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Drone Laws in South Dakota (2021)

A list of drone regulations and links for people flying drones in South Dakota.

drone laws in South DakotaSouth Dakota Drone Regulations


Federal Drone Laws in South Dakota

These are drone laws that apply to every state in the U.S., including South Dakota, and were created by the federal government.

To fly a drone as a commercial pilot in the state of South Dakota (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 South Dakota (i.e. for fun / pleasure) you are 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 over here. And 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 South Dakota (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.

State Drone Laws in South Dakota

These are drone laws that apply to the entire state of South Dakota, and were created by the South Dakota Legislature.

According to the South Dakota Department of Transportation and the South Dakota Legislature, South Dakota has two state-wide laws concerning the use of drones in the state.

SB 22 // 2017

This law exempts UAS that weigh less than 55 pounds from aircraft registration requirements.

SB 80 // 2017

This law:

  • Requires that UAS operation comply with all applicable FAA requirements.
  • Prohibits operation of drones over the grounds of correctional and military facilities, making such operation a class 1 misdemeanor. If a drone is used to deliver contraband or drugs to a correctional facility, the operator is guilty of a class 6 felony.
  • Modifies the crime of unlawful surveillance to include intentional use of a drone to observe, photograph, or record someone in a private place with a reasonable expectation of privacy and landing a drone on the property of an individual without that person’s consent. Unlawful surveillance is a class 1 misdemeanor.

All drone pilots operating commercially in the state of South Dakota 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 South Dakota? 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 South Dakota can change throughout the year, and changes can be hard to track. If we missed something, please reach out to let us know.

flying a drone in South Dakota
Why fly a drone in South Dakota? To get great shots like these!

Local Drone Laws in South Dakota

These are drone laws that apply only to certain regions, cities, or counties within the state of South Dakota, and were created by various authorities within the state.

City of Aberdeen—Municipal Law // 2016

This city ordinance permits drone operations in city airspace for hobby or recreational purposes only.

Take a Drone Flight Training Class in South Dakota

UAV Coach offers in-person training in select cities in South Dakota. The 90-minute, 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 South Dakota.

Want to get a feel for the kind of footage you could get flying a drone in South Dakota? Here you go:

Aerial Drone footage South Dakota