Drone Laws in Tennessee (2023)
A list of drone regulations and links for people flying drones in Tennessee.
Tennessee Drone Regulations
Federal Drone Laws in Tennessee
These are drone laws that apply to every state in the U.S., including Tennessee, and were created by the federal government.
To fly a drone as a commercial pilot in the state of Tennessee (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 Tennessee (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 Tennessee (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 Tennessee
These are drone laws that apply to the entire state of Tennessee, and were created by the Tennessee General Assembly.
According to the Tennessee Department of Transportation and the Tennessee General Assembly, Tennessee has six state-wide laws concerning the use of drones in the state.
This law makes it a crime to fly a drone within 250 feet of a critical infrastructure facility for the purpose of conducting surveillance or gathering information about the facility.
This law clarifies that it is permissible for a person to use UAS on behalf of either a public or private institution of higher education, rather than just public institutions.
This law prohibits using a drone to capture an image over certain open-air events and fireworks displays.
This law makes it a Class C misdemeanor for any private entity to use a drone to conduct video surveillance of a person who is hunting or fishing without their consent.
This law makes it a Class C misdemeanor for a person to use UAS to intentionally conduct surveillance of an individual or their property. This law also makes it a crime to possess those images (Class C Misdemeanor) or distribute and otherwise use them (Class B Misdemeanor).
This law enables law enforcement to use drones in compliance with a search warrant, to counter a high-risk terrorist attack, and if swift action is needed to prevent imminent danger to life. Evidence obtained in violation of this law is not admissible in state criminal prosecutions, and those wronged by such evidence can seek civil remedy.
All drone pilots operating commercially in the state of Tennessee 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 Tennessee? 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 Tennessee 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 Tennessee? To get great shots like these!
Local Drone Laws in Tennessee
These are drone laws that apply only to certain regions, cities, or counties within the state of Tennessee, and were created by various authorities within the state.
Metro Government of Nashville and Davidson County Ordinance 13.24.400
With the exception of designated flying areas in certain parks, this ordinance makes it illegal to bring, land or cause to descend or alight within or upon any Davidson County park any apparatus for aviation, including drones.
Take a Drone Flight Training Class in Tennessee
UAV Coach offers in-person training in select cities in Tennessee. 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 Tennessee.
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 guide to the Best Places to Fly a Drone in Memphis and Nashville.
Want to get a feel for the kind of footage you could get flying a drone in Tennessee? Here you go: