Michigan's drone laws are mainly governed by the Federal USA agency, the FAA. In addition to the FAA laws, the Michigan legislature has enacted supplemental rules for drone flying in Michigan. To fly as a commercial pilot in Michigan, you must get a drone license.
Fortunately, getting a drone license in Michigan is a straightforward process that requires one to be acquainted with drone flying rules and regulations. Once acquainted with these rules, the next step is to pass the FAA's Aeronautical knowledge test before applying to obtain a remote pilot certificate.
How to Get a Drone License in Michigan
To get a drone license in Michigan, you need to start by ensuring that you meet all the basic requirements, including being at least 16 years of age, being able to write and read, and being physically and mentally fit. If you meet all the above basic requirements, follow these steps.
Learn the Drone Laws
Before you even consider applying for a drone license in Michigan, it is vital to ensure that you have mastered all the rules and regulations governing drone flying in Michigan as stipulated by the FAA.
Drone Laws Michigan
Michigan drone laws are the laws that were created by the Michigan Legislature and apply to the entire state of Michigan. Generally, Michigan has two state-wide laws that govern the flying of drones in the state.
This law plays a significant role in governing the flying of drones in the state of Michigan, which includes:
- Barring the local government from regulating drones, except when the drones belong to the locality
- Prohibits drone operators from using drones to harass individuals, violate a restraining order, or capture images that may violate people's expectations of privacy.
- Allows the operation of both commercial and hobby drones as long as the operators comply with FAA rules and regulations.
- Prohibits drone operators from using a drone in a way that may be sexually offensive, including following, contacting, or photographing a person without their consent.
NB: Violating this law will make a drone operator guilty of a misdemeanor.
This law is meant to prevent drone operators in Michigan from interfering with or harassing an individual who is hunting.
The Order 5.1 State and Recreation Areas //2019
The Michigan legislature enacted this law to prohibit:
- Flying a drone to interfere with the employees performing their duties.
- The operation of drones that interferes with rescue and search operations
- Flying a drone within 100 yards of a historical or a cultural site
- Commercial drone operations that have not been properly authorized
The FAA's part 107 rules bind all drones flying in Michigan for Commercial purposes.
In addition to ensuring that you have a good grasp of the rules and regulations that govern the flying of drones in Michigan, you need to be familiar with all the drone rules in the United States as stipulated by the FAA. Once you are familiar with all these rules and regulations, it will be easy to pass the knowledge test.
Passing the Knowledge Test
After learning all the rules and regulations that govern the flying of drones in the United States as directed by the FAA, the next step will be to pass the knowledge test to become an FAA-certified drone license. There are several steps that you will need to guarantee passing the test, which include;
- Carefully review the process of getting a drone license to ensure you do not make any mistakes.
- Revise and study for the knowledge test by carefully reviewing the prep materials from the FAA
- Obtain an FAA Tracking Number. To obtain the FTN, you must create an Integrated Airman Certification and Rating Application account.
- Schedule an appointment for the knowledge test in an FAA-accredited center in Michigan.
- After passing the knowledge test, you must complete FAA form 8710-13 to acquire a remote pilot certificate.
Drone License Michigan Cost
Under the part 107 regulations, two distinctions define when you need to have a drone license;
- You need a drone license when flying a drone for commercial purposes.
- You do not have to apply for a drone license if you strictly use a drone for recreational purposes. However, there is nothing wrong if you do.
So how much does it cost to acquire a drone license in Michigan? The testing fee you will need to pay to the FAA-accredited center in Michigan is $ 175. It is essential to understand that you will need to take the exam in person.
In addition to the testing fee, you may need to spend a few bucks to obtain the necessary preparation materials. It is essential to note that you must register your drone, which will cost $5 for three years.
While it is possible to spend $ 180 only and be ready to fly, you need to know that failing the test is conceivable if you do not prepare well enough. In such an unfortunate situation, you will need to start the process fresh, and this can prove pretty expensive as you will have to part with another $ 175.
Fortunately, you can opt for paid training courses that cost up to $500, which can prove helpful in ensuring that you do not fail the knowledge test.
Renewing the Drone License
Although the license does not expire, the FAA stipulates that the privileges you get once you pass the knowledge test are only valid for 24 months. Therefore, it is prudent to renew your license after every 24 months. The good news is that the FAA allows drone operators to renew their licenses online.
The Drone Registration Michigan
Drone registration in Michigan is mandatory, and it is done under FAA rules and regulations. The truth is that the drone registration process is simply the most straightforward step towards launching a successful profession as a drone pilot.
Drone registration is accomplished through the FAA DroneZone website. Here, you will need to register your drone as a part 107 pilot and ensure that you pay the $5 registration fees. In addition to the registration fees, other requirements include your full name, mailing address, and drone model.
Michigan Drone Laws over Private Property
As a drone operator, you must be familiar with the rules and regulations governing a drone flying over private property. While drones are cheap to buy, the fines associated with breaking the FAA laws can be hefty. So can you fly a drone over private property in Michigan?
According to the state laws of Michigan, you can fly a drone over private property. However, you would need to maintain at least tree line height. This is important because the private property owners have usable airspace above their properties.
Nonetheless, it is good to note that Michigan laws prohibit drone operators from interfering with law enforcement, invading people's privacy, and harassing others. To be precise, if it is illegal without a drone, it is still illegal with a drone.
Some of the FAA Regulations for Recreational Pilots
- Always fly your drone for recreational purposes and not to earn money
- Ensure that you register your drone with the FAA if it is above the 0.55 weight before flying it
- Avoid flying over moving vehicles and people
- Do not fly your drone close to crewed aircraft
- Avoid flying your drone near emergency response activities
- Ensure that you always maintain a visual line of sight whenever you are flying a drone
Some of the FAA Laws and Regulations for Commercial Pilots
- You need an FAA license to become a commercial pilot
- Always fly your drone at a speed not more than 100 mph
- Give way to human-crewed aircraft
- Fly your drone only in Class G airspace
- Do not fly your drone from a moving vehicle
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A drone license is mandatory if you intend to fly your drone for commercial purposes. At the minimum, you will need a total of $180 for the part 107 knowledge test and registration. In addition to having a license, you must adhere to all other rules and regulations as provided by the FAA.
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Shawn Manaher loves to play with new toys and dive into new hobbies. As a serial entrepreneur, work definitely comes first but there is always room for hobbies.