Drones are becoming more widely used and more affordable for both commercial and leisure purposes. However, you must be informed of the rules and legislation that apply to drone use in Michigan before you take off with your device. We will provide you a thorough understanding of the federal, state, and municipal laws that you must abide by regarding Michigan Drone Laws in this post.
Table of Contents
Federal Michigan Drone Laws
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is responsible for developing federal drone legislation that are applicable to all US states, including Michigan. Whether you use your drone for business or recreational reasons will determine which regulations apply to you.
Recreational Drone Laws in Michigan
Recreational drone flying is any flying you undertake for pleasure or as a pastime and not for pay. In order to operate a drone for fun in Michigan, you must:
- TRUST-test success. This free online test covers fundamental safety and usage guidelines for drone operators. You can take the exam from a legitimate test provider, like UAV Coach.
- Join the FAA drone registry. If your drone weighs more than 0.55 lbs but less than 55 pounds, you must register it. The FAADroneZone website offers online drone registration. $5 is required for registration, which is good for three years.
- Observe the main guidelines for leisure flyers. These consist of:
- Follow the general rules for recreational flyers. These include:
- Flying is only done for fun.
- Observe the safety regulations set forth by a CBO that has received FAA recognition, such as the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA).
- Use a visual observer or fly your drone within visual line of sight (VLOS).
- Fly in uncontrolled airspace (Class G) at or below 400 feet above ground level (AGL)
- Before flying in Class B, C, D, or E regulated airspace, get permission. You have two options for requesting authorization: either in writing with the air traffic control facility or through the Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability (LAANC) system.
- Never fly without permission close to heliports, airports, or other aircraft operations.
- Flying above people, moving vehicles, or stadiums is prohibited.
- Avoid flying over or close to emergency response situations like fires, accidents, or disasters.
- Do not use drugs or drink before flying.
- Never fly in a careless or dangerous manner that jeopardizes other people’s safety.
Commercial Drone Laws in Michigan
Any drone flying done for pay or to advance a business is considered commercial flying. This includes offering drone-shot images or movies for sale, checking buildings or crops, transporting items, etc. In order to use your drone for business in Michigan, you must:
- The FAA should issue you a Remote Pilot Certificate. A different name for this is Part 107 certification. This certificate must be obtained by:
- age of majority is 16 years.
- Read, write, speak, and understand English. Maintain optimal physical and mental well-being.
- passing an FAA-approved testing facility’s aeronautical knowledge examination
- On the FAADroneZone website, request a certificate.
- Join the FAA drone registry. The registration procedure and cost are the same as for recreational drones.
- abide by the general guidelines for the use of commercial drones. These consist of:
- Fly exclusively in accordance with Part 107 regulations, or get an FAA waiver if you wish to fly otherwise.
- Use a visual observer or fly your drone within VLOS
- Fly in uncontrolled airspace at or below 400 feet AGL, or get permission to fly in controlled airspace
- Fly with the proper anti-collision lighting during civil daylight or twilight (30 minutes before dawn or after dusk).
- Fly at or below a groundspeed of 100 mph.
- Allow manned aircraft to pass.
- Unless they are directly involved in the operation, inside a covered building, or within a stationary vehicle that provides appropriate protection, do not fly over people or moving objects.
- Except when flying over a sparsely populated region, avoid taking off or landing from moving vehicles.
- Carry only non-hazardous materials
- Do not fly numerous drones simultaneously.
State Drone Laws in Michigan
The Michigan Legislature enacts state drone laws, which are specific to Michigan. These laws complement federal drone regulations and specifically address issues with privacy, local government power, and hunting and fishing.
- Several regulations in Michigan safeguard people’s privacy against unauthorized drone use. Among them are Act 436 of 2016 and SB 992 of 2016. Except for drones owned or operated by the local government, this law forbids local governments from enforcing regulations regarding drone operations. As long as they adhere to federal regulations, it also permits FAA-certified commercial and recreational drone pilots to fly in the state. However, it also forbids drone operators from using their aircraft in a way that obstructs or might obstruct:
- the emergency services
- reasonable expectation of privacy or safety of an individual
- a personal protection order or restraining order
- taking pictures that go against a person’s legitimate expectation of privacy
- SB 54 (2015). According to this rule, drone operators are not allowed to fly their machines in a way that obstructs those who are out fishing or hunting.
- Act 451 (1994). This regulation forbids drone operators from using their aircraft to capture game animals or fish, or to harass or disturb wildlife.
Local Government Laws
There are a number of laws in Michigan that restrict the ability of municipal governments to control drone operations within their borders. These laws consist of:
- Act 436 of 2016, SB 992 (2016). Except for drones owned or operated by the local government, this law forbids local governments from enforcing regulations regarding drone operations. As long as they adhere to federal regulations, it also permits FAA-certified commercial and recreational drone pilots to fly in the state.
- Act 12 of 2018 (HB 5494, 2018). This law forbids local governments from passing or enforcing any resolutions or ordinances that limit who can own or use drones, with the exception of drones used by the local government. As long as they adhere to federal regulations, it also permits FAA-certified commercial and recreational drone pilots to fly in the state.
Local Drone Laws in Michigan
Local drone regulations are made by city councils, county boards, or other local government bodies and only apply to particular regions of Michigan. These restrictions may differ from one location to another and may be stricter than local or state drone laws. Therefore, before using your drone anywhere in Michigan, make sure to verify with the local authorities.
Local drone laws in Michigan include, for instance:
- Detroit. According to a city of Detroit legislation, drone operators are not permitted to fly their machines over any public spaces, including parks, streets, sidewalks, buildings, etc., without first obtaining a permit from the city. The rule also forbids drone operators from flying their machines over any private property without the owner’s or occupant’s permission. Additionally, all federal, state, and local drone laws and regulations must be followed by drone pilots under the ordinance.
- Rapid City. Drone pilots are not permitted to fly drones over any city-owned property, including parks, cemeteries, golf courses, etc., without a permit from the city of Grand Rapids, according to a local ordinance. The rule also forbids drone operators from flying their machines over any private property without the owner’s or occupant’s permission. Additionally, all federal, state, and local drone laws and regulations must be followed by drone pilots under the ordinance.
- In Ann Arbor. Drone operators are not allowed to fly over any city-owned property, including parks, cemeteries, golf courses, etc., without a permit from the city of Ann Arbor, according to a local code. The rule also forbids drone operators from flying their machines over any private property without the owner’s or occupant’s permission. Additionally, all federal, state, and local drone laws and regulations must be followed by drone pilots under the ordinance.
How to Get Part 107 Certification
You must carry out the following actions to obtain a Part 107 certification:
- You must be at least 16 years old and proficient in reading, writing, and speaking English in order to take the Part 107 knowledge test. To study for the exam, you can utilize books, online courses, and other materials. The exam covers a variety of subjects, including airspace, weather, rules, and emergency procedures.
- Make a reservation to take the test in person at a Knowledge Testing Center (KTC) that has received FAA approval. A list of KTCs is available here. To take the test, you must pay $160 and present a government-issued photo ID.
- pass the 60 multiple-choice questions test with a 70% or above. Your test results will include your score as well as a 17-digit Knowledge Test Exam ID.
- Utilizing the electronic FAA Integrated Airman Certificate and/or Rating Application system (IACRA), complete FAA Form 8710-13 for a remote pilot certificate. You must register for an IACRA account, providing your name, address, and Knowledge Test Exam ID. The application must be submitted with an electronic signature as well.
- A confirmation email from the FAA stating that you passed the TSA security background check should arrive soon. You can print a copy of your temporary remote pilot certificate from IACRA using the instructions in this email. This license, which is good for 120 days, enables you to operate your drone commercially in accordance with Part 107 regulations.
- The FAA will mail you your permanent remote pilot certificate. This certificate is perpetual, but to keep it current, you must finish an online recurrent training course every 24 months.
Drones are incredible machines that may be very useful for both commercial and leisure uses. They could also be a concern to privacy, security, and safety, though. In order to respect others’ rights and interests, it is crucial to abide by the laws and rules that regulate drone use in Michigan.
We trust that this page has given you a clear and thorough explanation of Michigan’s drone laws. Please keep in mind, though, that this piece is simply meant to provide information and not legal counsel. Prior to flying your drone in Michigan, it is your responsibility to keep knowledgeable and up to date because drone laws and regulations are always changing and evolving.
Please feel free to post any questions or comments you may have about this article in the space provided below. We would be delighted to hear from you and assist you.
How do I get a drone license in Michigan?
No, it is not legal to shoot down a drone on your property in Michigan. While the drone’s presence may constitute a trespass, shooting it may result in other criminal charges being filed against you.
How much is a drone license in Michigan?
To fly a drone commercially in Michigan, you must follow the requirements of the FAA’s Part 107 Small UAS Rule (Part 107), which includes passing the FAA’s Aeronautical Knowledge Test to obtain a Remote Pilot Certificate. To register your drone, you can head over to the FAA website.
Can I fly a drone in a public park Michigan?
If you want to register your drone under Part 107 for commercial use, it will cost you $5 per drone and is valid for three years. If you want to register your drone under the Exception for Recreational Flyers for recreational use, it will also cost you $5 and is valid for three years.