400ft Max Height
Under 100 MPH
Only line of sight
Michigan is lush with greenery and is home to breathtaking sights. If you want to take beautiful drone shots like the one above, you’ll have to be familiar with the drone laws in Michigan first. In this article we’ll look into the different laws regarding drone use there.
I got good news for you, drones are allowed in Michigan for recreational and commercial uses!
They’re however regulated by a myriad of laws and regulations. There are three types of drone laws in Michigan which we’ll go over in this article.
Starting with the first and general type of laws; federal drone laws.
Federal laws are laws created by the federal government, and that apply to every US state, including Michigan.
To get a very in-depth analysis on federal drone laws in the US, you can check this article I previously wrote on the subject. But we’ll brush over them in this section.
There are two types of drone flying. Recreational and commercial:
Recreational flying is any flying that you don’t get paid for (hobby). All you have to do to fly your drone recreationally is pass the TRUST test.
You can pass it for FREE from an official test administrator. Beware of anyone who tries to charge you for it. The FAA requires the test to be free (my personal recommendation are Uavcoach, they’re an FAA approved test provider).
The FAA considers any drone flight that you’re compensated for as commercial, even if you’re just selling pictures you captured from your drone. You’ll have to study for and pass the 107 test. I have done a complete guide on that test here.
There are also various other conditions that you need to fulfill. You can check them here.
Below are the federal drone laws in Michigan that you’ll have to keep in mind:
You can check my US drone laws article, where I go over airspace classifications and various other things related to drone regulations.
State laws are laws that were created by Michigan’s legislators and that apply only to Michigan. We’ll go over each one of them in this section.
According to the Michigan Department of Transportation there are several state-wide drone laws found in Michigan:
There are several laws in Michigan regarding privacy, the key ones being:
You can read up more on these laws here.
There are laws regarding the interference with enforcement agencies and first responders, they’re as follows:
Read up more on that here.
There are two other state laws in michigan that I could find, but they don’t fit in the categories above.
NOTE: Any who uses their drone in a manner prohibited by all the laws listed above is guilty of misdemeanor.
These local drone laws are laws that only apply to certain cities or regions within the state of Michigan. They’re created and enforced by the local authorities.
There aren’t many local drone laws in michigan, I could only find one city and two locations that had special laws:
The law here is pretty simple, all park areas are no-fly zones. You can check that law in detail here.
According to this ordinance, you may not fly your drone anywhere above the university’s campus, unless prior permission has been obtained from the executive vice president.
This resort prohibits the use of drones (commercial and recreational) by the guests and public for any reason.
The only exception where you can fly your drone here is if you have an official permit from the FAA and a written permission from the resort’s authorities. It’s usually granted for workers doing marketing and inspections.
Fines are up to the enforcement division, but the FAA will rarely go for the maximum.
For accidental first-offenses, the FAA tends to require a temporary suspension of their UAS Airman certificate and remedial training.
For the more egregious offenses, such as flying in an airport vicinity, expect slightly more serious repercussions. Should an illegally operated drone crash and injure someone, the operator will then face serious trouble and possibly jail time.
In conclusion, just make sure you keep the federal laws in mind as they are the most important. Have fun and fly safely, most of these laws are just common sense.