Drone Laws in Florida (2023)
A list of drone regulations and links for people flying drones in Florida.
Florida Drone Regulations
Federal Drone Laws in Florida
These are drone laws that apply to every state in the U.S., including Florida, and were created by the federal government.
To fly a drone as a commercial pilot in the state of Florida (i.e. for work / business purposes) you are required to 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 fly a drone as a hobbyist in the state of Florida (i.e. for fun / pleasure) you are required by the FAA to take The Recreational UAS Safety Test (TRUST). You are also required to follow the FAA’s recreational model aircraft rules. One of those rules is that if your drone weighs more than 0.55 lbs (250g), you’ll need to pay $5 to get it registered. There are additional rules when it comes to airspace and altitude, keeping your drone within line-of-sight while you’re flying, and more.
To fly a drone as a government employee in the state of Florida (i.e., for a police or fire department) you may either operate under the FAA’s Part 107 rule or obtain a federal Certificate of Authorization (COA).
Note: The content on this page is meant for informational purposes only, and is not meant to take the place of legal counsel.
[Want to become a commercial drone pilot? Learn how to get your FAA drone license in this in-depth guide.]
State Drone Laws in Florida
These are drone laws that apply to the entire state of Florida, and were created by the Florida Legislature.
According to the Florida Department of Transportation and the Florida Legislature, Florida has four state-wide laws concerning the use of drones in the state.
This law pre-empts local regulation of UAS so that only the Florida Legislature can make laws concerning the use of drones in the state, but allows local governments to enact drone ordinances related to nuisances, voyeurism, harassment, reckless endangerment, property damage, or other illegal acts. This law also prohibits the operation of drones over or near critical infrastructure in most instances, as well as prohibiting the possession or operation of a weaponized UAS.
This law prohibits the use of a drone to capture an image of privately owned property or the owner, tenant, or occupant of such property without consent if a reasonable expectation of privacy exists.
This law defines what a drone is and limits the use of drones by law enforcement. Under this law, law enforcement may use a drone if they obtain a warrant, there is a terrorist threat, or “swift action” is needed to prevent loss of life or to search for a missing person. This law also enables someone harmed by an inappropriate use of drones to pursue civil action.
Florida Administrative Code 5I-4.003 // 2016
This state code prohibits drones on managed lands, including Florida state parks and forests, except at a runway or a helispot and only with authorization from the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Authorization shall be based upon a determination that the takeoff or landing will not endanger the health, safety or welfare of any person; potentially damage the forest resources; or interfere with management objectives of that forest as provided in that forest’s management plan. Authorization from the Service is not required in an emergency or for Service official business.
Florida Administrative Code 40C-9.320 // 2004
This state code prohibits drones from taking off or landing on District lands unless authorized by a Special Use Authorization.
All drone pilots operating commercially in the state of Florida are subject to the FAA’s Part 107 rules. Learn more about the FAA’s certification process to obtain a commercial drone license in this free guide.
Know something we don’t about drone laws in Florida? Send us an email at support[at]uavcoach[dot]com. We do our best to keep this list up-to-date, but the reality is that given the pace of the small unmanned aerial system (sUAS) industry and how municipal governments are responding, drone regulations in Florida can change throughout the year, and changes can be hard to track. If we missed something, please reach out to let us know.
Why fly a drone in Florida? To get great shots like these!
Local Drone Laws in Florida
These are drone laws that apply only to certain regions, cities, or counties within the state of Florida, and were created by various authorities within the state.
Town of Bonita Springs—Municipal Law // 2016
This city ordinance limits the flying of drones at Community Park in Bonita Springs to times when the fields of the park are unoccupied. This city ordinance also makes it illegal to fly within 25 feet of people, power lines, buildings, or light fixtures.
City of Miami—Municipal Law // 2016
This city ordinance prohibits the use of drones over or within a half-mile radius of sporting events or large-venue events, including but not limited to Bayfront Park, Marlins Ballpark, Miami Marine Stadium, Calle Ocho Festival, and any other public parks or facilities during special events. This city ordinance also prohibits drones from being equipped with any type of detachable cargo or carrying any type of weapon, and establishes a requirement that a city permit is required for certain “drone-related activities.”
Town of Defuniak Springs—Municipal Law // 2016
This city ordinance prohibits drones from being flown over public or private property without the owner’s consent. This ordinance also requires that commercial drone pilots register with the town police department before doing any kind of commercial work using drones in the city.
City of Orlando—Municipal Law // 2016
This city ordinance places restrictions on flying drones within 500 feet of city-owned parks, schools, and venues such as the Amway Center, Camping World Stadium and Harry P. Leu Gardens. This ordinance also places restrictions on the use of drones within 500 feet of gatherings with more than 1,000 people. A permit is required to fly in these areas, which costs $20 per flight or $150 annually, and those caught in violation of this ordinance will have to pay fines between $200 and $400.
Pinellas County—Code of Ordinances // 2018
This county ordinance prohibits drone operators from taking off or landing a drone in or on any county-owned or managed land, except for purposes of public safety where written permission has been obtained from the administrator or designee.
Lake County—Code of Ordinances // 2001
This county ordinance prohibits drone operators from taking off or landing a drone on any county-owned land that is listed as a non-recreation area or in areas that specifically restrict the operation of drones unless prior permission has been granted by the director or designee.
The University of Tampa—UAV & Drone Policy // 2015
This campus policy restricts any drone operations within or over University-owned property, except when prior authorization is granted. The operation of drones will only be considered for the airspace directly over Plant Park. More information about the authorization process can be found in the link above.
Canaveral Port Authority—Unmanned Systems (Drone) Policy
This policy prohibits the operation of a drone on any CPA property without prior authorization. Requests for authorization shall be made to CPA Public Safety & Security 48 hours in advance of the intended start of any unmanned system operation. The online application form can be found in the link above.
Take a Drone Flight Training Class in Florida
UAV Coach offers in-person training in select cities in Florida. The 2-hour, in-person training class provides hands-on flight time with an instructor, practice with intelligent flight modes, and education on what to do before, during, and after a flight mission to stay compliant and safe. During the class, you’ll also get a chance to ask your questions about regulations, software, flight operations management, checklists and more.
Sign up for an in-person drone flight training class in Florida.
Looking to get in more practice flying your drone? In addition to taking a drone flight training class with one of our trained instructors, you can also scout out safe and legal places to fly on your own using our guides to the Best Places to Fly a Drone in Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando, and Tampa.
Want to get a feel for the kind of footage you could get flying a drone in Florida? Here you go: