Vermont Drone Laws 2024 (Federal, State, and Local Rules To Know)

David Cassiel

Before you head out with your drone to explore what the state of Vermont has in store for you, you have to be aware of the drone laws in Vermont else you risk getting into trouble with the law.

Are drones allowed in Vermont?

It is legal to fly drones in the state of Vermont. It has federal, state, and local laws that govern the flying of drones in the state. However, Vermont state drone laws prohibits weaponizing your drone or using your drone to harass, locate, or surveil any wild animal with the purpose of capturing them.

In this article, I will cover everything you need to know about Vermont drone laws for you to enjoy a pleasurable flight with your drone and stay clear of any legal proceedings.

Federal Drone Laws In Vermont

The United States drone laws are the federal drone laws that apply to Vermont 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 Vermont

You can fly your drone for recreational purposes in Vermont 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.

Drone shot of Burlington, Vermont on a hazy evening in early Fall, looking along streets of historic buildings, shaded by trees that are beginning to to turn red, yellow and orange. The Green Mountains can be seen in the distance.
Aerial shot of Burlington, Vermont on a hazy evening in early Fall.

Below are the federal rules to follow while flying your drone for recreational purposes in Vermont to keep you, your drone, and everyone safe in the airspace.

  1. Fly your drone only for recreational use or as a hobby.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Don’t fly close or interfere with a manned aircraft.
  5. Fly below 400 feet in controlled airspace (Class B, C, D, and E) after obtaining permission from LAANC or FAA Drone Zone.
  6. 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.
  7. Take The Recreational UAS Safety Test (TRUST) and carry proof of test passage.
  8. 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).
  9. 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 Vermont

You can fly your drone for commercial purposes in Vermont 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.

Montpelier town skyline at autumn in Vermont, USA
Montpelier town skyline at autumn in Vermont, USA

Below are the federal rules to follow while flying your drone for recreational purposes in Vermont to keep you, your drone, and everyone safe in the airspace.

Step 1: Learn the Rules

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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

  1. 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
  2. Review the entire process to get your Drone License or Remote Pilot Certificate.
  3. Study for the Knowledge Test by reviewing the Test Prep materials provided by the FAA.
  4. Obtain an FAA Tracking Number (FTN) by creating an Integrated Airman Certification and Rating Application (IACRA) profile before registering for a knowledge test.
  5. Schedule an appointment to take the Knowledge Test at an FAA-approved Knowledge Testing Center.
  6. 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)*
  7. 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 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 Vermont

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.

Montpelier, in Vermont.
Montpelier, in Vermont.

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.

Emergency Situations

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:

  • Firefighting
  • 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 Vermont

Bennington is a town in Bennington County, Vermont, in the United States.
Bennington is a town in Bennington County, Vermont, in the United States.

Vermont state drone laws are those drone laws that apply to the entire state of Vermont and were created by the Vermont General Assembly.

Vermont has various state-wide law governing the use of drones in the state as put together by the Vermont Department of Transportation and the Vermont General Assembly,

4622. | Law Enforcement Usage of Drones (2016)

The purpose of this Vermont law is to regulate drone usage by law enforcement agencies. Drones may not be used to gather information for an investigation, detection, or prosecution. Nor should law enforcement use drones to gather or keep personal data on private citizens who peacefully exercise their constitutional rights to assembly and free speech.

The law also prohibits the weaponization of UAS. That includes equipping the craft with fire projectiles and other deadly or dangerous weapons. Those who violate this rule face a maximum prison sentence of one year, a fine of $10,000, or both.

4623. Use of drones; Federal Aviation Administration Requirements

All use of drones by any person, including a law enforcement agency, shall comply with all applicable Federal Aviation Administration requirements and guidelines.

4624. Reports

On or before September 1 of each year, any law enforcement agency that has used a drone within the previous 12 months shall report the following information to the Department of Public Safety:

  1. The number of times the agency used a drone within the previous 12 months. For each use of a drone, the agency shall report the type of incident involved, the nature of the information collected, and the rationale for deployment of the drone.
  2. The number of criminal investigations aided and arrests made through use of information gained by the use of drones within the previous 12 months, including a description of how the drone aided each investigation or arrest.
  3. The number of times a drone collected data on any person, home, or area other than the target of the surveillance within the previous 12 months and the type of data collected in each instance.
  4. The cost of the agency’s drone program and the program’s source of funding.

4018. DRONES

No person shall equip a drone with a dangerous or deadly weapon or fire a projectile from a drone. A person who violates this section shall be imprisoned not more than one year or fined not more than $1,000.00, or both.

Drone view of charming small town Stowe in Vermont. Mountains with fall multicolor trees
Aerial view of charming small town Stowe in Vermont. Mountains with fall multicolor trees

20 Aerial Hunting

The purpose of this rule is to restrict the taking of wild animals by the use of aircraft and drones.


  1. It shall be unlawful for any person to take or attempt to take wild animals while a person is in an aircraft.
  2. It shall be unlawful for any person to take or attempt to take wild animals by use of an UAV.
  3. It shall be unlawful for any person within an aircraft, or with the use of a drone or UAV, to:
  1. a) attempt to locate, surveil, or aid or assist in attempting to locate or surveil any wild animal, for the purpose of taking or attempting to take the wild animal; or
  2. b) drive or harass any wild animal, or otherwise aid or assist in taking or attempting to take a wild animal.

Local Drone Laws In Vermont

Vermont local drone laws are those drone laws that apply only to certain regions, cities, or counties within the state of Vermont and were created by various authorities within the state.

Town of Colchester

Colchester drone laws prohibit landing, launching, or operating a drone on park property unless authorized by the park director or in an emergency law enforcement situation.

Frequently Asked Questions on Vermont Drone Laws

Can you fly a drone over private property in Vermont?

You can fly a drone above a house or private property in Vermont as long as you don’t fly below the minimum height, hover around the property, or use your drone to capture or record the occupants without permission from the occupants or property owner.

Can I fly a drone in Vermont without a license?

Recreational drone pilots don’t need a license to fly a drone in Vermont, 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 Vermont.

Can you shoot down a drone in Vermont?

Shooting down a drone in Vermont 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 Vermont. You are advised to report it to the authorities if you see a drone hovering above you or your property.

Final Thoughts on Vermont Drone Laws

Vermont 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 Vermont if you want to see beautiful places that are legal to fly in various cities.

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