If you want to ensure that you are safely using your drone throughout the United States of America, we suggest that you look into laws governed by each state. Now, you might not know this, but there's no universal formula for the entire country. So, it’s better to play it safe - and get information from your local police station or online.

Can I Have A Drone In Texas?

Flag_of_Texas

Yes, you can have a drone in Texas - for recreational and commercial purposes. Drones are subjected to the FAA guidelines and regulations, and local governments issue flight controls. You can take photos and videos - but make sure to keep on reading to get all the information. 

What Type Of Drones Does The Texas Legislature Stand Behind?

The State of Texas recognizes drones as “unmanned aerial vehicles” or UAVs for short. The drones have to be operated remotely - they cannot carry the operator or fly autonomously. 

The Texas law allows taking pictures and even using them by certain professionals - as long as the individuals in the photographs are not identifiable. 

Recreational Drone Flying in Texas

Recreational use of drones or UAS is allowed in Texas for fun and pleasure activities. That said, you do have to take The Recreational UAS Safety Test - TRUST for short - as required by the FAA. 

You also have to adhere to the recreational model aircraft rules issued by FAA. The guidelines require registering the vehicle, keeping the drone in your sight when operating, and refraining from alcohol and other substances when flying your unmanned vehicle. 

You should have your registration document with you when operating the UAV and mark your drone with the registration number. Also, make sure to take your proof of TRUST passage with you, as well, to avoid getting in trouble with the law. 

Do I Have To Register My Drone In Texas?

Well, it depends. Some operators must register drones with FAA - while others do not. If your drone weighs under 0.55 pounds, it doesn’t need to be registered, but if it does, the owner has to pay $5 for the registration fee at FAA, which lasts three years. 

Do keep in mind that drones cannot weigh over 55 pounds. So, if their weight is near the limit, consult your local FAA for further instructions.

flying drone

Can I Still Get Penalties If I Use A Drone In Texas?

Of course, you can - if you break the law and regulations of the state of Texas. It is against the law to fly drones and other UAVs over critical infrastructure facilities or take photos and videos of wildlife unless permitted.

Keep in mind that flying drones in state parks is strictly prohibited unless you obtain a permit, which will take at least a few weeks to receive. Also, the state law prohibits flying drones over correctional and detention facilities and sports venues. 

Another critical point to remember is that only the members of the law enforcement can take photos and videos of property located within the 25 miles of the US border - and only if it’s for border security reasons. 

What If I Want To Fly My Commercial Drone In Texas?

Commercial use of drones is allowed in Texas - as long as you follow the FAA guidelines. 

You must pass the Aeronautical Knowledge Test with FAA to obtain a Remote Pilot Certificate before you start flying your drone for commercial purposes. 

To get the Remote Pilot Certificate, you must be over 16, understand English, get the tracking number, study for the test, and fulfill the FAA-approved form upon passing the test. If you wish to take photos for insurance purposes or insurance companies, you must be authorized by FAA to do so. 


About the Author
 Ruan Nelio

When I'm not geeking out over the newest drones, I'm busy flying my DJI Mavic 2 Pro all over Oslo. The coolest part about this job is I get to keep some of the drones I review, which happens to be how I got my Mavic 2!

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