Drone Laws in New Mexico (2023 Regulations)


Drone laws in New Mexico are essential for drone operators, recreational flyers, and enthusiasts to understand before taking flight.

Can You Fly a Drone in New Mexico?

Yes, you can fly a drone in New Mexico. Recreational and commercial drone operators must adhere to federal, state, and local laws when flying a drone in New Mexico. 

Federal Drone Laws in New Mexico

Federal Drone Laws in New Mexico

When piloting drones in New Mexico, you must adhere to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations to be followed. FAA drone rules include: 

Commercial Drone Use

Recreational Drone Flying

  • FAA’s Recreational UAS Safety Test (TRUST): All recreational drone pilots must pass the Recreational UAS Safety Test (TRUST) to learn about safety practices and responsible flying habits.
  • Part 107 rules for commercial operators: Commercial drone pilots must obtain a Remote Pilot Certificate under Part 107 of FAA regulations, which involves passing an initial aeronautical knowledge test at an approved testing center.
  • Drone registration: Register all drones over .55 lbs. 
  • Class G: Fly below 400 feet for recreational operation. 
  • Safe flight: Ensure the safety of other aircraft and people nearby with safe flying practices. 

Government Employee Drone Operation

All government employees in New Mexico, 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 New Mexico

State Drone Laws in New Mexico

In New Mexico, there are few specific local drone laws enacted at a state level beyond federal regulations. But a few notable statewide drone laws include:

  • No drone harassment of animals during hunting: It is illegal to use a drone to pursue or harass animals while hunting in New Mexico to protect both hunters and wildlife.
  • Get landowner consent before rallying livestock: If you plan to fly your drone over private property with livestock, make sure you have the owner’s permission first to avoid legal consequences.
  • SB 556: According to SB 556, State agencies or people cannot use drones for unauthorized surveillance. They need an official warrant to do so. 

Fly your drone responsibly and adhere to FAA regulations when operating over private land with livestock; failure to do so could lead to legal repercussions. For more information on hunting in New Mexico, visit the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish.

Local Drone Laws in New Mexico

Local Drone Laws in New Mexico

While certain cities or counties may have their own drone laws, we could not locate any specific examples. However, always check your local regulations before operating a drone. 

  • Join local drone enthusiast groups for networking and information sharing.
  • Subscribe to newsletters from reputable sources like the FAA’s UAS website.
  • Regularly check your city or county government websites for any new regulations.

By staying informed, you can ensure you operate your drone safely and legally.

Flying Drones Within National Parks

Operating drones in national parks requires following specific guidelines set by park authorities.

  • Register your drone with the FAA: To legally fly within national parks, make sure you have registered your UAS through the FAA’s online portal.
  • NM State Park Service Division: Each park may have its own rules regarding recreational flights. You cannot fly drones at Navajo Lake State Park

Penalties for Violating Drone Laws in New Mexico

New Mexico Drone Law Penalties

Failing to follow the drone laws in New Mexico may result in several penalties, including fines or jail time. Possible penalties for violating drone laws in NM include:

  • Commercially operating a drone without a pilot’s license can result in a fine up to $250,000 and/or a prison sentence of up to three years. 
  • Failing to register your drone may lead to fines of up to $250,000 and/or three years of jail time. 
  • Violating the FAA Part 107 safety rules may result in fines of up to $100,000 or one year of imprisonment. 
  • Violating New Mexico’s Unwanted Surveillance Act is a misdemeanor that may result in a fine of up to $500 and less than six months of jail time. 

Violating federal, state, and/or local drone laws in New Mexico can lead to serious consequences. The best way to avoid these penalties is to stay informed about drone regulations and adhere to all drone laws. 

FAQs in Relation to Drone Laws in New Mexico

Can you fly drones in New Mexico?

Yes, drones are allowed in New Mexico. But make sure to follow federal and state regulations, including registering with the FAA and checking local laws. 

Is it legal to fly drones over private property in NM?

No, generally you should not fly a drone over a private proper in New Mexico without permission. Flying drones over private property without permission may be considered trespassing under New Mexico law. Get consent from the landowner before flying and photographing. 

What is Senate Bill 556 in New Mexico?

Senate Bill 556, or the Drone Use Law Enforcement Act, regulates how law enforcement agencies can use unmanned aircraft systems (UAS). They must get a warrant to use a drone for surveillance purposes in New Mexico.

Do you need to register your drone in New Mexico?

Yes, you must register drones weighing between 0.55 pounds and 55 pounds with the FAA, regardless of whether they are used for recreational or commercial purposes. Follow federal guidelines when operating your drone and register it on the FAADroneZone website.

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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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