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

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

Are drones allowed in Delaware?

It is legal to fly drones in Delaware. It has federal, state, and local laws that govern the flying of drones in the state. However, drones are prohibited from operating during large events or in state parks, and in some beaches and boardwalks.

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

Federal Drone Laws In Delaware

The federal drone laws in the United States are the laws that apply to Delaware 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 Delaware

You can fly your drone for recreational purposes in Delaware 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.

wilmington delaware
Wilmington is the largest city in the state of Delaware, United States

Below are the federal rules to follow while flying your drone for recreational purposes in Delaware 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 Delaware

You can fly your drone for commercial purposes in Delaware 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.

Rehoboth Beach, delaware
Rehoboth Beach is a city on the Atlantic Ocean in Delaware

Below are the federal rules to follow while flying your drone for recreational purposes in Delaware 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 Delaware

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.

Aerial shot of Wilmington, Delaware at sunrise on a Fall morning.
Aerial shot of Wilmington, Delaware at sunrise on a Fall morning.

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 .

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 Delaware

Aerial view of Delaware Memorial Bridge at dusk.
Aerial view of Delaware Memorial Bridge at dusk.

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

According to the Delaware Department of Transportation and the Delaware General Assembly, Delaware has one state-wide law concerning the use of drones in the state.

Delaware State Parks Drone Laws

The Delaware state park drone laws require a special use permit issued by the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control’s Division of Parks and Recreation before you’re allowed to operate a drone. Their administrative fee for the permit is $75.

Recreational drone pilots are also required to obtain a permit for areas designated for recreational use.

Even if you are granted a permit, you’re still expected to follow certain rules. With this rule, you cannot fly your drone:

  • In and around unprotected persons
  • In parking lots
  • Near any protected wildlife species, in active wildlife nesting or breeding areas, or harassing wildlife
  • Nature Preserves
  • Where the activity would not be appropriate within the overall character of a park.
  • Within 100’ of vulnerable property.
  • General recreational use is limited to areas designated by the Division for such purposes.

House Bill 30

House Bill 30 prohibits drones from flying over events with more than 5,000 people in attendance, including sporting events, concerts, automobile races, and festivals.

The Bill also prohibits drones from flying over critical infrastructure, which includes but is not limited to: oil and gas refiners, power plants, military facilities, government buildings, and water treatment facilities.

Finally, this law prohibits cities and towns in Delaware from creating their own drone laws by claiming pre-emption for the creation of all such laws for the Delaware General Assembly.

Local Drone Laws In Delaware

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

Bethany Beach – Municipal Law

According to Bethany Beach’s municipal law, in Section B Operating Regulations, drone use is limited in Bethany Beach “except for hobby, recreational, or permitted commercial purposes only and in conformity with this section.”

You don’t need a permit to fly a drone in Bethany Beach for recreational purposes. However, commercial pilots are required to obtain a permit from the Code Compliance Offer before they can operate their drone, providing information such as the purpose of flying, the flight date, and flight location.

The permit obtained has an expiry date of 24 hours after being received.

All drone pilots are expected to follow the laws in Section B (2) through (15). As per those rules, you cannot fly your drone in the following conditions:

  • Directly over any person who is not involved in the operation of the small unmanned aircraft, without such person’s consent
  • Over property that doesn’t belong to you unless you have permission from the property owner
  • Higher than 400 feet over ground level
  • Outside of your visual line of sight; The operator must use his or her own natural vision (including using eyeglasses or contact lenses) to maintain at all times an unobstructed view of the small unmanned aircraft
  • From dusk through dawn
  • In inclement weather that may get in the way of your ability to operate the small unmanned aircraft safely
  • Over any outdoor assembly, place of worship, police station, public right-of-way, beach, boardwalk, boardwalk plaza, waterway, public thoroughfare or land zoned MORE within the corporate limits of the Town of Bethany Beach
  • Within 25 feet of an overhead conveyor, cable, or wire as well as an electric distribution facility and within 50 feet of a water plant
  • To do surveillance unless you have permission
  • After consuming drugs or alcohol
  • If your drone has a weapon of any sort attached to it, especially firearms
  • To cause property or personal damage
  • In a dangerous fashion
  • In violation of state or federal law

Frequently Asked Questions On Delaware Drone Laws

Is it illegal to fly a drone over private property in Delaware?

It is legal to fly drones above a house or private property in Delaware 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 Delaware without a license?

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

Can you shoot down a drone in Delaware?

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

Final Thoughts

Delaware has some awesome places to 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 Delaware if you want to see beautiful places that are legal to fly in various cities.

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