Are you looking for the complete guide to drone laws NC? This article covers commercial drone laws and regulations for professional drone pilots who want to fly legally in North Carolina. If you operate a drone in North Carolina, then you should know about the drone laws NC.

In North Carolina, it is illegal to use a drone to take photos or videos of people in their private property without their permission. It is also illegal to fly a drone in an airport’s airspace without permission from the airport manager.

There are three rules which can be applied if something dangerous or illegal happens with a drone that result in injury to another person.

Drone Laws Nc

Drone Laws Nc

North Carolina’s Drone Laws And Rules

North Carolina has two sets of laws that regulate the use of drones: state laws and federal laws. The North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) is responsible for maintaining a list of state laws, which are listed below:

  • S.L. 2014-100 (SB-557): This law states that it is illegal to operate a drone within 5 miles of an airport or within 15 miles from any law enforcement facility without prior authorization from the owner of said facility if you are attempting to take pictures/videos using your drone.
  • You must also notify local authorities before flying over public events such as parades or street fairs where large crowds have gathered in order not to cause a panic among those attending said events.
  • Additionally, this law prohibits people from flying drones at night unless they have FAA approval first; failure to comply with these rules could result in fines up $1,000 dollars per violation plus legal fees incurred by prosecuting agencies involved in bringing charges against violators who fail to follow them.”

State Government To Regulate Drones

In the state of North Carolina, there are multiple laws that affect drone pilots. While federal laws generally do not apply in this situation (due to the fact that drones are considered aircraft), there are many situations where local and state regulation supersedes federal law.

This can be good news for drone pilots who want to fly their craft in North Carolina; some states have stricter regulations than others!

Below is a breakdown of how each level of government regulates drones:

  • Federal: These laws apply across all 50 states
  • State: These laws apply only in one specific state, but they may also cover areas that aren’t part of said state’s jurisdiction (such as Native American lands). If you’re unsure if you live on tribal land, call your town hall and ask them!
  • Local: These laws affect only a small geographic area—typically one county or city.

1. Commercial Drones Must Be Registered With The State

To operate a drone in North Carolina, you must be registered with the state. This is a free service and registration is valid for three years from its date of issue. The registration process takes less than ten minutes and includes:

  • Entering your name and address information
  • Uploading an image of your government-issued photo ID
  • Selecting the type of drone you plan to fly (Model aircraft (includes hobbyists), Public safety/first responder use, Aerial photography/media/inspection)

2. Drones Have Different Registration Requirements 

Drones have different registration requirements depending on their weight, speed, and flight altitude. You may need to register your drone if it weighs between 0.55 pounds (250 grams) and 55 pounds (25 kilograms).

If you’re unsure of your drone’s weight, check the manufacturer’s website or look for a label that says how much it weighs.

If your drone is capable of flying at altitudes higher than 400 feet above ground level, you’ll need to register it with the FAA. For example, drones used for photography or videography typically fly at altitudes requiring registration because they’re often used over people.

Drones weighing less than one pound must be registered regardless of altitude capability if they can fly at an altitude lower than 400 feet above ground level;

However if they weigh less than 4 pounds they do not require any documentation from the FAA before flight other than registering online with AMA which will send you a sticker in the mail within 30 days after submitting info through their system – no fee required!

3. Drones Cannot Interfere With Emergency Operations

This law makes it illegal to interfere with emergency operations, responders, or first responders. Examples of emergency operations include:

  • A fire department responding to a fire
  • Law enforcement on the scene of an active shooter situation
  • EMTs treating a patient after they have been injured in an auto accident

Examples of responders include:

  • Firefighters bringing water and equipment to the area of a wildfire so that they can fight the blaze more effectively.
  • Police officers using their patrol vehicles as barriers between protestors and counterprotestors during demonstrations that have turned violent.

Examples of first responders include:

  • EMTs who are transporting patients from one medical facility to another for treatment in another city or state; this is because these EMTs are considered “first” because they are on the road early in the morning before most other people go off to work each day.

4. Drones Cannot Be Operated Near Airports Or In Prisons

Drones cannot be flown within 5 miles of an airport, or within 3 miles of a prison. The no-fly zones are designed to reduce the risk of collisions with manned aircraft and help pilots navigate safely through populated areas.

It is also illegal to operate a drone over large crowds of people, such as sporting events, concerts and festivals where there’s an expectation that privacy will not be violated by commercial drones—just like it would be illegal for someone to fly around and record your concert experience without your permission.

5. Drones Cannot Interfere With The Flight Of Any Aircraft 

  • Drones cannot interfere with the flight of any aircraft or a person on it, even if that aircraft is stationary and unmanned.

This means drones cannot be flown in such a way as to `disturb’ another person’s right to fly their own aircraft over your property, nor can they interfere with the ability of other people (or things) to do so.

This also means that you are not allowed to use a drone flying above your private property in order to intimidate someone else who is trying to enjoy their own airspace beyond your property line.

6. You Can’t Fly Drones Over Large Crowds Of People 

  • You can’t fly drones over large crowds of people unless you get permission from the NC Board of Transportation.
  • Permits are required for flying in restricted airspace, including around airports and military bases.
  • If you want to fly in a big crowd—like at a concert or parade—contact the local police department before setting up your drone.

Rules To Remember If You Own Drone In North Caroline

Even though federal drone laws have been relaxed, you should still keep these state rules in mind if you own a drone in North Carolina.

First, it’s important to know that the federal regulations do not preempt state laws—meaning that even if your drone complies with new federal guidelines, you must still follow any local or state laws that are stricter.

That also means that the FAA can’t enforce its own regulations against anyone who breaks them; if an individual or business is caught flying their drone over 150 feet above the ground or within five miles of an airport without first receiving permission from air traffic control, they’ll be on their own when it comes to finding a way out of trouble (and paying any fines).

The second reason why these rules are so important: even though no one has yet been charged under them, they’re enforceable by law enforcement and could be used as evidence in court cases against people who break them—which means no matter how many times a given law gets ignored by other people around town, breaking those same laws could lead directly back to you!

Finally—and perhaps most importantly—these drone regulations offer some protection against being sued by other parties who feel like their privacy was violated during filming (for example) if those actions were done legally under North Carolina law.

Drone Registration In Nc

Drone Registration In Nc

You Need To Register Your Drone In North Carolina

In North Carolina, you are required to register your drone with the federal government. The registration fee is $5, and you can pay this via PayPal or by mail. In order to register your drone, you need to have a valid identification. You must also check your email regularly so that we can send the official registration certificate when it’s ready.

Register Your Drone

You can register your drone online at the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (NYSDMV) website.

You need a credit or debit card to pay the $5 registration fee and you will need to provide a valid identification with your name, date of birth and signature.

If you want to register by mail, complete the Drone Registration Application form and follow these instructions:

  • Use a black pen only
  • Print clearly in blue or black ink
  • Write legibly (printing is recommended)
  • Avoid using correction fluid on any part of this form. If necessary, please make corrections using white out

Make Sure You Have A Valid Identification

You can register a drone with the FAA if you are 18 or older and have a valid NC driver’s license or ID card. If you are under 18, you cannot register your drone with the FAA. You also need to have a valid email address and credit card.

You will need an email address to access the registration submission form and receive confirmation of your registration from the FAA after submitting it successfully.

Pay The Registration Fee

If you’re paying with a credit card, you’ll need to enter your credit card information into the payment screen. Don’t use a check, cash, or anything else—if it’s not a credit card, it won’t work.

You may also have the option of choosing “Pay Later” if you’re registering more than 24 hours after purchasing your drone.

You’ll be able to pay at any time before December 31st by visiting this website: https://www-scdmv-gov-us/droneregistration.

Check Your Email Two Weeks Later For An Official Registration Certificate

You will receive an email with a link to print your certificate. Your drone must be registered with the FAA and carry the registration number on it at all times.

You can also print your certificate and keep it in a safe place.

If you lose your registration certificate, you can request a duplicate from the FAA by following these steps:

  • Log into MyUAS
  • Select “Registration” from the navigation menu at left
  • Click “Request Duplicate Registration Certificate”

Are Drones Allowed In Nc

Drones Are Allowed In Nc

You can fly a drone legally in North Carolina. Age requirements: 16 years old or older to fly a drone recreationally, but you need to be at least 18 years old for any other use (commercial, law enforcement).

You will need to take an aeronautical knowledge test if you are flying for military purposes or for commercial purposes.

If you have a license from another state and want to bring it with you when traveling out of state, make sure your license is valid in NC before operating your aircraft here.

You Need A License To Fly Drones For Military, Commercial Or Law Enforcement Use In Nc 

In order to fly a drone in North Carolina, you must have a license. In the United States as well as in North Carolina, this is required by federal law.

If you do not have an appropriate license, then you will be breaking the law and could face serious penalties including fines and jail time. As long as you follow the rules of flying drones in NC (and any other state), then there should be no problem with getting your license.

The only place where this information may be helpful is if someone has their drone out flying around their property without having gone through proper channels first–on private property or public land where it would otherwise be legal to fly without being licensed–and happens upon one of these restrictions on where they can go with their aircraft.”

Age Limit To Get A License 

To get a license, you must be at least 16 years old and pass an aeronautical test. You’ll also need to have a valid driver’s license and be able to provide proof that your drone is safe to fly.

If you want to use your drone for commercial purposes, such as photography or videography, you’ll need additional qualifications including:

  • A valid drone operator’s certificate (if flying above 400 feet)
  • A valid drone pilot certificate (if flying above 400 feet)

When You Don’t Need A License?

If you’re flying a drone for fun, you don’t need a license. If you’re just flying recreationally, then there are rules to follow—like where and when you can fly your drone.

  • Follow the rules. If you want to fly recreationally in North Carolina, make sure that each time before takeoff that:
  • You check the weather and know if it’s safe for flight
  • You check federal airspace regulations (which may be different from state regulations)

You Can Legally Fly A Drone Recreationally In Nc

In North Carolina, you can fly your drone recreationally without a license. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requires hobbyists to register their drones before flying them outdoors, but the FAA does not require commercial pilots to register.

If you’re just flying for fun, you don’t have to get an operator’s license either.

In NC, recreational drone pilots are allowed to fly in a wide variety of locations without special permissions: parks; public roads and highways; non-landed heliports and seaplane bases; agricultural areas (except those where crops or livestock are present); open fields; private property with landowner permission; any property owner’s backyard or residence (unless within five miles of an airport); national parks; state parks; wilderness areas and refuges managed by the US Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).

You can also fly drones at night if they’re equipped with anti-collision lights that make them visible from up to 350 feet away—but only over people who give permission first.


Drones cannot fly within a certain distance of airports or air traffic control towers, nor can they fly above 400 ft AGL. There are also no-fly zones around military installations, nuclear power plants and other sensitive areas such as sports stadiums and critical infrastructure like bridges and dams.

As the age of drone ownership draws near, laws need to be changed to adjust for these new devices. Under current FAA guidelines, law enforcement needs a warrant to use a drone to search for criminal evidence.

However, drone owners in NC currently do not need a license to fly their aerial vehicles. Laws need to be changed quickly before more and more citizens purchase drones without knowing the legal implications of this action.

We hope this post cleared up a few things about the current state of drone laws in North Carolina, as well as how they may be changing in the future. We recommend you check the FAA’s database before you fly so that you have the most up-to-date information on where and when it’s legal to operate your drone.

Frequently Asked Questions (drone Laws North Carolina)

What Are The Drone Laws In North Carolina?

  • Drone laws are regulated by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
  • In North Carolina, drones must weigh less than 55 pounds and have a maximum wingspan of less than 36 inches to be considered as model aircraft. They also cannot be flown within five miles of an airport or over 400 feet in altitude.
  • Drones used for commercial purposes must adhere to more stringent standards set by the FAA and should be registered with this agency before flying them anywhere in North Carolina.

Where Can I Legally Fly My Drone In North Carolina?

As a general rule, you can fly your drone in non-congested areas:

  • You must be more than 5 miles away from an airport.
  • You must be more than 15 miles away from a heliport.

Can I Fly A Drone In A State Park In North Carolina?

You can fly your drone in designated areas of the following state parks:

  • Appalachian Trail State Park (Mills River)
  • Falls Lake State Recreation Area (Falls Lake)
  • Hanging Rock Reservation (Hanging Rock)

Can I Fly A Drone In A National Park In North Carolina?

Yes, but you need to follow the rules. You can’t fly a drone in a national park in North Carolina if you are not authorized to do so.

The National Park Service does not allow drones in all national parks. It also restricts their use at certain sites and times, such as Independence Hall in Philadelphia (where George Washington was sworn in as president) and the Statue of Liberty on Ellis Island (where immigrants were processed before entering the U.S.).

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