, heavily traveled roadways, government facilities, etc.
  • Check and follow all local laws and ordinances before flying over private property.
  • Do not conduct surveillance or photograph persons in areas where there is an expectation of privacy without the individual’s permission.