In Iowa, you need permit to operate drone and may not fly your drone within 25 feet of someone at a recreational area like a beach or park or within 5 miles of an airport without permission. The new law in Iowa is similar to one passed in North Dakota.

Everyone knows that flying a drone in the United States is illegal without registering it with the FAA. However, many owners of drones are unaware of how to register them as required by federal law. Is it possible to fly a drone in Iowa? There’s a simple answer, but it’s not cut and dry. Let’s take a closer look at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations and specifically how they apply to Iowa.

Drone Laws In Iowa

Drone Laws In Iowa

Drone Laws Vary From Place To Place

Drone Laws Vary From Place To Place. The rules are changing all the time, so it’s important to know the rules before you fly. In some cases, commercial and recreational drone use may be allowed in certain areas of airspace, but not others. However, there are also many instances where drone use is banned altogether by local law (such as flying near an airport).

The best way to stay on top of these ever-changing regulations is to check with your local government before you fly. This includes contacting your state or county offices in addition to any federal agencies that regulate aviation or national parks where drones might be operating illegally

Commercial Drones In Iowa

If you’re flying a camera-equipped drone for money, you’ll want to be aware of the laws that apply to commercial drone operators in Iowa.

  • Your drone can’t weigh more than 55 pounds.
  • You need to register your UAV with the FAA and follow all federal regulations.
  • You can only fly your UAV during daylight hours and only within visual line-of-sight (VLOS).
  • You may not fly over people or property that are not yours without permission from the owner or operator of those properties.

Recreational Drones In Iowa

  • Register your drone with the FAA. You can do that here.
  • Be at least 13 years old to fly a recreational drone in Iowa.
  • Do not fly over people or stadiums, near emergency response efforts, or above 400 feet (this is the maximum altitude for flying drones around people).
  • Keep your drones within visual line of sight at all times and make sure you are not flying them near airports or airfields.

Related: Tennessee Drone Laws

Airports And Emergency Services In Iowa

It is also illegal to fly drones near airports (within five miles), emergency services, firefighting operations, and/or other emergency services operations.

Airports: The airport authority at an airport can restrict drone flights within three miles of the airport’s airspace.

Emergency Services: It is against the law to fly a drone within five miles of any emergency service operation on land or water—including search and rescue efforts. If an emergency vehicle has its lights flashing, you must not fly your drone closer than a half mile away from it.

Firefighting Operations: Federal regulations prohibit flying over firefighting operations if it will interfere with aviation safety or create a hazard for fire response personnel on scene.

How To Register Drone In Iowa

How To Register Drone In Iowa

If you’re in the state of Iowa, you’ll need to register your drone before it can fly. This is because Iowa is one of many states that require drone registration—other examples include New York, North Carolina and Florida. You may need to register your drone with other local authorities depending on where you intend to fly it.

If you’re traveling outside the state with your drone, check with the authority governing air traffic in that location first: they may have different rules or no requirements at all!

1. Download Registration Application

To download the registration application, go to and click “Download Registration Application” on the left side of the page. If you have trouble with this link, contact an Iowa official at (641) 728-8586 or [email protected] for more information about how to register your drone.

2. Fill Out The Application

Fill out the form with your name, address, email and phone number. The department will ask for the drone’s manufacturer, model and serial number as well. You’ll also need to provide the date of purchase and the address where you store it when not in use.

3. Pay $5 For Registration Fee

You can pay by check or money order, and you’ll receive a confirmation letter within two weeks. You can also pay online with your credit card. If you do this, the registration will be processed immediately and you’ll receive confirmation within one business day.

If paying by mail, send your application to:

  • Iowa Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Division
  • DMV Headquarters- Des Moines IA 50319

4. Mail Completed Form And Fee To The Address On The Form

Mail completed form and fee to the address on the form.

  • Send it by US mail.
  • Pay $5 registration fee.
  • Include completed drone registration application with payment in a sealed envelope marked “Drone Return Receipt Requested” addressed to: Iowa Department of Transportation, 2020 SE Green Hills Parkway, Des Moines, IA 50320

Are Drones Allowed In Iowa

In Iowa, you can buy and fly a drone if you follow the rules set by the state government.

  • You must be 18 years old to fly drones in Iowa.
  • A drone license is not required for recreational use of drones in Iowa.
  • If you want to use your drone for commercial purposes, such as taking pictures or video footage for sale or distribution, then you will need a commercial pilot’s license from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

Iowa Residents Can Fly Drones For Fun, With No Need For A License

There are no restrictions on drones in Iowa. Residents can fly drones for fun, without needing to obtain a license. This is one of the few states that allows this, so if you live in Iowa and want to fly your drone, there aren’t any extra steps or hoops to jump through!

In order to fly a drone in Iowa:

  • The weight of your drone must be less than 55 pounds (25 kilos).
  • You should keep your drone under 400 feet (122 meters) from the ground at all times.
  • If there’s an airport within 5 miles of where you’re flying your drone, keep it at least 1 mile away from them

Drones In Iowa Are Subject To The Same Laws As Any Other Vehicle

If you’re caught flying a drone in Iowa without a license, it’s a Class B misdemeanor. This means you’ll face up to six months in jail and/or up to $1,000 in fines.

In addition, if you’re caught using your drone to invade someone’s privacy or conduct surveillance on private property without their consent (which is illegal), you could be charged with an aggravated misdemeanor that carries penalties of up to two years in jail and/or fines up to $5,000.

Drones In Iowa Cannot Carry Weapons

In Iowa, you cannot have a weapon on your person or in a vehicle. This means that even if you have a legal permit for it and even if you’re in church, there is no way for you to legally have any kind of firearm with you at any time. This includes drones. Drones cannot be used as weapons, so if the drone is carrying an object which could be considered a weapon (for example: pepper spray or tear gas), it would be illegal to use that object and fly your drone around like this

Drones In Iowa May Only Be Flown During Daylight Hours

When determining whether or not you are allowed to fly a drone in Iowa, the most important thing to know is that drones can only be flown during daylight hours. To determine if it is day or night, you must first locate the sun. If your drone has a camera with a live feed on your phone and you can see the sun (even if it’s just as a small dot), then you are flying during daylight hours.

If for any reason you find yourself flying your drone at night, do not panic! If possible, land immediately and turn off your craft so that it does not interfere with other aircrafts or people who may be on the ground nearby.

Drones In Iowa Are Required To Yield To Manned Aircraft

Drone operators in Iowa are required to yield to manned aircraft. This means that drones must always be kept in sight of the operator at all times, especially if they are being flown above 400 feet. Operators cannot fly over groups of people or private property without permission from the owner.


It is illegal in Iowa to take photos or videos of private property with a drone, and the federal government restricts drone use in certain situations. The law against trespassing with a drone prohibits posting online photos or videos taken on private property without permission.

Before flying your drone in Iowa, make sure to learn the current laws and regulations regarding the usage of them. Sometimes, ignorance is not bliss when it comes to flying near airports or restricted air space. Always be sure to familiarize yourself with the current state of drone flying in your home state before you take flight.

Frequently Asked Questions (drone Laws In Iowa)

What Are The Mandatory Registration Policies For Drones In Iowa?

The drone registration policy in Iowa is simple. All drones weighing more than 250 grams must be registered with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), even if they are purchased outside of the state.

Registering your drone is free and only takes a few minutes, but it’s important to keep in mind that this requirement applies to all unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) that weigh at least 250 grams, regardless of whether or not you intend to use them commercially.

What Can I Do With My Drone In Iowa?

You can fly a drone in Iowa, but there are some restrictions.

  • You can use a drone to take pictures and video of yourself and your family
  • You can also use it to take pictures of property you own/rent/lease
  • But you cannot fly your drone over private property without the owner’s permission or if they are not home at the time (no trespassing)
  • You also cannot fly over public parks, schools, hospitals or sporting events unless you have permission from that location

When Can I Fly My Drone In Iowa?

With so many people flying drones, it’s important to understand how to safely fly them. Drone Laws In Iowa are different than those of other states, but the same rules apply:

  • Check local laws before you fly. You should always check with your city or county government before flying your drone (if there are any restrictions). For example, many cities have banned drones within their limits because of privacy concerns or public safety risks.
  • Don’t fly in bad weather. If there’s too much wind and rain for you to see clearly from the ground level, don’t attempt to fly your drone at all—you won’t be able to control it well enough under those conditions!
  • Don’t fly near airports or restricted airspace without permission from air traffic controllers first! You could get fined if you do this; plus landing gear can collide with an aircraft mid-flight if one gets too close while trying out new software updates on their own remote control units.”

Is There Anything I Cannot Do With My Drone In Iowa?

There are certain activities that are forbidden by Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and flying drones in these places is prohibited. These include:

  • Flying over crowds of people
  • Flying at an altitude of 400 feet or higher
  • Flying within five miles of an airport without notifying Air Traffic Control (ATC) first

Do I Need A License To Operate A Drone In Iowa?

In Iowa, you can obtain a license to operate a drone by taking an online course or class at a local community college.

You can also take the FAA knowledge test and the FAA practical test online.

What Are The Different Types Of Drone Licenses In Iowa?

A drone license is a document that allows you to operate a drone legally on public lands. There are three types of licenses:

  • Pilot’s License
  • Remote Pilot’s Certificate
  • Part 107

Do I Need Insurance For My Drone With A Camera In Iowa?

There is no requirement to have drone insurance in Iowa. However, it is recommended that you do purchase a policy for your drone with a camera.

Insurance companies will generally require you to sign a waiver in order for them to provide coverage for any damage caused by your drone. This includes all damage caused by an intentional flight and even if the flight wasn’t intentional (such as when flying out of range).

Most insurance companies won’t cover drones themselves and some may not even cover personal property on the ground when they fly out of range. It’s important to ask your insurance provider what kind of coverage they offer before considering purchasing it.

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