Before you launch a drone for the first time, you should ensure that you have all the info about flying the drone in your state. Generally speaking, flying drones is legal in the US - but every state has laws and regulations about drones.
So, before you start, you should ensure that you’re well-acquainted with the law in your state. You can look up the state law online - or you could call your nearest police station.
Can I Have A Drone In Virginia?
Yes, you can have a drone in Virginia - and you can use it for both recreational, fun purposes, as well as commercial purposes. However, you must follow the FAA regulations set for either recreational or commercial use - whatever your needs are.
You must also keep in mind the flight controls set by the local government.
What Type Of Drones Does The Virginia Legislature Stand Behind?
Virginia recognizes drones as “unmanned aircraft systems” - which means that the aircraft cannot be operated from within or on the aircraft. The unmanned aircraft system can either fly autonomously or be operated remotely.
State law in Virginia has strict rules about the use of drones that would disturb the privacy of others. Keep in mind that many cities in this state have laws more stringent on the use of drones, so check it out before flying the drone to avoid any trouble.
Recreational Drone Flying in Virginia
Recreational drone flying is legal in Virginia for fun and enjoyment purposes. To use your drone recreationally, you must pass the Recreational UAS Safety Test (TRUST), though.
When flying the drone, you must carry the proof of passage and abide by the FAA regulations. You must keep the drone within your visual line of sight, be mindful of other people, respect their privacy, and keep away from airports and crewed aircraft.
Do I Have To Register My Drone In Virginia?
Many states do require the owners to register their drones, but the state of Virginia doesn’t - if your drone weighs under 0.55 pounds, that is. For drones that weigh over 0.55 pounds and under 55 pounds, you will need to register by paying the $5 registration fee, which lasts for three years.
When registered, your drone must have the registration number on it - and you must carry the proof of registration with you when using your drone.
Can I Still Get Penalties If I Use A Drone In Virginia?
Of course, you can - if you go against the state law or FAA regulations. In Virginia, it’s prohibited to fly drones in state and national parks or use the drone to harass people and take photos and videos of them without consent.
Do note that it is considered a Class 1 misdemeanor to use your drone for spying and stalking purposes, as well as peeping into an occupied building or property of another.
What If I Want To Fly My Commercial Drone In Virginia?
Commercial drone flying is legal in Virginia for work and business purposes. With that said, you must remember that there are specific FAA rules for commercial use of drones, including passing the FAA Aeronautical Knowledge Test.
You must understand English and be over 16 years of age to pass the test. Prepare for the test, take it, and get the tracking number. When you pass, you’ll get a Remote Pilot Certificate required by FAA to carry whenever you’re flying your drone.