Can You Fly a Drone Over Private Property in the USA?

Yes, you can fly a drone over private property in the USA. The FAA does not have any laws against doing so. However, local and state municipalities may have additional regulations. 

Hello readers! My name is Lavelle and I am a drone professional with nearly a decade of experience flying recreational and professional drones. In fact, my very first paid drone gig was using my drone to take pictures and videos for a neighborhood association. 

In this article, I will list the states where you can and cannot fly a drone over personal property. Additionally, I will provide resource information for property owners who do not want drones flying over their property and give some general information about flying drones in the U.S.

Key Takeaways

  • Be respectful of others when flying in residential areas or over your neighborhood; do not take pictures or videos of people without their permission.
  • Communicate your intentions or your concerns.
  • Know the rules in your state and locale for drone operations. 

Can You Fly a Drone Over Private Property In the USA

While the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) does not prohibit drones from flying over private properties in the US, some states and cities have their own regulations. Here is a recap of which states do and do not allow drones to fly over private property.

States Where You Can’t Fly Drone Over Private Property

The following states have prohibitions against drones flying over private property:

Arkansas, California, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, and West Virginia, all have specific regulations regarding drones flying over private property. 

States Where You Can Fly Drone Over Private Property

These states do not have any laws prohibiting drone flights over private property. However, specific localities within these states might have local laws that address flights over private property:

Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

How to Stop Drones Flying Over My House

Follow this link to check the status of your state’s laws regarding flying drones over private property.

If you live in a state where flying over private property is illegal, you can take these steps to report violations:

  • Report the incident to local law enforcement officials
  • Report the incident to the FAA
  • Check local regulations about drone activity
  • Check with your local neighborhood association

Please remember to be civil and to allow the authorities to handle the situation. You may find yourself in litigation if you do things such as shoot the drone down, shine a laser light at the drone, or other such volatile acts. 

General Rules for Flying Drones in the US

In general, the FAA has the following rules for flying drones over private property in the US:

  • Drones are not permitted to fly at night unless there is adequate lighting
  • Drones should weight 55 lbs or less unless otherwise authorized
  • Drones should fly at 100 mph or less
  • Drones should not fly over moving people or vehicles
  • Drones should not interfere with emergency operations
  • Drones should not interfere with aircraft operations
  • Drones should not pose a nuisance 


Below are a few answers to some of the frequently asked questions about drones flying over private property in the US.

Do You Need Permission to Fly a Drone Over Private Property?

No, you do not need permission to fly a drone over private property. However, you may notify owners of private property if you plan to do so.

Can I Fly My Drone Over Neighbours?

No, drones are not permitted to fly over moving people. You may contact your neighbors to notify them that you will be flying a drone overhead if they are not moving. Flying a drone over moving people poses a safety hazard.

Can You Film Private Property With a Drone?

The use of drones to film private property is generally considered a violation of privacy. So no, not without permission from the property owner.

How Do I Block Drones From My Property?

You should contact your local law enforcement if you feel a drone is invading your privacy or is trespassing on your property.

Final Thoughts

Flying drones over private property does not break any federal laws. However, various states do have laws that prohibit drones from flying over private property. Additionally, some local laws prohibit the same activity. It is always a good idea to check local laws and inform property owners of your intention to fly a drone overhead.

Have you ever been in a situation where you need to navigate private property laws? Please share your experience in the comments section below.

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