Virginia Drone Laws: What You Must Know!

This article will help you understand the requirements and rules you must follow to stay safe and get the most from using your drone.
Reviewed by
Last updatedLast updated: April 13, 2024
Extreme Fliers is reader-supported. We may earn a commission through products purchased using links on this page. Learn more about our process here

Flying a drone can be one of the best ways to explore new frontiers. These amazing devices are perfect for scoping out a new fishing spot, inspecting a roof, or just getting a fresh perspective at an old spot. Not only that, but they can be tons of fun as well, as they allow you to get a better vantage point to really see the lay of the land. Of course, there are certain rules that need to be followed when using a drone, no matter where you are flying it. We are going to focus on the different Virginia drone laws in this article, however. Each state has its own rules and regulations regarding the operation of drones, so if you are in Virginia or are planning a trip soon to this beautiful state, then you will want to read through these laws carefully. Of course, bear in mind that while we have included all of the most important laws to follow, you still need to operate your drone with some common sense as well.

Drone uses

Virginia Drone Laws: What You Must Know!

Something to keep in mind when you are thinking about flying your drone is the type of flying that you intend to take part in, as this will have a direct correlation to the different laws you need to keep in mind.

There are several Trusted Source Drone Laws in Virginia Updated February 19, 2022 Drones are allowed in Virginia for recreational and commercial use, subject to FAA and local regulations. different things that you can do with a drone, and each of them has different legal implications that you need to make sure you understand as clearly as possible so that you don’t find yourself in any trouble where you might get fined. One of the most common uses for a drone is for surveillance. Drones are ideal for this, as they give you an eagle-eyed view of your surroundings, making them perfect for keeping an eye on your possessions. Of course, drones are used for commercial applications as well, which might include sky-high pictures for magazines or businesses. Finally, you might just be using a drone for personal enjoyment. This is by far the most common use for drones, especially with the advent of such highly advanced models. No matter how you intend to use your drone, there are going to be rules that you need to follow carefully.

Types of laws to keep in mind in Virginia

Whenever you are going to take your drone out for a spin in Virginia Trusted Source Virginia Drone Laws, Rules and Regulations Any owner of an unmanned aircraft as defined in § 19.2-60.1 shall not be required to register such aircraft. , there are different types of laws that you need to keep in mind. This includes the following:

  • Federal Laws – As the name would suggest, these are laws that are put in place by the federal government. They usually cross state lines and are applicable in each state in the Union, not just Virginia. You will want to watch out for these laws in particular, as federal statutes usually carry the greatest penalties if they are broken.
  • State Laws – State laws are usually the largest section of rules that you will need to bear in mind when you are going to fly your drone in Virginia. These laws are set by the state government. As such, they will be particular to Virginia, which means that you need to read up on them carefully, as they might be different from the state that you currently reside in.
  • Local Laws – Local laws are set by the county, town, or city in regard to how a drone can be used. These will be different for each and every locality that you decide to visit, so be sure to read through the particulars very closely so that you know exactly what is and what isn’t allowed there in regard to flying your drone. These laws might even dictate what type of drone you can fly, so be sure to find the perfect one for the type of flying you intend to participate in.

Federal drone laws in Virginia

Even though you are looking to fly your drone in Virginia, you are still subject to Federal laws. These laws apply to all of the states and territories, including Virginia. They can be broken down by how you are going to be flying your drone. For instance:

  • If you are doing it for fun: If you are looking to fly your drone for fun, then you will need to take the FAA’s Recreational UAS Safety Test and follow the FAA’s recreational model aircraft rules. One such rule is that if your drone weighs more than 0.55 pounds, you will need to register it. For instance, if you were flying a drone like this model, you would need to pay a $5 fee.
  • If you are doing it for work: In order to fly a drone for work as a commercial pilot, you will need to pass the FAA’s Aeronautical Knowledge Test so that you can obtain a Remote Pilot Certificate. You will also need to meet and follow the requirements listed under the FAA’s Part 107 Small UAS Rule.
  • If you are doing it for the government: If you are using your drone for state government work, then you will either need to follow the FAA’s Part 107 rule or obtain a federal COA (Certificate of Authorization).

State drone laws in Virginia

As far as state laws for the use of drones in Virginia go, there are several different ones that you need to bear in mind. These include the following:

  • Local regulation of certain aircraft.
  • Use of unmanned aircraft systems by public bodies; search warrant required.
  • Peeping or spying into a dwelling or occupied building by an electronic device; a penalty.
  • Authority of a fire chief over unmanned aircraft at a fire, explosion, or other hazardous situation.
  • Trespass; use of an unmanned aircraft system, penalty.
  • Trespass with an unmanned aircraft system; penalty.
  • Use of unmanned aircraft system for certain purposes; penalty.

Local drone laws in Virginia

Though the state and federal laws will cover most of the rules and regulations that you need to pay attention to when flying a drone in the state of Virginia, you will also need to take local ordinances into account.

Depending on where you are, there might be different rules put in place. This is especially true in popular locations or famous landmarks, so be sure to read up on the local regulations before you travel to a vacation spot while traveling for business.

Final thoughts

Flying a drone is a great way to gain a new appreciation for the natural world. It can also be a huge advantage to a business, as well, as it allows for unique perspectives that might be attractive to prospective customers. Of course, if you are going to use a drone in Virginia, then you need to have a clear understanding of Virginia drone laws. That way, you can guarantee that you will follow the letter of the law and be able to focus on getting some awesome footage with your favorite drone.


Drone Laws in Virginia Updated February 19, 2022
Drones are allowed in Virginia for recreational and commercial use, subject to FAA and local regulations.
Virginia Drone Laws, Rules and Regulations
Any owner of an unmanned aircraft as defined in § 19.2-60.1 shall not be required to register such aircraft.
Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *