Drone Laws in Mexico

Flying drones in Mexico

In this post, you will find all relevant regulations for the use of drones in Mexico.

The bad news right at the beginning: Foreigners are not allowed to fly drones unless their country has a special agreement with Mexico. There are exceptions for scientific purposes. Permission must be sought from the Defense Agency (Secretaría de la Defensa Nacional).

Overview: Drone rules in Mexico

Recreational use of drones allowed? Yes, after registration or approval
Commercial use of drones permitted? Yes, after registration or approval
Maximum Altitude:122 Meter (400,3 Foot) in uncontrolled airspace.
Is drone insurance mandatory? Yes, for private and commercial drone flights. Learn more about drone insurance here.
Does the drone need a badge?Yes.
Drone labels can be ordered here
Is a registration necessary? Yes.
Keep distance to airports
Respect the privacy of other people
Contact information

Secretaría de Comunicaciones y Transportes
[email protected]

Resources:Drone rules

Further drone rules in Mexico

You must always be able to see your copter with the naked eye during the flight.

The drone requirements for Mexico are divided into three weight categories:

  • Up to 2 kilograms: Drones over 250 grams must be registered
  • Over 2 to max. 25 kilograms: Registration is required
  • Over 25 kilograms: Permission and registration are required

9.2 kilometers distance must be respected between airports and drones. At a heliport, your drone may approach up to 900 meters.

Drone flights are prohibited over a gathering of at least 12 people.

Drones can only be used in daylight.

According to forum reports, special flight approvals are required for flights to archaeological sites such as Chichen Itza.

Good to know: From several sides, I have already heard that drones were confiscated in Mexico. That’s why I would always follow the rules. Supposedly some securities even have jamming devices that allow them to take over the control of your drone. No idea if it’s true, but I would not risk.

We have researched the listed drone regulations for Mexico to the best of our knowledge. We cannot guarantee the correctness of the information. If you want to be on the safe side, contact the competent aviation authority. Alternatively, you can also ask the embassy in your country for further information about the regulations. Please leave us a comment when you receive news and/or gain experience with your copter in Mexico!

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About the author

Since January 2015, we travel around the world. In our backpack we carry a camera drone which we use to capture the best places from a bird’s perspective. First we travelled with a DJI Phantom 2. But now we use a Yuneec Typhoon H. On our blog we share the best tips for you about travelling with a copter. If you have questions about this article or new information, don’t hesitate to leave us a comment!

Discussions

  • Colin Hornbaker | 04.07.2018

    Looking to work on a production shoot in Mexico next month with my Inspire 2. The information above says “Approval must be requested” for a drone of this size.

    does this approval mean a permit/where would i receive a permit at, or does it just mean i need to ask permission from a location coordinator?
    Also how does customs handle this type of equipment since the Inspire 2 wont fit in carry on
    Thanks
    Colin

  • Elias | 26.09.2018

    After reading this post, I take some time to make a research on MX government website. BTW I’m Mexican citizen.
    and found the only issue from now until Dec 2018 (this year), is that any Drone with 2 Kg (a bit more of 4 Lb) or more, must be registered.
    How to make the registration??
    = They asked to fill and submit to an email address ([email protected]) the Form linked at the end of the page I will bring to you on this comment, including a photo copy of your proof of purchase or any document that proof you are the owner of the drone…, a photo copy or scan of your personal ID, and that’s it!!
    I highly suggest to take pictures of s/n and send them as well as part of the proof of ownership. All this files must be sent in only using any of the following file formats: .pdf, .docx, .jpg o .png

    Here is the link (in Spanish):
    http://www.sct.gob.mx/transporte-y-medicina-preventiva/aeronautica-civil/3-servicios/35-rpas-drones/

    Any doubt, please comment on this forum, and I’ll be responding the soonest possible.

    Have a nice day,
    Elias R

  • Jeremy | 26.11.2018

    Any idea what the changes are going to be in december? I had not heard of anything changing since october, but I’ve been out of the drone world for a few months so i need to catch up. Thanks!

    • Elias R | 27.11.2018

      Hi Jeremy,
      What the web says (Not official yet) is the following:
      -To flew a Drone without license will be punished with a fine of up to $403K MX Pesos (about $21,210 USD).
      -To obtain the License will be required to take a flight training in a certified school, been Mexican since born, have at least 18 years old, had committed the Mexican Military Service, have at least a high school degree, and been physically able to pass the aeronautic health exam (which is a Must).
      ——–
      I’m so sad to hear this topic is getting so Freaking hard. Seems to me (as a Mexican), than Mexico government is making a lot of steps backwards on this issue. Again, for me: It’s absurd, stupid and make no sense to be so tight. 🙁

      Source:
      http://www.notimex.gob.mx/ntxnotaLibre/598914/normas-más-estrictas-a-partir-de-diciembre-para-volar-drones-en-méxico

      • Hans G | 14.12.2018

        It does say that they are not sure yet if drones that weight less than 2 kilos will be affected by this new rule. I arrived in Mexico mid Nov. 2018 with Mavic2 pro and had no issues. I will return to Mex next year in July, would they confiscate it if customs checks my hand luggage?

        • Elias | 14.12.2018

          Even if the law is changed, I’m really sure it won’t be confiscated, as is not illegal to own them or travel with them into Mexico, what they could do, is to ask you for the usage you will bring to the drone in Mexico, and here is when a smart answer will save you; as you may (by all ways) to let them know you are will to flight the drone legally, and will ask (or already asked) for the needed permissions to start using it, and that you are aware of the risk and penalties involved if fail to do so.
          I will suggest to make a quick research (few days before arriving to Mexico) to see if the rules were updated or not by that date, or you can ask in this forum for an update, and we will gladly help you out with it.

          Cheers,
          Elias

          • Hans G | 14.12.2018

            I’m flying domestically in Mexico in the north in February. I’m concerned that security, when I pass it through x rays, might take my drone due to not having the required registration, since I’m a foreigner. I’m also in Oaxaca city for the next 2 months and wanted to fly it in the colonial center. Is the police or military in charge of enforcing this law? Would I get the big fine since my drone is below 2kgs? That’s what I didn’t understand. What are your thoughts?

        • Elias R | 17.12.2018

          Hi Hans,
          I’ll quote someone else comment, that fit on your concerns, and which I’m totally agree:
          Drones ARE legal in Mexico, however they need to be registered to fly if above certain weight, the information is in “legaleze-spanish” so I may be missinterpreting it, but someplace it refers that you cannot fly a drone registered in other country (I guess that’s where the “undocumented” part comes)

          You are legally authorized to import certain amount of merchandise with you plus personal belongings, which includes camera, laptop, etc. When I brought the drone to Mexico I was not asked to declare it, but if the case arised, I was ready to declare it as part of my photograph equipment, as the Mavic Air can be seen as a flying camera anyway 😉

          My suggestion for yous safest trip:
          – Keep the drone in your cabin bag, and if required, declare it as a personal tool for hobbie
          – Keep common sense, police may not know the law, and you are a foreign, so stay on the conservative side
          – DON’T fly on or over archeological sites, and DON’T publish videos/photos of them. There was a scandal recently about it, so authorities are specially in the look for that.
          – Drones are considered expensive, so make sure you are in a safe area, sad to say it, but crime is high, flying a drone is like showing off a nice watch or your latest iphone

          • Hans G | 28.12.2018

            Thanks for the update. I’ll be going to Guatemala in early Feb. and returning back to Mexico via Tapachula with the mavic pro. I guess since I’m not able to register the drone (now I understand that I won’t need a license to fly because of the lower weight), I’ll have to be cautious when and where I take off. Do you know if the new law is now in full effect?

          • Elias Rodriguez | 28.12.2018

            Hi Hans,
            No changes yet 🙂 hope you enjoy the trip on Tapachula, Chiapas

          • Hans G | 11.01.2019

            Hi Elias,
            Great to know that there are no changes. I’m making a visa run to Guatemala in 3 weeks and from GUA will fly to MEX airport to Los Cabos and then Monterrey to explore the north. Thanks for keeping me updated, muy apreciado. Hans

  • Peter | 02.12.2018

    The new rules are valid? I cant find it on internet. Iam at mexico now, and Iam mad at it.

    • Elias | 14.12.2018

      12-14-2018 –> Not yet, so far so good.

      • Elias R | 12.01.2019

        Anytime 🙂
        Enjoy your trip!

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