Drone Laws in Wisconsin (2023)
A list of drone regulations and links for people flying drones in Wisconsin.
Wisconsin Drone Regulations
Federal Drone Laws in Wisconsin
These are drone laws that apply to every state in the U.S., including Wisconsin, and were created by the federal government.
To fly a drone as a commercial pilot in the state of Wisconsin (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 Wisconsin (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 Wisconsin (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 Wisconsin
These are drone laws that apply to the entire state of Wisconsin, and were created by the Wisconsin Legislature.
According to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation and the Wisconsin Legislature, Wisconsin has three state-wide laws concerning the use of drones in the state.
175.55 Use of Drones Restricted
This law prohibits Wisconsin law enforcement agencies to use a drone to gather evidence without obtaining a search warrant.
941.292 Possession of a Weaponized Drone
This law prohibits the operation of a weaponized drone.
This law prohibits photography, recording, or observing another individual in a place where they have a reasonable expectation of privacy.
All drone pilots operating commercially in the state of Wisconsin 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 Wisconsin? 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 Wisconsin 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 Wisconsin? To get great shots like these!
Local Drone Laws in Wisconsin
These are drone laws that apply only to certain regions, cities, or counties within the state of Wisconsin, and were created by various authorities within the state.
Town of Greenfield—Municipal Ordinance // 2017
No person shall launch or land a drone outside of their visual line of sight; within one-hundred (100) feet of any person except the operator and assistant operator; within five hundred (500) feet of any festival, event, picnic, protest or public assembly of more than one-hundred (100) people; in a manner so as to endanger the safety of any person or property; within five hundred (500) feet of any emergency vehicle which is operating its emergency lights or siren, to any active police, fire or emergency response incident, to schools that are in session, and jails.
City of Hudson—Municipal Ordinance // 2017
The Hudson Common Council has approved an ordinance regulating unlawful use of drones. The ordinance prevents the use of a drone with the intent to photograph, record or observe someone in a place where they have a reasonable expectation of privacy, like in their backyard or their residence, and imposes a fine of $200 for violations. Though State of Wisconsin already regulates use of drones in this manner, the city ordinance makes it easier for local law enforcement to enforce.
City of Chetek—Municipal Law // 2016
Altitude limitations on drone flights near Chetek Municipal Airport.
Outagamie County—Municipal Law // 2016
Drones may not be operated on airport grounds.
City of Green Bay—Municipal Law // 2013
Cannot fly below 400 feet within specified boundaries of special events, including Green Bay Packer games at Lambeau Field.
Flying a Drone in Wisconsin State Parks
Drones are not allowed in Wisconsin’s state parks according to the following code:
Wis. Adm. Code ch. NR 45.04(1)(c)
The use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), also known as drones, and other flying related activities, including but not limited to, hang gliding, parasailing, hot air ballooning, land sailing, flying model airplanes, or sky diving, is prohibited, except where posted for their use, at state parks, state recreation areas, state natural areas, the Kettle Moraine and Point Beach state forests, and the Lower Wisconsin state riverway.
One exception to this is the Richard Bong Special Use Zone, an area where visitors may fly model airplanes, rockets, hang gliders and hot air balloons. Visitors must call ahead at least a week before their planned event for permission to use the area, which is often booked in advance for specific activities.
Looking to get in more practice flying your drone? You can scout out safe and legal places to fly on your own using our guide to the Best Places to Fly a Drone in Milwaukee.
Want to get a feel for the kind of footage you could get flying a drone in Wisconsin? Here you go: