Agencies Responsible for regulating drones in the United Mexican States (Mexico)
Drone Regulators in Mexico: Mexico Secretaria de Communicacaciones Y Transportes (Secretariat of Communications and Transport) and AFAC (Civil Aviation Federal Agency) is the new name for DGAC.
Link to Drone Regulations: Dirección General de Aeronáutica Civil (DGAC)Drone Regulations (In Spanish) and Drone (2019) regulations (In Spanish)
UAS Laws – General rules for flying drones in Mexico
The Mexican agency responsible for drone safety, AFAC, has provided many internet-accessible details on flying for fun or work. The highlights are enumerated below. For more details go to the link above.
Are drones allowed in Mexico?
Here are the most important rules to know for flying a drone in Mexico:
The Mexican Drone laws enumerate drones into three classes:
- Micro UAV: UAVs in this category weigh 2 kilograms (4.4 pounds) or less. Micro UAVs can be flown without authorization from the AA, but if used for commercial activities, they should have third-party liability insurance, among other conditions. They can be flown up to 400 feet above ground level and no more than 1,500 feet from the operator within the visual line of sight.
- Light UAVs: UAVs in this category weigh between 2 kilograms and 25 kilograms (55 pounds). Light UAVs flown for recreational purposes can only be flown on the grounds of a recognized model aircraft club. Light UAVs flown for commercial purposes must be registered with the AFAC and display license plates. In addition, each individual commercial UAV flight must be authorized by the AA beforehand.
- Heavy UAVs: UAVs in this category weigh over 25 kilograms. Heavy UAVs must adhere to all the rules that apply to light drones. In addition, heavy UAVs must follow the terms and conditions approved by the AFAC. Heavy UAV operators must have a pilot’s license.
Each weight class is regulated distinctly for recreational and commercial use only.
Operations are permitted only in daylight (unless the FAA grants a written exception), and in areas not classified as prohibited, restricted, or dangerous.
All UAVs must stay 9.2 kilometers (5.72 miles) away from controlled airports, 3.7 kilometers (2.3 miles) away from uncontrolled airfields, and 900 meters (985 yards) from helicopter pads.
All UAVs must not drop objects that may cause damage to people or property.
UAVs cannot be flown over people or animals.
Operators, whether individuals or corporations, are required to respect all laws and regulations, both federal and local.
The UAV pilot must always keep direct eye contact with the UAV (line of sight)
Only RPAS weighing less than 2 kg can be operated without requiring authorization from the AFAC. Still, if used for commercial activities, they must have third-party damage insurance, among other conditions.
As for those weighing more than 2 kg, they can only be used within model airplane clubs when their use is recreational. Those for commercial use require authorization from the AFAC. The limitations are even more specific to operating devices weighing more than 25 kilograms, which can only fly under the terms and conditions authorized by the AFAC, in addition to the fact that their operator must have a pilot license.
Registering a drone in Mexico
The purpose of this instruction is to inform, in detail, about the procedure that must be carried out to register an RPAS online with the Federal Civil Aviation Agency (AFAC) through its website.
Every applicant must complete and submit their form APPENDIX “K” REGULATIONS: REGISTRATION OF RPAS BY THE RPAS OPERATOR in order to obtain their registration sheet issued by this aeronautical authority.
The recording of RPAS information must be carried out before starting its corresponding operation.
When you submit your form APPENDIX “K” REGULATIONS: REGISTRATION OF RPAS BY THE RPAS OPERATOR, you are certifying that all the information contained therein is true and correct. Falsifying information can cause you to lose the right to obtain a record. Check that all your answers are correct and that each question is fully answered.
Attach a digitized copy of the documentation proving the legal ownership or possession of your RPAS, as indicated in paragraphs 5., 5.1., 5.1.1. subparagraph a); 6., 6.1., 6.1.1. in subparagraph a) and 15.3 of the Official Mexican Standard NOM-107-SCT3-2019; remember that this information may be protected against third parties in case of any incident or conflict of interest.
*Instructive to obtain a registration of RPAS issued by the Mexican Aeronautical Registry, Dependent on the Federal Civil Aviation Agency (AFAC).
1. Fill out the form APPENDIX “K” REGULATIONS: REGISTRATION OF RPAS BY THE RPAS OPERATOR.
2. If you are a natural person, you must prove your personality by attaching a digitized copy of your official identification.
3. If you are a legal person, you must prove your personality by attaching a digitized copy of the articles of law and power of attorney.
4. Review the data provided (the waiting time to obtain your registration depends on it).
5. Prepare a scanned copy of the documentation proving ownership or possession of your RPAS (supported formats .pdf, .docx, .jpg or .png).
6. Send an email to email@example.com requesting registration for an RPAS, attaching the complete form in the format (Excel) provided below, along with its printed version signed by you and adding in an autograph way your Federal Register of Taxpayers with homoclave, if you have it; as well as digitized copies of the documentation proving the ownership
7. Wait for your registration sheet or the considerations to be covered to obtain it, at the email address provided, within ten business days from the date of entry of your application.
8. Use the space within your email to mention if you had any difficulties or problems filling out the form. Include the comments you have not been able to add, indicating which question on the form they refer to
9. If necessary, we will contact you to solve the problem. Otherwise, their appreciation will serve to improve the tool for future editions.
10. For any questions about it, please contact Tel: (55) 57239300 EXT. 18111, 18113, and 18125.
Appendix “J” Registration of RPAS marketed in Mexico
Appendix “K” Registration of RPAS by owners
Notes for recreational drone pilots flying for fun in Mexico
Follow the general rules listed above, but check for updates by visiting the regulator’s links provided.
Notes for operating Commercial Drone Services in Mexico
Authorization for photography and recording in areas, monuments, and museums of INAH
You must get permission to take photographs, film, or record in areas, monuments, and museums of the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) for professional or commercial purposes. There is also a fee for taking photos or videos in INAH areas. To apply for permission to take photos and videos in INAH areas, you will need to provide the following to INAH:
- A written document addressed to the National Coordination of Legal Affairs with a brief synopsis of the project
- Any Script, storyboard, or dummy sketch
- Application form INAH-01-001
Start your application process online here. You will complete the application at the INAH service offices.
License for Commercial Drone Operators in Mexico
Commercial drone operators are required to obtain a license in order to fly a drone in Mexico. In order to obtain a drone license in Mexico you must:
- Be at least 18 years old
- Be Mexican by birth
- Provide your military release card
- Have a high school diploma
- Be in good health
Contact the AFAC for specific rules and regulations.
Useful published information on flying drones in Mexico
Here is a useful introduction video (in Spanish) of tips for flying a drone legally in Mexico…
NOTE: Small Unmanned Aerial Systems (SUAS), Small UAS, Remote Piloted Aerial Systems (RPAS), unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), Unmanned Aerial System (UAS), and drone are interchangeable terms unless specified. Model Aircraft, toy, remote-controlled, and RC aircraft may be covered by the same regulations unless specified.
Find out why we think you must use a Drone Preflight Checklist and a Drone Post-flight checklist
Free Drone Flight Checklist PDF
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It includes both the preflight checklist and post-flight checklist
It’s an easy to use printable pdf that covers all your bases.
Traveling with a Drone?
Click here to read our Comprehensive Guide For Traveling With A Drone.
NOW ITS YOUR TURN
15 thoughts on “Drone Laws in Mexico”
Arrived at Merida Intl Airport and was slapped with a 19% tax on my personally owned DJI drone. They will ask how much you bought it for and tax you based on what you tell them.
Hey Chris, curious did you have proof of your prior purchase available to show them? Guessing they assumed you’d made the purchase in-country. We are flying down in a few weeks and what I’m seeing online says to be prepared with proof of purchase. If you did so may just have to be prepared to pay the tax.
Hi my name is Victor I have a holy Stone drone in this under 2 kg would I be allowed to fly it in Cabo San Lucas?
The drone is allowed if you follw the regualtions
You cant even fidn the DGAC website… Google and searched all day for answers. I’d like to try and get a clearance from them even as a non citizen. Cant believe they dont allow foreigners to fly. Half the country is an empty desert.
The DGAC is now AFAC (Civil Aviation Federal Agency), see link above. Please note that these sites are changing and are sometimes not accessible
Did you manage to find the DGAC website. And, if, did you manage to get a clearance after all?
The links to the appendixes don’t work. Could someone upload them somewhere else?
Stefan, we have included a new link that brings up the regulations and the appendices. Hopefully, the original links will be back up soon.
Hi, are foreigners allowed to bring and fly a drone in Mexico for recreational use and under 2kg? Previously at least, you had to be a local.
Carl, unfortunately, best as we can tell, the regulations don’t say one way or the other. You should contact DGAC directly, and please come back and tell us about your experience.
Hey! We’re going to Mexico tmr, are drones allowed? Ours is under 2kg?
Vanessa, the DGAC has not published specific rules related to foreign operators. Under 2kg is allowed (see above), and we have been told that foreigners have flown small drones without requiring DGAC approval (please note there are some restricted areas that do require approval regardless of drone size). If in doubt, we recommend checking with DGAC