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Drone Laws in Wisconsin - [State, Local and Federal Laws 2023]

Updated in 2023 by Paul Posea

Wisconsin contains beautiful landscapes that look super fascinating from the top. Due to this, you may have planned a visit to Wisconsin and take some cool drone shots.

However, before you go there and fly your drone, you must be aware of all the local, federal, and state laws within the state. If you don't follow the rules, there are higher chances you might get into trouble. 

Having that said, you shouldn't worry at all if you already don't know about the laws of Wisconsin about drones. I will help you out by providing a list of all the drone laws in Wisconsin. You can also refer to my other articles on Drone Laws for more information.

But for now, let's take a closer look at the rules and regulations about drones in Wisconsin only. So without further ado, let's get started.

Are Drones Allowed within Wisconsin?

The first question that almost everyone may have on their minds is whether drones are allowed within the state of Wisconsin or not. The answer to this question is:

The State of Wisconsin allows the use of drones for both commercial and recreational purposes, provided that you are following all the rules within the state. 

However, you can't fly your drone everywhere within the state because there are some restrictions you will learn in a moment. But first, you should know the federal laws within Wisconsin state for drones.

Federal Drone Laws in Wisconsin

Here are some rules and regulations imposed by the federal government within the state of Wisconsin that both recreational as well as commercial UAV pilots must follow:

Federal Drone Laws for Recreational Pilots

If you are a recreational drone flyer and want to fly your drone just for the sake of fun and joy, then the first thing that you must do is to clear the TRUST test. This test is the basic requirement of the FAA rules for recreational pilots.

However, not only must you pass this exam, but you also have to follow some specific recreational model rules when flying your drone. According to these rules, the weight of the recreational model must be within the range of 0.55 lbs to 55 lbs.

If your drone weighs 0.55 lbs, you don't need any registration. However, if the weight of your drone exceeds this range (0.55 lbs), you must pay a $5 registration fee to register your drone first. In addition to this, you must never fly your drone beyond the line of sight range and keep the maximum flight height to 400 meters only. 

Federal Laws for Commercial Drone Pilots

If you are a commercial pilot, then the first thing that you must do is register your drone with the FAA. You should affix your registration number to your drone and make sure it is visible. In addition to this, the FAA requires you to pass the basic FAA's Aeronautical Knowledge Test as per the FAA's rule part 107.

You must obtain the remote pilot certificate, which will authorize you for flying your drone for commercial applications within the state. 

Federal Drone Laws for Govt Operators

If you are a govt operator such as the Fire dept or a law enforcement officer, you should follow the FAA's Part 107 rules. Other than that, you can also obtain the Federal certificate of authorization (COA). This will authorize you to fly your drone anywhere in the state for govt missions only. 

State Drone Laws in Wisconsin:

Drones can be used for commercial purposes in Wisconsin, but there are some restrictions on their use. The following is a list of drone regulations in Wisconsin:

  1. All drones must be registered with the FAA before they can be flown.
  2. Drones may not weigh more than 55 pounds.
  3. Drones cannot be operated beyond the line of sight of the operator.
  4. Drones may not exceed 400 feet above ground level.
  5. Drones may not operate over certain areas, including airports, stadiums, prisons, hospitals, schools, and other sensitive locations.
  6. Only those who hold a private pilot license or higher may remotely control a drone.
  7. Drones must be maintained according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  8. Drones must be insured against damage caused by collision, fire, theft, etc.
  9. Drones operators must agree to waive liability claims.
  10. A permit is required to operate a drone.

Apart from that, the department of transportation and the Wisconsin Legislature impose two major statewide laws.

  • According to SB 388 // 2016, all drone pilots are prohibited from using drones for any kind of hunting, fishing, or trapping activities.
  • Besides that, the AB 670 // 2016 act restricts the operation of UAS for correctional facilities. 

 Local Drone Laws in Wisconsin:

Apart from the State and Federal laws, there are some local laws that every commercial and recreational drone pilot must follow. Let's take a closer look at these rules one by one. 

According to the Municipal ordinance of the Town of Greenfield 2017 act, you must not launch or land your drone outside the visual line of sight within 100 feet of any person. 

In addition to this, you must also keep your drone away at least 500 meters away from any festival, event, picnic, protest, or public assembly of more than 100 people. 

Also, you should not interfere with any emergency, police, or fire incidents, and make sure to stay at least 500 meters away in this case too. 

Furthermore, the City of Hudson has approved the ordinance of the regulation of the unlawful use of UAS. According to the Municipal ordinance act 2017, you cannot fly your drone for photographing, recording, or observing someone.

This means if you fly your drone to someone's backyard or any part of their residence, you are violating the laws. Under such conditions, you will have to pay a $200 violation fine. 

Besides that, the City of Chetek prohibits the flight of drones (Both commercial and recreational) near the Chetek Municipal Airport under the Municipal Law of the 2016 act. 

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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