Drone Laws in Mexico

Flying drones in Mexico

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

Do you own a drone and want to take it with you on your next trip to Mexico? Magical aerial shots of azure seas and ancient Mayan ruins from a bird’s eye view sound tempting, but there are some important rules you should know. This guide will provide you with the information you need to fly your drone legally in Mexico.

Required documents and registration

Before you can explore Mexican airspace with your drone, you need to register it. This requires the following documents:

  • Proof of purchase of your drone: An invoice or other document confirming your ownership is essential. As your invoice is probably not in Spanish, you will need to include a translation of the invoice.
  • Proof of residence: According to information we received by email from the Mexican aviation authority, foreigners must present a document issued by the immigration authorities that certifies your regular residence status in the country. It is not yet clear to us whether this proof is also required from tourists who are only staying in the country for a short period of time. Please let us know in the comments what your experience is with this!
  • Registration form “K”: This is an Excel file that you have to fill out as an RPAS operator. Print out the completed file, sign the form and send it together with the purchase invoice and a scan of your passport to [email protected]. Please remember to include your address in Mexico on the form.

Usage restrictions and weight limits

There are clear guidelines for you as a foreign citizen when using your drone:

  • Recreational purposes only: according to Mexican aviation regulations, you may only use your drone for personal use and not commercially. To our knowledge, it is not possible to obtain a permit for commercial drone flights as a foreigner.
  • Weight limit: The drone may not exceed a maximum take-off weight of up to 2 kilograms.

Caution at archaeological sites

It may sound tempting to capture ancient Mayan temples from the air. But you should be aware that drone flights are prohibited at many archaeological sites (e.g. Chichen Itza, Monte Alban)! As you are only allowed to take private photos as a foreigner, I think it is very unlikely that you will be granted an exemption.

If you have visited a historical site, please let us know in the comments if you have seen any prohibition signs on site or if you have any other recent experiences!

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 Fuß) 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 Mexican drone regulations

Keep your drone always within visual line of sight!

The regulations for Mexico are divided into three weight categories:

  • Up to 2 kilograms: Over 250 grams, registration is required
  • Over 2 to max. 25 kilograms: Registration is required (only for locals)
  • Over 25 kilograms: Permit and registration required (only for locals)

A distance of 9.2 kilometers must be maintained between airports and drones. Your drone may come within 900 meters of a heliport.

Drone flights are prohibited when a group of at least 12 people are gathered.

Drones may only be used in Mexico during daylight hours.

Good to know: I have heard from several sources that drones have been confiscated in Mexico. Some also say they had to pay 16% tax on the new value of the drone if they had no proof of purchase.

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 drone in Mexico!

Dir hat der Artikel gefallen? Dann teile ihn doch mit deinen Freunden!

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 several drones like the DJI Phantom 4 Pro+ or the DJI Mini 3 Pro. On our blog we share the best tips for you about travelling with a drone. If you have questions about this article or new information, don’t hesitate to leave us a comment!


  • 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

  • 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):

    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. 🙁


      • 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.


          • 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!

  • jesse | 26.12.2019


    I have a DJI Spark, and I am registered in Canada (I am only 15 btw). I am flying from Canada to Cancun in 2 days!! I have my Canadian drone license and i want to fly in Mexico in about 2 days!! I am not legal to register as I I am under 18. Do I take my drone or not?

  • Brahim | 14.01.2020

    Did I understand correctly that the DJI MAVIC MINI does not have to be registered because it weighs under 250 grams?

  • paul | 06.02.2020

    This is exactly what I am trying to find the answer for to as I also have 1 and would like to use it in Cancun in April

  • mark | 08.02.2020

    i too would like to know if i can bring my mavic mini with me from the UK . i cant find anything that says drones under 250 grammes are ok

  • Andrei | 03.03.2020

    Dear Sirs,
    Please give me some​ adviсe on the following issue.​
    I am going to come to Playa del Carmen on vacation in April – May.
    May​ I bring a Spark drone (300 grams) with me?
    May​ I use it to make​ photos and​ videos of myself?
    What do I need to provide to get permission to fly?

  • Drone Traveller Team | 07.03.2020

    Hi Andrei,
    There is an update of the law which has been in effect since January 2020. It again states that foreigners are not allowed to fly in Mexico unless there is a bilateral agreement with their country. We do not have any information about which countries might have such an agreement, so we recommend you try to find out if maybe you are lucky and your country is exempted from the general ban of foreign drones.

  • Cesar | 29.10.2020

    Are we allowed to bring our 249 gram drone without issue?

    • Drone Traveller Team | 29.10.2020

      Hello Cesar,
      We cannot answer your question properly without more information. As stated above, the current law says that only Mexican citizens are allowed drones in the country, no matter their weight. There are exceptions for scientific purposes.

  • Thiago Cardoso | 28.08.2021

    Very strange this post about Mexico. I’ve been to there several times and never registered my drone (Mavic Pro ~750 g) and never applied for any license. In the airport CDMX, they opened a couple times my drone bag: they removed needles and a screwdriver that I use with it, but always allowed me to enter with the drone. I’ve flown in many cities without any issue, near to policemen, even in crowded places.

    Just one time, a policemen asked me to down the drone because it was not allowed to fly. So, I asked him what was the law. As he did not now, I kept flying.

    In my opinion, Mexico is the most drone-friendly country I’ve ever visited, more friendly even than Brazil, my home country.

    • Drone Traveller Team | 09.09.2021

      Hi Thiago,
      Thank you for sharing your experience. However, we have also heard the opposite where drones were confiscated. Our articles include the official rules but, of course, some people might be lucky and have no problems.

  • Michał | 26.04.2022

    is there any new informations? I’m planning a trip to Mexico this year and I’m wondering if I should take my drone (595g)?

    • Francis Markert | 03.05.2022

      Hi Michał,
      we don’t have new information. I am sorry!

  • chris Skinner | 02.11.2022

    YOU CAN in the Micro catagory SUB 250 Gram. Also, Here is a translated version of the regulations. It’s a mess, but in short if you are under 250 grams your good to fly following recreational guidelines as expressed by the representative in an email I received from SCT.GOB.MX.
    I wrote a letter to the representative of the AFAC. Here is his reply.

    Good afternoon, if the drone is for recreational use and is less than 250 grams if it can operate and therefore as a foreigner.

    However, you must observe the restrictions and limitations indicated in the aforementioned standard. The link is attached for review and compliance.


  • Ben | 15.11.2022

    Any update on these bilateral agreements, at all? It’s weird they can be highlighted but with zero references to underlying criteria, processes, or even which countries are exempt.

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