Drone Laws in Vermont

Agencies Responsible for regulating drones in the State of Vermont

Federal Aviation Administration

FAA Drone Website: https://www.faa.gov/uas/

Updated January 3, 2022


UAS Laws – General rules for flying drones in Vermont

Drone operation in the State of Vermont is broadly governed by The Federal USA agency responsible for drone safety, the FAA. Click here for details on FAA USA Drone Laws.

In addition, the Vermont State legislature has enacted several supplemental rules specific to Vermont drone operations. The highlights are enumerated below.

Are drones allowed in Vermont?

Drones are allowed in Vermont for recreational and commercial use, subject to FAA regulations and flight controls put in place by local governments. Read on for details.

Specific additional drone use laws by Vermont legislature

Vermont Statute Definition of Unmanned Aerial System (UAS)

Vermont statute defines UAS as powered aerial vehicles (drones) that do not carry people or need a human operator on or within the craft. UAVs can fly autonomously or by a remote pilot.

§ 4622. | Law Enforcement Usage of Drones (2016)

The purpose of this Vermont law is to regulate drone usage by law enforcement agencies. No agency shall use drones to gather information for an investigation, detection, or prosecuting crimes. Nor shall law enforcement use drones to gather or keep personal data on private citizens who peacefully exercise their constitutional rights to assembly and free speech.

The law also prohibits the weaponization of UAS. That includes equipping the craft with fire projectiles and other deadly or dangerous weapons. Those who violate this rule face a maximum prison sentence of one year, a fine of $10,000, or both.

4623. Use of drones; Federal Aviation Administration requirements

Any use of drones by any person, including a law enforcement agency, shall comply with all applicable Federal Aviation Administration requirements and guidelines.

4624. Reports

On or before September 1 of each year, any law enforcement agency that has used a drone within the previous 12 months shall report the following information to the Department of Public Safety:

  1. The number of times the agency used a drone within the previous 12 months. For each use of a drone, the agency shall report the type of incident involved, the nature of the information collected, and the rationale for deployment of the drone.
  2. The number of criminal investigations aided and arrests made through use of information gained by the use of drones within the previous 12 months, including a description of how the drone aided each investigation or arrest.
  3. The number of times a drone collected data on any person, home, or area other than the target of the surveillance within the previous 12 months and the type of data collected in each instance.
  4. The cost of the agency’s drone program and the program’s source of funding.

4018. DRONES

No person shall equip a drone with a dangerous or deadly weapon or fire a projectile from a drone. A person who violates this section shall be imprisoned not more than one year or fined not more than $1,000.00, or both.

20 Aerial Hunting

The purpose of this rule is to restrict the taking of wild animals by use of aircraft and drones.

Prohibitions:

  1. It shall be unlawful for any person to take or attempt to take wild animals while a person is in an aircraft.
  2. It shall be unlawful for any person to take or attempt to take wild animals by use of an UAV.
  3. It shall be unlawful for any person within an aircraft, or with the use of a drone or UAV, to:
  1. a) attempt to locate, surveil, or aid or assist in attempting to locate or surveil any wild animal, for the purpose of taking or attempting to take the wild animal; or
  2. b) drive or harass any wild animal, or otherwise aid or assist in taking or attempting to take a wild animal.

Specific additional UAV laws by local governments within Vermont

Counties or towns within Vermont may have specific restrictions within their jurisdictions. We recommend checking the local jurisdiction for the latest regulations.

UAS operation rules in Parks, Recreation and Cultural Preserves

No specific drone laws regarding parks within Vermont were found at the time of our search. We recommend checking the local jurisdiction for the latest regulations.

Specific additional UAV laws laws in Jurisdictions within Vermont

Counties or towns within Vermont may have specific restrictions within their jurisdictions. We recommend checking the local jurisdiction for the latest regulations.


Notes for recreational drone pilots flying for fun in Vermont

If you have a small drone that is less than 55 pounds, you can fly recreationally by following the Drone Laws in the USA defined by FAA Part 107 guidelines.

Recreational UAS operations (i.e., flying for recreational purposes) in Vermont are approved under Federal law, specifically the FAA Part 107. Please check the specific state jurisdiction for additional permissions, licensing, or clearance requirements.

Following these rules will keep you and your drone safe and will help keep the airspace available to everyone.

  1. Fly only for recreational purposes (enjoyment). 
  2. Follow the safety guidelines of an FAA-recognized Community Based Organization (CBO). Note: We have not yet begun officially recognizing CBOs. Recreational flyers should follow the safety guidelines of existing aeromodelling organizations or use the FAA-provided safety guidelines per Advisory Circular 91-57B.
  3. Keep your drone within the visual line of sight or use a co-located visual observer (physically next to) and in direct communication with you.
  4. Give way to and do not interfere with crewed aircraft.
  5. Fly at or below 400′ in controlled airspace (Class B, C, D, and E) with prior authorization by using LAANC or DroneZone.
  6. Fly at or below 400 feet in Class G (uncontrolled) airspace. Note: Drone flights may be prohibited in certain airspace or may require FAA authorization. A drone pilot can find navigable airspace, other Classes of airspace, and flying restrictions on our B4UFLY app or the UAS Facility Maps webpage.
  7. Take The Recreational UAS Safety Test (TRUST) and carry proof of test passage.
  8. Have a current registrationmark (PDF) your drones on the outside with the registration number, and carry proof of registration with you. For recreational flyers, the FAA does not require you to register or mark a drone which weighs less than 0.55 lbs (250 grams).
  9. Do not dangerously operate your drone. For example:
    • Do not interfere with emergency response or law enforcement activities.
    • Do not fly under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
    • Avoid flying near or over critical infrastructure.

Recreational drone pilots should know that if they intentionally violate any of these safety requirements and/or operate their drone flight carelessly or recklessly, they could be liable for criminal and/or civil penalties.


Notes for operating Commercial Drone Services in Vermont

If you have a small unmanned aircraft that is less than 55 pounds, you can fly for work or business by following the Drone Laws in the USA defined by FAA Part 107 guidelines.

Commercial drone operations in Vermont are approved under the FAA Part 107. Please check the specific state jurisdiction for additional permissions, licensing, or clearance requirements.

There are three main steps drone owners must follow To fly under Part 107 rules:

Step 1: Learn the Rules

  1. Make sure you understand what is and is not allowed under Part 107 rules. Review a summary of the Part 107 rules (PDF). Still unsure if Part 107 rules work for you and your intended UAS operation? Check the FAA user identification tool.
  2. Some operations are not covered by Part 107 and will require a waiver. Here are some common examples of Part 107 sections that are subject to waiver:
    • Operation from a moving vehicle or aircraft (§ 107.25) *
    • Daylight operation (§ 107.29)
    • Visual line of sight aircraft operation (§ 107.31) *
    • Visual observer (§ 107.33)
    • Operation of multiple small unmanned aircraft systems (§ 107.35)
    • Yielding the right of way (§ 107.37(a))
    • Operation over people (§ 107.39)
    • Operation in certain airspace (§ 107.41)
    • Operating limitations for small unmanned aircraft (§ 107.51) 
    • *The FAA will not waive this section to allow the carriage of property of another by aircraft for compensation or hire.
    • If your operation will require a waiver, read about the Part 107 Waiver application process.
  3. Commercial Drone Pilots should avoid flying near airports because it is difficult for manned aircraft to see and avoid a drone while flying. Remember that the UAS operator must avoid crewed aircraft and are responsible for any safety hazard their drone creates in an airport environment. Read more about flying near airports.

Step 2: Become an FAA-Certified Drone Pilot by Passing the Knowledge Test

  1. To be eligible to get your Drone License (Remote Pilot Certificate), you must be:
    • At least 16 years old
    • Able to read, write, speak, and understand English
    • Be in a physical and mental condition to safely fly a UAS
  2. Review the entire process to get your Drone License or Remote Pilot Certificate.
  3. Study for the Knowledge Test by reviewing the Test Prep materials provided by the FAA.
  4. Obtain an FAA Tracking Number (FTN) by creating an Integrated Airman Certification and Rating Application (IACRA) profile before registering for a knowledge test.
  5. Schedule an appointment to take the Knowledge Test at an FAA-approved Knowledge Testing Center.
  6. Once you’ve passed your test, complete FAA Form 8710-13 for a remote pilot certificate (FAA Airman Certificate and/or Rating Application) using the electronic FAA Integrated Airman Certificate and/or Rating Application system (IACRA)*
  7. You are now eligible to operate as a commercial drone pilot

Step 3: Register your drone with the FAA

  • Registration costs $5 and is valid for three years. You’ll need a credit or debit card and the make and model of your drone handy to register.
  • Visit dronezone.faa.gov and select “Fly sUAS under Part 107” to create an account and register your drone.
  • Once you’ve registered, mark your drone (PDF) with your registration number if it gets lost or stolen.

Commercial rules in Parks, Recreation and Cultural reserves

We suggest you contact the local parks agencies and check for specific permissions required.


Useful published information on flying drones in Vermont

We have partnered with the FAA and other drone enthusiasts in supporting an internet educational campaign called Know Before You Fly. The tips, pointers, and resources apply to Vermont Drone Users also. Please visit the site for additional information: Know Before You Fly

Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International – Mostly for commercial drone service providers and users.

Academy of Model Aeronautics – Mostly for hobbyists

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 aircraft, Remote controlled aircraft, and RC aircraft may be covered by the same regulations unless specified.


Traveling with a Drone?

Click here to read our Comprehensive Guide For Traveling With A Drone



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The content on this site (The latest Drone Laws/Drone Regulations) is collated by volunteers from public general information. This material is not presented as legal advice of any kind, and we cannot guarantee that the information is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. Do not substitute the information you find here for legal advice from a licensed attorney who is authorized to practice in the jurisdiction. When in doubt, contact the local aviation authority responsible for drone safety, utilize a licensed drone service operator, and/or consult a qualified attorney.

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