Law Firm of Sean Imran

Understanding Drone Laws of New York

Drones have become increasingly popular in recent years for various purposes, including aerial photography, package delivery, and even recreational use. However, it's important to be aware of the regulations and laws surrounding drones to ensure their safe and responsible operation. If you live in New York State or plan to fly a drone there, here are the key drone laws you need to know:

Registration Requirements

Before you can fly a drone in New York State, you must register it with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). This applies to all drones weighing between 0.55 pounds (250 grams) and 55 pounds (25 kilograms). Registration is a simple process that can be done online, and you will receive a unique registration number to affix to your drone.

Flight Restrictions

When flying a drone in New York State, there are certain restrictions you must adhere to. Firstly, drones cannot be flown above 400 feet in altitude. Additionally, they must always remain within the operator's line of sight, meaning you should be able to see your drone at all times. Flying drones over large crowds, near airports, or in restricted airspace is strictly prohibited.

No-Fly Zones

It's crucial to be aware of the designated no-fly zones in New York State. These include areas such as national parks, military bases, and government facilities. Flying a drone in these areas is not only against the law but can also pose a risk to public safety. Always check for any temporary flight restrictions before taking your drone out for a flight.

Privacy and Surveillance

Respecting the privacy of others is paramount when flying a drone. In New York State, it is illegal to use a drone for surveillance purposes without consent. This means you cannot record or photograph individuals or private property without permission. It's important to fly your drone responsibly and consider the privacy rights of others.

Commercial Drone Operations

If you plan to use your drone for commercial purposes, such as aerial photography or videography, you must obtain a Remote Pilot Certificate from the FAA. This requires passing a knowledge test to demonstrate your understanding of drone regulations and safe operating practices. Commercial drone operators must also comply with additional regulations, such as maintaining liability insurance.

Penalties for Violations

Failure to comply with drone laws in New York State can result in serious consequences. Violations can lead to fines, confiscation of your drone, and even criminal charges in certain cases. It's important to familiarize yourself with the laws and regulations to avoid any legal troubles and ensure the safety of yourself and others.

Resources for More Information

If you have any further questions or need more information regarding drone laws in New York State, there are resources available to help. The FAA website is a valuable source of information, providing guidance on registration, operating rules, and safety guidelines. Additionally, local government websites and community organizations may offer specific information and resources tailored to your area.


As drones continue to gain popularity, it's essential to stay informed about the laws and regulations that govern their use. In New York State, registering your drone, adhering to flight restrictions, respecting privacy rights, and obtaining the necessary certifications for commercial operations are key requirements. By following these laws, you can enjoy flying your drone safely and responsibly while avoiding any legal issues.