Drone Laws in Tennessee (2023 Regulations)


Drone laws in Tennessee have become increasingly important as the popularity of drones continues to rise. As a recreational or commercial drone operator, you must understand federal, state, and local regulations. 

Can You Fly a Drone in Tennessee?

Yes, you can fly a drone in Tennessee for both recreational and commercial use. However, you must follow all federal, state, and local laws.

Federal Drone Laws in Tennessee

Federal Drone Laws in Tennessee

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 

Recreational Drone Flying

Government Employee Drone Operation

All government employees in Tennesee, 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 Tennessee

State Drone Laws in Tennessee

In Tennessee, it is illegal to use camera-equipped drones for unwarranted surveillance, according to Sections 4 and 5 of the Tennessee Code Annotated. Other important drone laws in Tennesee include:

SB 2106 // 2016Flying a drone within 250 feet of a critical infrastructure facility to conduct surveillance is a crime. 
HB 2376 // 2016You cannot use a drone to capture images over fireworks or other specified open-air events. 
SB 1777 // 2014The Tennessee Hunter Protection Act restricts the use of drones for surveillance of those hunting or fishing. 
SB 1892 // 2014Surveillance of a person or their property is a Class C misdemeanor. 
SB 796 // 2013With a search warrant, law enforcement can use drones to counter terrorist attacks. 
Flying a Drone in Tennesee State ParksDrone use in Tennesee state parks is prohibited unless you obtain written approval. 

Local Drone Laws in Tennesee

Local Drone Laws in Tennessee

Aside from state and federal drone laws, drone pilots should also be aware of local ordinances that govern specific locations and events. 

Local ordinances apply to airports, power plants, and open-air fireworks displays. They may have additional restrictions beyond state law.

The most notable local drone law in Tennessee is the Metro Government of Nashville & Davidson | County Ordinance 13.24.400. This rule prohibits drone operation in Davidson County Park. 

Always consult with local authorities before conducting surveillance or recreational flights in restricted areas.

Penalties for Violating Drone Laws in Tennesee

Tennessee Drone Law Penalties

Violating Tennessee legislation can result in criminal charges.

Flying a drone for video surveillance purposes of those who are hunting or fishing is a Class C misdemeanor in Tennessee according to the Tennessee Hunter Protection Act. Likewise, using drones to hunt, fish, or track wildlife may result in criminal charges. 

Possessing an unlawful image is also a Class C misdemeanor in Tennessee, based on 39-13-904. It’s a Class B misdemeanor to display, distribute, or use that image. Each image includes a separate offense. 

FAQs About Drone Laws in Tennessee

Can You Shoot a Drone Over Your Property in TN?

No, shooting a drone over your property in Tennessee is not allowed. Discharging firearms within city limits or at an aircraft is illegal and may result in criminal charges. Instead of using force against the drone, report any concerns to local law enforcement.

Do I Need a License to Fly a Drone in TN?

No, you do not need a license to fly a drone for recreational purposes in Tennessee. However, if you intend to use it for commercial purposes or work as part of an agency pilot program, then you must obtain a Remote Pilot Certificate from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

Can I Fly a Drone in a State Park in TN?

You can fly a drone over a state park in Tennessee only if you get permission from park management before takeoff. Each park has different regulations and designated areas where flying drones is permitted. 

How Close to Houses Can I Fly My Drone?

The FAA recommends staying at least 25 feet away from people and private properties when operating drones recreationally. Always respect privacy rights by avoiding hovering near windows or backyards without prior consent from homeowners.

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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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