Drone Laws in Michigan Explained (2023 Regulations)


In Michigan, federal and state regulations both play a role in drone operations. All drone operators should be aware of the existing regulations.

Can I Fly a Drone in Michigan?

Yes, you can fly a drone in Michigan. Drone use is allowed in the state of Michigan as long as it adheres to federal, state, and local laws. 

Federal Drone Laws in Michigan

Federal Drone Laws in Michigan

Drone pilots in Michigan must follow federal rules. Adhere to the FAA regulations, including Part 107 rules for agency pilots and recreational drone registration requirements

Commercial Drone Use in Michigan

Recreational Drone Flying in Michigan

Government Employee Drone Operation

All government employees in Michigan, including the fire department or police, 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 Drone Laws in Michigan

State Drone Laws in Michigan

In addition to federal regulations, Michigan has state-wide laws for drone operation. Some of the most notable drone rules in Michigan include:

  • Government employee compliance: State employees operating drones must follow the Management and Budget Act (Act 431) and the Uniform Video Services Local Franchise Act (Act 480).
  • SB 992 // 2016: The SB 992 // 2016 law prevents local governments from regulating drone use, but also includes notable restrictions on drone operation:
    • No drone communication for sex offenders: Registered sex offenders are banned from using drones to communicate with people they’re not supposed to.
    • No interference with search and rescue: It’s illegal to interfere with search and rescue missions by using a drone.
  • Order 5.1 State Parks and Recreation Areas // 2019: According to Order 5.1, you cannot fly a drone to interfere with department employees or search and rescue. Furthermore, drone operators must stay 100 feet away from historical sites. Do not fly near beach areas, restrooms, and more.
  • SB 54 // 2015: SB 54 // 2015 prevents drone operators from interfering with those who are hunting.   
  • Drone operation banned over prisons: You cannot fly a drone over a prison or correctional facility in Michigan. 

Local Drone Laws in Michigan

Local Drone Laws in Michigan

Local authorities in Michigan may have additional rules governing UAS flights. Typically, local restrictions apply to specific locations, such as college campuses or public spaces.

Some cities may enforce No-Drone Zones that prohibit any form of aerial activity without prior permission from relevant officials.

For example, the University of Michigan has strict policies against flying drones on campus grounds without proper authorization. Always check college campus-specific drone policies before flying.

To avoid penalties and ensure responsible operation, always obtain approval before operating a UAV on school property or within specific boundaries set by city governments.

Tools for Staying Updated on Drone Laws & Airspace Restrictions

As a drone pilot, you must be informed about current regulations to avoid potential fines or penalties.

  • B4UFLY app: The B4UFLY mobile application to identify restricted areas, temporary flight restrictions, and other important updates related to drone operations in Michigan. It also offers interactive maps and notifications tailored to your location.
  • Michigan Department of Transportation Office of Aeronautics: Stay connected with relevant authorities for any changes in legislation that might affect your flights by checking the Michigan Department of Transportation Office of Aeronautics
  • AirMap: The AirMap app provides real-time airspace information and allows you to request authorization to fly in controlled airspace.
  • FAA DroneZone: Use the FAA DroneZone website to register your drone and stay up-to-date on federal regulations.

Penalties for Breaking Michigan Drone Laws

Michigan Drone Law Penalties

Michigan has a clear legislature for drone operations. Failing to follow Michigan drone laws may lead to consequences. Common consequences for reckless or careless drone operations include fines or even jail time. Drone pilots found in violation may also lose flying privileges or face drone seizure.

FAQs for Drone Laws in Michigan

Can You Shoot Down a Drone in Michigan?

No, shooting down a drone in Michigan is illegal under federal law.

Drones are classified as aircraft by the FAA.
Destroying an aircraft is a criminal offense punishable with fines or imprisonment.
Report unauthorized drones to local law enforcement instead.

Is It Illegal to Fly Drones Near Private Property in Michigan?

No, you may be able to fly drones near private property in Michigan. However, Flying drones near private property could violate privacy rights or trespassing ordinances.

Follow FAA guidelines regarding airspace usage and local laws to avoid legal issues.
Be mindful of altitude and distance from private property lines.

Can you fly a drone at the University of Michigan?

No, you cannot fly a drone on the University of Michigan campus grounds without prior approval. College campuses often ban or restrict drone use, so be sure to seek authorization ahead of time. 

Photo of author
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!

Leave a Comment