Safely using your drone is imperative. Flying a drone is usually legal in the US, but every state has its laws about using and flying your drone - and Washington state is no different.

You must do your due diligence and look up the laws in your state to ensure you are not overstepping the boundaries with your drone. Get all the info you need to fly your drone - be it online or by calling the nearest police station.

Flag of Washington

Can I Have A Drone In Washington?

Yes, you can. Flying a drone for recreational and commercial purposes is completely legal in the state of Washington. However, you’ll need to follow the FAA guidelines regarding the safe flying of the drone.

And in addition to that, you will need to follow the flight controls set by the local government.

What Type Of Drones Does The Washington Legislature Stand Behind?

Washington state recognizes drones as “unmanned aircraft systems,” or UAS for short. This type of aircraft can fly autonomously or be operated remotely, and it cannot be used from within or carry passengers inside of it. 

In Washington state, you cannot fly drones in state parks without the written permission of the State Park’s Superintendent. You’ll need to obtain a Remote Controlled Aircraft Permit and follow all the rules and restrictions included in the permit.

Remote Controlled Aircraft Permit a

Picture credit: https://www.parks.wa.gov/1080/Remote-Controlled-Aircraft

Recreational Drone Flying in Washington

Recreational drone flying for fun in Washington state is entirely legal, provided that you follow the rules and requirements set by the FAA. First up, you’ll need to take the Recreational UAS Safety Test - called TRUST for short - and carry the proof of passage with you.

Besides that, you will always need to keep the drone in your visual line of sight, fly it under 400 feet at all times, and register the drone if it fulfills the FAA's requirements.

Do I Have To Register My Drone In Washington?

Some drones have to be registered in Washington state - but some don’t. If your drone weighs over 0.55 pounds and under 55 pounds, it needs to be registered with FAA. It costs $5, and the registration lasts for three years. 

If your drone weighs closer to 55 pounds, consult FAA about potential registration issues that may occur.

Your drone will have to have a sticker with the registration number on it - and you will need to take the registration document with you when flying the drone. 

registration number on drone

Photo credit: https://pilotinstitute.com/drone-registration-number-markings/

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

Of course, you can - if you don’t follow the state and local law and the FAA regulations about drone flying. Flying your drone in an unsafe manner - such as flying it way too near an airport - can get you in trouble.

Also, local laws in Seattle prohibit the use of drones in parks and flying the drone over or near city-owned property without obtaining a permit to do so first. 

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

Flying drones for work or business purposes is legal in Washington, provided you follow the FAA requirements for commercial drone flying. One of the most crucial rules you must follow if using a drone for business purposes is obtaining the Aeronautical Knowledge Test required by the FAA.

Once you pass the Aeronautical Knowledge Test, you’ll get the Remote Pilot Certificate. When flying your drone, you should always take the proof of passage with you - just in case. 


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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