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Drone laws in Missouri: All You Need To Know (2023)

Updated in 2023 by Paul Posea

What would happen if you flew your drone over private property in Missouri without permission? Will you be arrested, fined, or both? Read on, and you'll find out the federal and state rules governing drone operations in Missouri.

Drones are such a big part of our society and quickly becoming a part of our daily lives. They allow us to capture incredible aerial footage and provide new surveillance methods. Today, drones are in construction, film, and countless other industries.

The United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) estimates that drones could soon make up half of U.S. airspace. Therefore, it's vital to have laws governing ownership and operation of these devices. By 2021, there were 855,704 drones registered in the United States of America.

Currently, federal and state laws guide the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).In addition to these general federal regulations, each state has specific laws regarding where and who can fly a drone.

Federal Drone Laws in Missouri

Federal government drone laws apply to all 50 states in the United States, including Missouri. These laws and rules set by the Federal Aviation Administration regulate the use of drones for both recreational and commercial purposes.

As a new drone pilot, determine what type of user you are, register, and learn the regulations that pertain to that category. These rules and safety tips are in place for your flight safety.

It's important to note that federal airspace laws supersede state or local drone laws. Any state law that conflicts with FAA rules will likely be invalid.

Federal Drone Laws for Recreational Flying in Missouri

To operate your drone for fun or as a hobby in Missouri, you must take an aeronautical knowledge and safety test, The Recreational UAS Safety Test (TRUST). This online test is offered free by the FAA via approved test administrators.

The TRUST test covers basic safety topics and FAA regulations that drone operators should know to operate a drone safely. This test equips drone pilots with basic knowledge of safety guidelines.

Once done, you'll receive a completion certificate. Some testing platforms may send the certificate to your email as a link, while others will have the certificates on their sites for download.

The general rule is that you must register your drone at FAADroneZone. Drones that weigh less than 250 grams and are operated by hobbyists under the Exception for Recreational Flyers are exempt from this rule. The registration fee is $5 and is valid for three years.

Federal Drone Laws for Commercial Flying in Missouri

As a commercial drone operator in Missouri, you'll have to pass the Unmanned Aircraft General ( UAG) knowledge test, commonly referred to as  Part 107 FAA test. It consists of 60 questions that require you to master over 120 concepts. You need at least a 70% score to qualify for a Remote Pilot Certificate.

To be eligible for the test:

  • You must be at least 16 years old 
  • Capable of reading, writing, and understanding English
  • Be mentally and physically fit to fly an unmanned aerial vehicle

Next, you'll need to register your drone at the FAA DroneZone under Part 107 of the regulations. The registration fee is $5, valid for three years. 

Federal Drone Laws That Apply to Recreational and Commercial Drone Pilots in Missouri

Some federal laws apply to both recreational and commercial drone operators. In Missouri, you should be aware of the following drone rules:

  • Always maintain visual contact with your unmanned aircraft
  • You must register your drone with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)
  • Your maximum drone speed should not exceed 100 mph
  • Keep your altitude at 400 feet or below
  • Be careful and don't interfere with manned aircrafts
  • Flying in uncontrolled airspace without a permit is prohibited
  • Don't operate your drone under the influence of alcohol


 On April 21, 2021, the Operations Over People rule came into effect. The FAA modified its regulation because of increased demand for flexibility in small UAVs operations. Drone pilots operating under Part 107 of the rules are now free to; fly at night, over people, and moving vehicles without a permit, as long as they meet the requirements set out in the law.

Remote Identification Rule

Drones are fundamentally changing aviation. To fully integrate them into the National Airspace System (NAS), the FAA has introduced a new rule that will come into force by 2023.All drones operating in the United States airspace at that time must have a remote identification capability. Remote identification will provide the relevant authorities with the drone’s title, take-off location, and position while in flight.

State Drone Laws in Missouri 

As per the Department of Transportation and the General Assembly in Missouri, there are no state-specific drone laws. Federal Aviation Administration controls and rules by local governments regulate drone operations in the state.

Local Government and Municipal Drone Laws in Missouri

These are ordinances, regulations, and codes enacted by local authorities in Missouri. Such ordinances apply to specific regions, cities, or counties within the state.

Jackson County Ordinance 1447 Ch.50 (2015)

According to this code, drone operators must have liability insurance to get a permit from Jackson County. You're prohibited from operating an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) in a county park without a permit.

Furthermore, your drone must prominently display frequency flags and channel numbers while flying inside approved zones. While operating your drone, the sound produced is restricted to not more than 58db.

City of Columbia (Municipal Code 2018)

This rule restricts drone activities in city parks outside of designated zones. To operate in such areas, you'll need a special permit from the park director.

St. Louis Forest Park (Municipal Code)

You must apply for a St. Louis Board of Public Service permit to fly drones in this park. Your application must include; drone specifications, a copy of your valid pilot license, and a certificate of insurance cover for $ 1,000,000.

St. Louis County Parks,2017

This rule regulates and manages various aerial activities, including drone operations within St Louis County Parks. The use of drones is only allowed within a section of Antire Valley and at Buder Park.

St Charles County Parks and Recreations, 2017

The ordinance prohibits drones within the county parks and preserved areas or parks in the reserve. Drone operators must apply for permission in advance to operate

within specifically designated zones approved by the Director of Parks.

Most local authorities' drone laws prohibit drone launching, flying, or landing in most Missouri state parks. Flying drones in these areas requires a permit.

Penalties for Violation of Drone Laws in Missouri

Violation of federal rules may lead to FAA sanctions. Generally, the first course of action by the FAA is to educate the operators who are in violation and not arbitrarily punish them. In the case of a minor infraction, the FAA might temporarily suspend your certificate and recommend remedial training. 

Expect a heavy civil or criminal penalty for more severe offenses like not registering your drone or flying in restricted areas. Not registering your drone could attract  a civil fine of up to a maximum of $27,000. The criminal penalty could be a fine of up to $250,000 or three years in prison.

Follow these guidelines for a safe and enjoyable flying experience. If you're unsure whether you're operating under Part 107 or the Exception For Recreational rule, try the FAA user identification tool, or call your local authority.

Hi, I'm Paul.
A big drone enthusiast, reviewing, comparing and writing about drones since 2015. I'm all about helping people enjoy and even monetize their hobby.

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paul posea
Paul Posea
Hi, I'm a long-time drone reviewer and I hope my articles and comparisons on this site as well as Dronesgator's youtube channel are of as much help as possible.
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