Drone Laws in Montana Explained (2023 Regulations)


As drone use increases and drones continue to advance, federal, state, and local authorities aim to balance safety, privacy, and innovation. Before operating a drone in Montana for recreational or commercial purposes, you must understand the drone laws in Montana.

Can You Fly a Drone in Montana?

Yes, you can fly a drone in Montana for both commercial and recreational purposes. However, drone operators are required to adhere to FAA regulations and local government rules. 

Federal Drone Laws in Montana

Federal Drone Laws in Montana

Drone pilots in Tennessee must follow federal regulations set by the FAA, including Part 107 rules for agency pilots and recreational drone registration requirements

Commercial Drone Use 

Flying a drone in Montana for commercial purposes requires you to:

Recreational Drone Flying

To fly drone as a hobbyist in Montana, you must adhere to the following:

Government Employee Drone Operation

All government employees in Montana, 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 Montana can change over time. This is not meant to take the place of legal counsel.

State Drone Laws in Montana

State Drone Laws in Montana

In addition to federal drone laws, drone operators in Montana must adhere to state-wide rules. The Montana Legislature has the following state drone laws:

  • HB 644 // 2017: UAS operators cannot interfere with wildfire suppression. Furthermore, local governments cannot create additional laws for the use of drones relating to wildfires. 
  • SB 196 // 2013: This law restricts the usage of information gained via drone for evidence in court. Only information gained under a search warrant is permissible. 

Local Drone Laws in Montana

Local Drone Laws in Montana

Towns, cities, and counties within Montana may also have specific local drone laws. Always check with the local jurisdiction before flying a drone. 

The most notable local drone law is regarding all state parks. According to Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks ARM Rule for the State Parks Division, you cannot launch or fly a UAS in a state park unless you have a special permit or are within a specifically designated area. 

Furthermore, Missoula MT Drone Law 12.40.065 prohibits drone use at City of Missoula trails, parks, and conservation areas. 

No Fly Zones in Montana

Montana has several no-fly zones to be aware of. You cannot launch, land, or operate a drone in a no-fly zone including:

  • Glacier National Park
  • Yellowstone National Park
  • State parks in Montana
  • Designated Wilderness Areas (Lee Metcalf, Great Bear, etc)
  • Montana State University 
  • University of Montana

Penalties for Violating Drone Laws in Montana

Montana Drone Law Penalties

Breaking drone laws in Montana can lead to serious consequences. Drone law violators may face criminal and civil charges. 

For example, anyone using a drone to interfere with wildfire suppression efforts is liable for a fine equivalent to the cost of their interference according to HB 644 // 2017. They may also face criminal charges. 


Can I fly a drone in a state park in Montana?

No, you cannot operate a drone in a state park in Montana without prior approval. However, some Montana state parks may have designated areas where drones are allowed. Always check with the local jurisdiction and the park management first. 

Can I use a drone to hunt in Montana?

No, you cannot use drones to hunt game or distract a hunter in Montana. 

Are drones legal in Montana?

Yes, it is legal to fly a drone in Montana as long as you follow all federal, state, and local laws. 

Can I operate a drone for commercial work in Montana?

Yes, you can use a drone for commercial work in Montana as long as you obtain a commercial drone pilot license from the FAA and adhere to all drone laws.

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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!