Drone Regulations in North America

The drone laws in North America are currently in transition. Here you find a collection of the current rules.

For a better overview, we have summarized the provisions vividly in two North American maps: The first map is for the private use of drones and the second card represents the arrangements for commercial drone use.

Private use in North America

North America map private Placeholder
North America map private
Commercial drone use in North America

North America map commercial Placeholder
North America map commercial
Legend
  • Green indicates that you can use your copter without prior authorization under the applicable regulations. In many cases, you can get a special permit for operations beyond the rules. In some countries, you may fly without authorization, but only without a mounted camera. These countries are not green – but yellow – marked; as most pilots certainly want to create films and photographs.
  • Yellow indicates that you need to register your drone or yourself, you must apply for a permit or you need to pass a test. You will learn the details below.
  • Red indicates that the commissioning of drones is prohibited. In these countries, you should be especially careful, because even at the airport your drone can be confiscated partially under the laws or you can be arrested only because of the possession of the drone.
  • Grey means that I have not found reliable information or I do not sufficiently understand the drone laws. If you can help here, I appreciate your comment on the article!

Before you start here, you should also read my article on the international drone laws view. There I list general safety precautions that you should always be aware and call tips for dealing with no-fly areas.

The research for this article took several weeks and the ongoing update process of the current legal situation is extremely time-consuming. Please consider to support us with a donation. Your help makes it possible that we can update and improve this article permanently! Thank you so much in advance! ๐Ÿ™‚

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To the Drone Rules in North America:

Bahamas, BarbadosBelizeBermuda, CanadaCosta Rica, CubaDominican Republic, GrenadaJamaica, Mexico, NicaraguaUSA

Are you ever flown with your drone in North America? Share your experiences in the comments below!

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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 birdโ€™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, donโ€™t hesitate to leave us a comment!

Discussions

  • Samantha Baker | 28.10.2016

    Thank you for sharing this on your blog. It would be really helpful for travelers like me. Ive been planning to visit North America, although some of the cities/towns/states are not here, but I assumed that they covered almost the same laws. I have plans on going there in couple of weeks after this holiday. With this as a reference, I may have an idea on what to bring and how I should use and apply my drones. Ive been a drone user since my husband introduced this hobby to me (three months ago). And Ive never been so happier!

  • Maciej | 19.07.2017

    Do you know anything about the regulations in Cuba?
    Thanks!

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