Drone Laws in Massachusetts Explained (2023 Regulations)


Both recreational and commercial drone operators should understand the drone laws in Massachusetts.

Read a comprehensive overview of these rules so you can safely enjoy your unmanned aircraft while respecting the rights and safety of others.

Can You Fly a Drone in Massachusetts?

Yes, you can fly a drone in Massachusetts as long as you follow federal, state, and local rules. 

Federal Drone Laws in Massachusetts

Federal Drone Laws in Massachusetts

All drone operators in Massachusetts must follow federal drone laws set forth by the FAA. 

Commercial Use

You must create an account at FAADroneZone, register your drone if it weighs more than 0.55 pounds (250 grams), and pass a background check and test administered by the FAA. Commercial drone pilots also need a Remote Pilot Certificate from the FAA

Recreational Drone Flying Regulations

When flying drones for fun, follow FAA-recognized Community-Based Organization (CBO) safety guidelines to avoid accidents and stay compliant with federal regulations.

  • Take The Recreational UAS Safety Test (TRUST): Complete the free online TRUST test offered by the FAA before operating your drone.
  • Adhere to CBO-provided safety guidelines: This helps ensure the safety of both drone operators and others sharing the skies.
  • Know local drone laws: Check state and local drone laws before flying to avoid breaking any regulations.
  • Register your drone: If your drone weighs more than 0.55 pounds, register it with the FAA before flying.
  • Avoid flying in restricted areas: Controlled airspace and private property owned by others are off-limits to drone pilots.
  • Get a drone license for commercial use: If you plan to use your drone for commercial purposes, you need a remote pilot certificate from the FAA.
  • Stay up-to-date on drone regulations: Keep track of federal and state drone laws to ensure you’re flying legally.

Government Use

All government employees in Massachusetts, including the police and fire department, must adhere to the FAA’s Part 107 rule or obtain a federal Certificate of Authorization (COA)

Note: This content is accurate up to the date it was last updated, and drone regulations in Tennessee can change over time. This is not meant to take the place of legal counsel.

State-Wide Drone Laws in Massachusetts

State Drone Laws in Massachusetts

Massachusetts has its own state-wide regulations for drone operators, in addition to federal drone laws.

  • Maintain safe distances: Keep your drone at least 20 feet away from non-participants during flight operations.
  • Annual registration requirements: Register drones weighing over 0.55 pounds annually with the Massachusetts Department of Transportation.
  • Avoid Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) properties: You cannot launch or land a drone within any DCR properties, including waterways and land. 
  • No Drone Zones: Massachusetts has “No Drone Zones” over 50 parks, the airport, and a few other sites. 
  • 302 CMR Park and Recreational Rules (2016): You cannot launch or land a drone on Department of Conservation and Recreation properties in Massachusetts. 

Local Drone Laws in Massachusetts

Local Drone Laws in Massachusetts

Don’t get caught breaking drone laws in Massachusetts. Local regulations apply in various regions, including state parks where drones are allowed but not national parks.

Name/ Location Rule
The city of Belchertown | Public Access Management PlanYou need written permission to fly a drone on the Quabbin watershed. 
The city of Chicopee | Municipal LawYou must obtain formal, written permission before flying a drone on any privately owned property. 
The city of Boston | Recreational Drone GuidanceRecreation drone operation is allowed in city parks if it adheres to the safe-flight guidelines from the FAA. 
Town of Holyoke | Municipal Law Drone operation is banned over city-owned or private properties without prior written consent. 
Cape Cod Canal- Federal LawDrone operation at USACE water resources development projects is banned unless authorized by the District Commander. 

For more information on drone laws and regulations, check out the FAA website and B4UFLY app. 

Penalties for Violating Drone Laws in Massachusetts

Massachusetts Drone Law Penalties

Violating drone laws in Massachusetts subjects you to penalties, including fines and/or jail time. The offense is treated as breaking the law, which can lead to criminal and civil penalties. Always know the drone laws in the area before operating your drone. Pay close attention to any “No Drone Zone” signs around the state. 

FAQs in Relation to Drone Laws in Massachusetts

Where can I Fly a Drone in Massachusetts?

You can fly a drone in Massachusetts in designated public spaces and over private property with prior written permission from the landowner. However, avoid sensitive areas like airports and correctional facilities.

Check local regulations and obtain necessary permits before flying.

Is it Legal to Fly a Drone in Massachusetts?

Yes, it is legal to fly a drone in Massachusetts if you follow federal and state-wide laws. Adhere to the recreational guidelines provided by the FAA and CBOs, pass The Recreational UAS Safety Test (TRUST), register your drone if required, and comply with local regulations.

Do Drones Need to be Registered in Massachusetts?

Yes, you must register your drone in Massachusetts if it weighs over 0.55 pounds (250 grams). Drones must be registered through the FAADroneZone.

Commercial pilots need a Remote Pilot Certificate while recreational flyers should follow safety guidelines provided by Community-Based Organizations (CBOs).

Is it Legal to Fly a Drone over Private Property in Massachusetts?

No, it is not legal to fly a drone over private property in Massachusetts unless you have prior written consent from the property owner. 

Trespassing or invading privacy using drones may result in penalties such as fines or jail time

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I’m a huge fan of drones, cars, and anything that moves fast! Having bought, tested, and raced drones over the years, tinkering and experimenting with different parts and types, my fascination with drone technology led me to start this blog. So if you enjoy drone content covering the latest drone reviews, recommendations for the best drones for certain uses, and informative content on programming drones and other fun areas, stick around!

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