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Drone laws in Montana: The Ultimate Guide (2023)

Updated in 2023 by Paul Posea

If you plan to visit Montana state with your drone, you must know all the rules and regulations for drone flights within the state. If you violate any of the laws within the Montana state, there is a higher chance of getting into trouble. 

Luckily, you have come to the right place because, in this article, I will tell you about all the rules and regulations that commercial and recreational drone pilots must know. After reading this article, you won't have any kind of confusion regarding the drone laws in Montana. 

I know you must be excited to learn them all; therefore, I won't keep you waiting anymore. So without any further ado, let's get started.

Are Drones Allowed within the State of Montana?

First of all, you might be thinking about whether you can fly your drone within the state of Montana or not. The answer to this question is yes.

The State of Montana does not restrict the flight of commercial and recreational drones as long as the drone pilot follows all the rules and regulations imposed by the govt. 

Speaking of the rules and regulations, there are laws on three levels: state laws, local laws, and federal laws. Let's look at the Federal laws for drones in Montana first and see the main requirements for commercial and recreational pilots.

Federal Drone Laws in Montana

The Federal Aviation Administration has imposed some laws for recreational and commercial drones that everyone must follow in any state of the US. These laws are imposed for the sake of public safety and state infrastructure. 

Federal drone laws can be divided into three main categories, i.e., recreational pilots, commercial pilots, and government operators. 

Let's take a look at each one of these to get a better understanding

Federal Drone Laws for Commercial Drone Pilots

For all commercial drone operators who wish to fly their drones for a business purpose, they must follow the requirements of the FAA's Part 107. According to the FAA's rule for small UAS (Part 107), you must pass the FAA's Aeronautical Knowledge Test first and obtain a remote flying license.

This will authorize you to fly your drone within Montana but only in the allowed places until you get special permission to fly your drone in restricted places. In addition to this, you must register your drone and affix the registration number to your drone in such a way that it is clearly visible. 

Federal Drone Laws for Recreational Drone Pilots

If you are going to Montana to fly your drone for recreational purposes, you will need to pass the FAA's test for recreational pilots.

This test is called TRUST, which stands for "The Recreational UAS Safety Test," and it is mandatory for every recreational drone pilot; otherwise, you will not be allowed to fly your drone within Montana. 

Apart from that, the Federal Aviation Administration also requires you to obtain a license for your drone and affix it in such a way that it is clearly visible. In addition to this, there are some weight limits too that you must keep in mind. According to the FAA's Part 107, if the drone's weight is more than 0.55 lbs, you will need to pay a $5 registration fee to register your drone before flying it. 

Also, you are not allowed to fly your drone near airports and military bases. In addition to this, you must never fly your drone beyond the line of sight range; otherwise, you will be violating the FAA laws. Under such conditions, if you get caught, you will get yourself into serious trouble.

Federal Drone Laws for Govt Operators

If you are a government operator, you must follow the FAA's part 107 rules and get the federal certification of authorization (COA) before operating your drone for the mission.

Also, it should be kept in mind that only law enforcement officers and other government departments are allowed to fly their drone over someone's property during the case investigation, etc.

Recreational and commercial pilots can not fly their drones in residential areas as you may violate the FAA laws. 

State Laws for Drones in Montana

Next up, there are state laws for both commercial and recreational drones that everyone must follow if they intend to fly their drone within the state. 

These laws are created by the Montana Legislature and apply to the entire state of Montana. According to the Montana Dept of Transportation and Legislature, there are two state-wide laws for drones, and these are as follows:

According to HB 644 of the 2017 act, no drones are allowed near wildfire suppression missions. If you fly near them, you will be fined equivalent to the cost of interference. In addition to this, this law restricts local governments from making ordinances that address the usage of drones for wildfire. 

Apart from that, SB 196 of 2013 act, limits the information gained using the UAS and used as evidence in any prosecution or proceeding within the state. Only those with search warrants can use UAS to collect data from the scene. In addition to this, all commercial drone pilots must follow the FAA Part 107 rules. 

Local Laws for Drones in Montana 

Currently (at the time of writing this article), there are no special local laws for drones in Montana. Therefore, all commercial and recreational drone pilots must follow the state and the FAA rules and regulations for drones. 

Apart from that, you must also fly your drone safely and away from the crowded area to maintain the safety of people around. Also, you should never fly your drone directly to overcrowd or move vehicles; otherwise, accidents may occur. 

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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