California Drone Laws

Law Overview

There are two proposed California drone bills:

California Assembly Bill 1327 was introduced in Feburary 2013 by Assembly Members Gorell and Bradford. The bill prohibits public agencies from using drones except for law enforcement with a proper warrant.

California Assembly Bill 1327: Overview and full text (pdf)

California Senate Bill 15 was introduced in December 2012 by Senator Padilla. It makes it illegal to secretly record or eavesdrop on private communications. The bill also prohibits weaponized drones.

California Senate Bill 15: Overview and full text (pdf)


16 comments on “California Drone Laws
  1. rick navarro says:

    can I fly my drone in my neighborhood for testing and calibration purposes

    • Howard Redd says:

      Who’s saying you can’t? FAA has issues specific guidance. From what I’ve been told, haven’t confirmed it though, CA law says property owners have no ownership rights to the airspace above their property. There is the new paparazzi law in the works.

    • Derek says:

      Yes. This is for recording and more importantly selling of video. Camera’a are in childrens toys and many low end devicea. These lawa apply equally. No different. These drones cost more but essentially toys.

  2. Redacted says:

    Access these websites and you will find your answers! And:

  3. donna says:

    My neighbor doesn’t like my horses, he has let his Doberman dogs run then and now uses a drone over my horse area. This is harassment at it’s worst. Who do I complain too? I can’t believe this is legal? /We are in No. County San Diego California

    • Redacted says:

      Checked with the Division of Aeronautics Aviation Safety Consultants and was told that is a “local Sheriff” issue. There are rules and regulations put forth by the FAA for proper use of UAS/drones, but this is harassment from your neighbor and will not be tolerated.

    • Allie says:

      Hi Donna, I see that you said you’re in north San diego, so am I. Today there was a drone that came flying over my house and saw me in my backyard and stopped and hovered for a while watching me. I live in Vista not far from Bonsall so I was wondering if it could be the same one. Is there anything we can do about this?

  4. Derek says:

    These should never be flown over someone’s property. Like a remote control car e.g. Keep it in your yard or public areas. Without written consent is illegal. Taking pictures into someone property is not. Here is your answer. Restraining Order. These are easily approved and almost an embarrassment of our legal sysytem. BUT. They work and will be enforced.

    • Dan says:

      Unfortunately Derek, flying over someone’s property is not illegal. It has been established that the property owner has no ownership of airspace above property. I’m sure this will be discussed as this topic becomes law but until then there is no law stating that a pilot cannot fly over property.

  5. Raymond Rahner says:

    Is there anyway I can fly my drone by the Hollywood sign? I am only 16 and I use my drone for recreational uses. I am also from Las Vegas and visiting so I am not familiar with the rules around here. Someone please reply. Thank you :)

  6. James says:

    I’m actually interested in taking the knowledge test and submit to TSA security check so I can classified as a “commercial” quadcopter pilot. Primarily for posting monetized videos to YouTube and for landscape photography.

    My question – have any of you taken that test and/or know where to get information on it?

    Thanks in advance.

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