Before you head out with your drone to explore what the state of New Jersey has in store for you, you have to be aware of the drone laws in New Jersey or else you risk getting into trouble with the law.
Are drones allowed in New Jersey?
It is legal to fly drones in the state of New Jersey. It has federal, state, and local laws that govern the flying of drones in the state. However, you cannot fly your drone in New Jersey state parks, and you can’t operate your drone in many cities and towns in New Jersey.
In this article, I will cover everything you need to know about New Jersey drone laws for you to enjoy a pleasurable flight with your drone and stay clear of any legal proceedings.
- Federal Drone Laws In New Jersey
- Federal Drone Laws for Recreational Flying in New Jersey
- Federal Drone Laws For Commercial Drone flying in New Jersey
- Federal Drone Laws for Public Drone Flying In New Jersey
- State Drone Laws In New Jersey
- Local Drone Laws In New Jersey
- Bernards Township—Municipal Law // 2015
- Chatham Township—Municipal Ordinance // 2015
- East Bay Regional Parks—Municipal Ordinance // 2016
- Essex County—Park Ordinance // 2020
- Middlesex County
- Palisades Interstate Park Commission
- Ramapo Indian Hills—Municipal Law // 2016
- Ventnor—Municipal Ordinance // 2016
- Wayne Township
- Long Beach Township
- Borough of Allendale
- Borough of Franklin Lakes
- Borough of Point Pleasant Beach
- Frequently Asked Questions on New Jersey Drone Laws
- Final Thoughts on New Jersey Drone Laws
Federal Drone Laws In New Jersey
The United States drone laws are the federal drone laws that apply to New Jersey and every state in the United States of America and were created by the federal government.
If you have a small drone that is less than 55 pounds, you can fly recreationally by following the Drone Laws in the USA as defined by FAA Part 107 guidelines.
Federal Drone Laws for Recreational Flying in New Jersey
You can fly your drone for recreational purposes in New Jersey as a hobby without seeking monetary compensation as long as you follow the FAA law (Part 107) and also check the state jurisdiction for additional licensing, permission, and clearance requirements.
Below are the federal rules to follow while flying your drone for recreational purposes in New Jersey to keep you, your drone, and everyone else safe in the airspace.
- Fly your drone only for recreational use or as a hobby.
- Follow the safety guidelines of an FAA-recognized Community Based Organization (CBO). Recreational flyers should follow the safety guidelines of existing aeromodelling organizations or use the FAA-provided safety guidelines per Advisory Circular 91-57B.
- Keep your drone within your visual line of sight or use a co-located visual observer (physically next to) and in direct communication with you.
- Don’t fly close or interfere with a manned aircraft.
- Fly below 400 feet in controlled airspace (Class B, C, D, and E) after obtaining permission from LAANC or FAA Drone Zone.
- Fly below 400 feet in uncontrolled airspace (Class G). Note: You can also be prohibited from flying in a Class G airspace in areas designated as prohibited areas, restricted areas, military operated areas, alert areas, etc. except with prior authorization from the FAA.
- Take The Recreational UAS Safety Test (TRUST) and carry proof of test passage.
- Always slap your registration number on the exterior surface of your drones and always carry the proof of registration with you. As a recreational flier, you are exempted from registering and marking your drones by the FAA as long as your drone weighs less than 0.55 lbs (250 grams).
- Do not dangerously operate your drone. For example:
- Do not interfere with emergency response or law enforcement activities.
- Do not fly under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- Avoid flying near or over critical infrastructure.
You should be aware that you could be liable for civil and/or criminal penalties if you intentionally break any of these rules and regulations listed above as a recreational drone pilot.
As a recreational drone pilot, you are obliged to learn the rules and regulations put in place by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on the proper use of drones for recreational flying.
You should also apply common sense when operating your drone in crowded public places, historic resources, and public places to keep everyone safe.
Federal Drone Laws For Commercial Drone flying in New Jersey
You can fly your drone for commercial purposes in New Jersey with the aim of seeking monetary compensation as long as you follow the FAA law (Part 107) and also check the state jurisdiction for additional licensing, permission, and clearance requirements.
Below are the federal rules to follow while flying your drone for recreational purposes in New Jersey to keep you, your drone, and everyone safe in the airspace.
Step 1: Learn the Rules
- Read and understand the dos and don’ts as a commercial flyer the under Part 107 rules. Review a summary of the Part 107 rules (PDF). Still unsure if Part 107 rules work for you and your intended UAS operation? Check the FAA user identification tool.
- You can obtain a waiver to exceed some limit put in place by the FAA that is not covered by Part 107. Below are some laws in Part 107 that are subject to a waiver.
- Operation from a moving vehicle or aircraft. *
- Always operate your drone during the day. *
- Keep your drone from out of the Visual line of sight from an aircraft operation *
- Keep your drone in your Visual line of sight. *
- Operation of multiple small unmanned aircraft systems. *
- Yielding the right of way. *
- Don’t fly your drone over people. *
- Restriction from certain airspace. *
- Operating limitations for small unmanned aircraft.
- *The FAA will not waive this section to allow the carriage of property of another by aircraft for compensation or hire.
- You should read about the Part 107 Waiver application process if your drone operation requires a waiver.
- Commercial drone operators should steer clear of flying close to airports as it might be challenging for human aircraft to spot and avoid a drone in flight. Keep in mind that the UAV operator is accountable for any safety threat their drone poses in an airport area and must avoid crewed aircraft. Read more about flying near airports.
Step 2: Become an FAA-Certified Drone Pilot by Passing the Knowledge Test
- To be eligible to get your Drone License (Remote Pilot Certificate), you must be:
- At least 16 years old
- Able to read, write, speak, and understand English
- Be in a physical and mental condition to safely fly a UAS
- Review the entire process to get your Drone License or Remote Pilot Certificate.
- Study for the Knowledge Test by reviewing the Test Prep materials provided by the FAA.
- Obtain an FAA Tracking Number (FTN) by creating an Integrated Airman Certification and Rating Application (IACRA) profile before registering for a knowledge test.
- Schedule an appointment to take the Knowledge Test at an FAA-approved Knowledge Testing Center.
- Once you’ve passed your test, complete FAA Form 8710-13 for a remote pilot certificate (FAA Airman Certificate and/or Rating Application) using the electronic FAA Integrated Airman Certificate and/or Rating Application system (IACRA)*
- You are now eligible to operate as a commercial drone pilot.
Step 3: Register your drone with the FAA
- Pay the registration fee of $5 with your credit card or debit card to get a valid three year license to commercially fly drones.
- Visit dronezone.faa.gov and select “Fly UAS under Part 107” to create an account and register your drone.
- After that, mark the exterior surface of your drone (PDF) with your registration number for identification and tracking if it were to get stolen
Always be sure to fly your drone safely and within FAA guidelines and regulations. It is up to you as a drone pilot to know the rules of the sky and where it is safe to fly. You should try the user identification tool if you aren’t sure if Part 107 is right for you and your operation
Federal Drone Laws for Public Drone Flying In New Jersey
Federal public laws are drone laws for federal, state, local, or tribal government entities, including schools and universities that use unmanned aircraft systems or drone technology for their operations.
Federal Restrictions & Requirements
- Be a political subdivision of the United States government, a State or U.S. territory government, the District of Columbia, or an Indian Tribal Government listed in the Robert T Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. § 5122)
- Own and operate the unmanned aircraft, or for non-federal public aircraft operators (PAO’s) have an exclusive lease on it for more than 90 days
- Fly missions that meet the statutory criteria of a governmental function on a flight-by-flight basis.
- Not fly for a commercial purpose or receive compensation for flight operations.
First responders and other organizations responding to natural disasters or other emergency situations may be eligible for expedited approval through our Special Governmental Interest (SGI) process. Operations that may be considered include:
- Search and Rescue
- Law Enforcement
- Utility or Other Critical Infrastructure Restoration
- Incident Awareness and Analysis
- Damage Assessments Supporting Disaster Recovery Related Insurance Claims
- Media Coverage Providing Crucial Information to the Public
To apply for a waiver through the SGI process, you must be an existing Part 107 Remote Pilot with a current certificate OR you must have an existing Certificate of Waiver or Authorization (COA). To submit a waiver through this process, fill out the Emergency Operation Request Form and send it to the FAA’s System Operations Support Center (SOSC) at [email protected] .
If approved, the FAA will add an amendment to your existing COA or Remote Pilot Certificate that authorizes you to fly under certain conditions for the specified operation. If denied, operators should not fly outside the provisions of their existing COA or part 107. Operators have the option to amend their requests.
* This process is called the Special Government Interest (SGI) amendment process and is outlined in FAA Order JO 7200.23A
State Drone Laws In New Jersey
These are drone laws that apply to the entire state of New Jersey and were created by the New Jersey Legislature.
Indiana has one state-wide law governing the use of drones in the state that was put together by the New Jersey Department of Transportation and the New Jersey Legislature.
New Jersey State Parks
New Jersey State Park regulations prohibit all drone operations within lands and waters managed by the State Park Service unless granted authorization by the State Park Service Assistant Director.
SB 3370 // 2017
The SB 3370 law contains the following rules for drone operation:
- Allows UAS operations that are consistent with federal law.
- Specifies that UAS owners or operators of critical infrastructure may apply to the FAA to prohibit or restrict the operation of UAS near critical infrastructure.
- It establishes that operating a UAS in a manner that endangers the life or property of another is a disorderly person offense.
- Establishes that it is a fourth-degree crime if a person “knowingly or intentionally creates or maintains a condition which endangers the safety or security of a correctional facility by operating an unmanned aircraft system on the premises of or in close proximity to that facility.”
- It makes it a criminal offense to operate a UAS in a way that interferes with a first responder.
- Operating a UAS while under the influence of drugs or with a BAC of.08 percent is classified as a disorderly person offense.
- This precludes local governments from regulating UAS in any way that is inconsistent with this law.
Local Drone Laws In New Jersey
Indiana state drone laws are the drone laws that apply to the entire state of Indiana and were created by the Indiana General Assembly.
Bernards Township—Municipal Law // 2015
This city ordinance prohibits the use of drones in or over any park or recreation facility.
Chatham Township—Municipal Ordinance // 2015
This city ordinance prohibits the use of drones in public airspace under 400 feet.
East Bay Regional Parks—Municipal Ordinance // 2016
This city ordinance prohibits drones from flying closer than 500 feet above any East Bay District parks.
Essex County—Park Ordinance // 2020
This park rule prohibits the operation of drones on any property owned or managed by the county.
This rule prohibits the operation of remotely piloted aircraft on any part of Middlesex County parkland, unless specifically allowed by the Director of County Parks and Recreation in particular locations and at specifically authorized times.
Palisades Interstate Park Commission
This rule prohibits the operation of radio-controlled aircraft, including drones, in any park that the Commission owns or manages.
Ramapo Indian Hills—Municipal Law // 2016
Drone usage is restricted by this local legislation, including above and on school property.
Ventnor—Municipal Ordinance // 2016
It prohibits the use of drones to launch or land on any type of public or government structure. Over such facilities, drone flight at altitudes below 400 feet is likewise forbidden. Additionally, it prohibits drone use above any city-run parks unless the Ventnor City Chief of Police has given previous written approval.
This rule prohibits the use of drones anywhere in Wayne Township parks except in authorized locations.
Long Beach Township
This rule prohibits drone takeoff and landing in the Township.
The rules also prohibit the use of drones in any area of the Township that is 400 feet or less from a building or the ground.
Only with the owner’s permission and inside the boundaries of a private residential property may a drone be used recreationally.
Within the confines of a private residential property, commercial drone use by a licensed operator is permitted with the owner’s permission. Additionally, data collection should be limited to private property. Operations on public streets and land next to private property are permitted, but only within a fair time frame and not within 20 feet of bystanders.
Borough of Allendale
In the Borough, drones are not allowed to operate in any airspace with a height below 400 feet. Any airspace over a residential or commercially designated area, any roads, and any public or government facilities, real estate, or parks within the borough are all included in this.
Exemptions apply to commercial drone use during daylight hours on private property with the owner’s permission, provided that only information about and related to the property is gathered.
Borough of Franklin Lakes
It prohibits drones from flying below 400 feet in the Borough over private property, all streets and alleys, all Borough buildings and structures, over people not directly involved in the operations, and between sunrise and sunset.
Borough of Point Pleasant Beach
This regulation prohibits using any public property to launch or land a drone, with the exception of emergencies.
This rule prohibits flying a drone over a public school at a height of under 400 feet AGL while classes are in session unless authorized in writing by the principal of the school or a higher authority. Similarly, it is prohibited to take pictures on public school property.
The rule also prohibits drone use below 400 feet above ground level in areas the borough administrator has designated “No Fly Zones.” The official Point Pleasant Beach website and the public announcement board at the Municipal Complex must both post notices for “No Fly Zones.”
Other UAS flight limits that are in line with federal laws are reiterated.
Frequently Asked Questions on New Jersey Drone Laws
Can you fly a drone over private property in New Jersey?
You can fly a drone above a house or over private property in New Jersey as long as you don’t hover around them or use your drone to capture or record them without permission from the property owner.
Can I fly a drone in New Jersey without a license?
Recreational drone pilots don’t need a license to fly a drone in New Jersey, but you must pass a free online safety test (TRUST). However, commercial drone flyers must get a certificate (Part 107) from the FAA. Furthermore, all drones weighing more than 249 grams must be registered to operate in New Jersey.
Can you shoot down a drone in New Jersey?
Shooting down a drone in New Jersey is illegal and against federal law because drones are protected by the FAA. You could serve some jail time or pay a large fine if you shoot down a drone in New Jersey. You are advised to report it to the authorities if you see a drone hovering above you or your property.
Can you fly drones in New Jersey state parks?
You can’t fly a drone in New Jersey state parks unless you have been granted prior authorization by the State Park Service Assistant Director.
Can you fly drones on New Jersey beaches?
You can’t fly a drone on New Jersey state beaches unless you have been granted prior authorization by the State Park Service Assistant Director.
Final Thoughts on New Jersey Drone Laws
New Jersey has wonderful scenery you can explore with your drone for recreational or commercial purposes. However, you need to abide by the drone laws set by the FAA, your state government, and local authorities in that city to enjoy a hassle-free flight.
You should also check out the best places to fly a drone in New Jersey if you want to see beautiful places that are legal to fly in various cities.