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All New Drone Laws in Illinois (2024 Updated)

By: Richard J. Gross
Updated On: December 31, 2022

Drones are becoming increasingly popular, and Illinois is no exception. While drones can be used for a variety of purposes, they are most commonly used for photography and videography.

Drone Laws in Illinois

However, drones can also be used for more practical purposes, such as delivery or surveying. In addition, drones can be equipped with a variety of cameras and other sensor types, providing a unique perspective on the world. Given the numerous potential uses of drones, it’s no wonder that their popularity is on the rise.

Drones laws in Illinois are still somewhat of a gray area. While there are some regulations in place, they are not always followed by drone users.

In this post, we will look at drone laws in Illinois and what you need to know if you are considering flying one in the state.

Also Read: Drone Laws in South Korea

General Rules and Regulations to Follow in Illinois (2024)

In the state of Illinois, there are several rules and regulations that drone pilots must be aware of in order to operate their craft safely and within the law. 

Drone Laws in Illinois

As a drone pilot in the state of Illinois, it’s important to be aware of the rules and regulations that apply to your flying. There are several guidelines that you need to follow in order to stay safe and avoid any penalties. Here are some rules to keep in mind :

  • Drones must be registered with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
  • Drone pilots must have a license in order to fly legally.
  • The drone should be marked with the registration number given by the FAA.
  • You must always fly at or below 400 feet.
  • Stay away from all airports, military bases, and helipads.
  • One must be at least 16 years old to fly a drone commercially.
  • Drone pilots are not allowed to fly over people or congested areas such as parks or cities.
  • You should avoid flying near emergency response efforts such as fires or search-and-rescue operations.
  • Stay away from law enforcement and emergency activities or teams.
  • It is illegal to fly a drone under the influence of drugs and alcohol.
  • Do not fly over stadiums and sports events.
  • Keep your distance from prisons and Correction facilities.
  • Do not fly near any government and federal offices.

By following these regulations, pilots can ensure that they are operating their drones safely and responsibly. Furthermore, it is important to stay up-to-date on any changes in the law regarding drones in Illinois, as this may affect your ability to fly legally.

Also Read: Drone Laws in Ukraine: All You Need To Know

Penalties for Violating The Law in Illinois

In Illinois, violations of drone laws may result in fines and even jail time. It is important to remember that these regulations are in place to ensure the safety of everyone on the ground.

Drone Laws in Illinois

Violations can include flying without a license or registration, flying recklessly, or flying in restricted airspace. Depending on the severity of the violation, violators may face hefty fines or jail sentences.

Fines and Imprisonment

In the state of Illinois, it is against the law to operate a drone in a way that puts people or property at risk. The penalties for violating this law can range from a simple fine to jail time, depending on the circumstances.

For example, a first-time offender who operates their drone in a crowded park could be fined. However, if that same drone were to strike and injure someone, the operator could be facing criminal charges and up to a year in jail. Repeated offenses or more serious infractions can result in even harsher penalties, including prison time. 

Imposition of Criminal Charges

In addition to civil penalties, operating a drone in an unsafe manner can also result in criminal charges. Depending on the severity of the offense, penalties can include fines and prison time.

For example, intentionally crashing a drone into a building or person can be charged as reckless endangerment. If the drone causes property damage or injuries, the operator may also be liable for compensatory damages.

In addition, flying a drone in restricted airspace without proper authorization is a federal offense. Furthermore, drones can be used to commit other crimes, such as espionage or trespassing. In some cases, simply possessing a drone can be enough to raise suspicion of criminal activity.

Loss of drone

In the case of a drone flying in violation of the law, such as flying in a restricted area or without a license, law enforcement may seize the drone.

This is similar to how a car can be seized if it is being driven in an illegal manner. The drone owner may be subject to fines and other penalties, depending on the laws that were broken.

In some cases, the drone may be returned to the owner after the seizure, but this is not always guaranteed. In general, it is best to comply with all drone regulations to avoid having your drone seized by authorities.

Losing your flying privileges

Drone operators who violate the law may also face losing their flying privileges. Depending on the severity of the violation, they could be charged with a misdemeanor or felony and have to appear in court.

They may face fines, community service, and even jail time if found guilty. In addition, if convicted of a felony offense related to drone operation, they will lose their drone pilot privileges permanently.

This means that no matter how experienced they are as a pilot, they will not be able to fly drones until their conviction is removed from their record.

Also Read: Drone Laws in Georgia (U.S.A), Penalty, Rules

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is responsible for regulating the National Airspace System. This includes setting rules and regulations for aircraft, airports, and airspace.

Drone Laws in Illinois

The FAA also has the authority to issue licenses and certificates for pilots and other aviation personnel. In recent years, the FAA has been working to develop regulations for the use of drones, also known as Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs).

Currently, the FAA requires that all drones be registered with the agency. Drone operators must also follow a set of safety rules, such as flying only during daylight hours and keeping the drone within sight at all times.

The FAA is working to create additional regulations that will allow drones to be used more widely, such as for commercial purposes.

Ultimately, the goal is to ensure that drones are operated safely and in a way that does not pose a threat to other aircraft or people on the ground.

FAA’s Part 107

Part 107 is the section of the Federal Aviation Regulations that cover the operation and certification of small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS).

Under Part 107, any person operating a UAS must hold a remote pilot certificate with a small UAS rating or be under the direct supervision of a certified remote pilot.

To obtain a remote pilot certificate, an individual must be at least 16 years old and pass an initial aeronautical knowledge test administered by the FAA. Once obtained, a remote pilot certificate is valid for two years.

To maintain certification, a remote pilot must either pass a recurrent aeronautical knowledge test every two years or complete an approved training program every 24 months. Part 107 also contains rules governing where and how UAS can be operated.

For example, UAS may not be operated over persons not directly participating in the operation and must remain clear of bystanders.

In addition, UAS may not be operated at night or in protected airspace unless authorized by air traffic control. Finally, Part 107 contains several provisions designed to mitigate the risks posed by UAS operations, such as rules regarding aircraft registration and marking and operator training.

Also Read: FAA TRUST Drone Exam: Why You Need This?

Registering Your Drone With The FAA

Before you can take to the skies, you need to register your drone with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The process is relatively simple and only takes a few minutes. First, you’ll need to create an account on the FAA’s website.

Drone Laws in Illinois

Once you’ve done that, you’ll be able to fill out the registration form and pay the registration fee. You’ll also need to mark your drone with a registration number, which you’ll receive after completing the form. After that, you’re ready to start flying.

Just be sure to familiarize yourself with the FAA’s rules and regulations before taking off. The registration is valid for three years, after which you’ll need to renew it.

If you’re caught flying your drone without registering it, the consequences can be serious. Depending on the situation, you may face fines, community service, and even jail time.

In addition, if convicted of a felony offense related to drone operation, you will lose your remote pilot privileges permanently.

Remote Pilot Certification

In addition to registering your drone, you must also obtain a remote pilot certification if you plan to operate a UAS for commercial purposes. The FAA issued the remote pilot certificate and required applicants to pass an aeronautical knowledge test.

To qualify for the certificate, individuals must be at least 16 years of age and demonstrate knowledge of basic aviation safety principles.

Once obtained, a remote pilot certificate is valid for two years and can be renewed either with a recurrent aeronautical knowledge test or an approved training program.

No Drone Zones in Illinois

No drone zones are areas where drones are not allowed to fly. This can be for safety reasons, such as near an airport, or to protect sensitive areas, such as national parks.

Drone Laws in Illinois

No drone zones are typically well-marked, and drone pilots are responsible for familiarizing themselves with the rules before flying. Violating a no-drone zone can result in stiff penalties, including fines and jail time. In some cases, drones may also be confiscated.

As the popularity of drones continues to grow, no drone zones are likely to become more common. This will help to ensure the safety of both people and property.

Ways to know about no drone zones?

In order to find out if a particular area is a No Drone Zone, you can check the FAA’s website or contact your local law enforcement agency.

If you do plan on flying in a No Drone Zone, be aware that you may be subject to fines or even jail time if you are caught. Furthermore, it is important to respect the privacy of those who live in these areas and not fly your drone over their homes or property without permission.


The B4UFLY app by the FAA is a great resource for drone pilots. It provides up-to-date information on No Drone Zones, allowing users to get the latest information and plan their flights accordingly.

The app also includes an interactive map that allows users to quickly identify areas where outdoor flight is permissible and areas that are considered no-fly zones.

Additionally, suppose you’re planning on flying in a populated area or near an airport. In that case, it’s important to check local regulations as they may be stricter than those set by the FAA.

Also Read: How To Fly Drones Safely Near Birds?


Drones have become increasingly popular in recent years and are being used for a variety of purposes. Before operating a drone, it’s important to understand the regulations governing its use.

All drones must be registered with the FAA, and their operators must hold a valid remote pilot certificate. These regulations help ensure that drones are operated safely and do not pose undue risks to people or other aircraft.

You can become a responsible and safe drone operator by following these rules. Hope this article helped. Suppose you have any questions feel free to leave them in the comments.

Richard J. Gross

Hi, my name is Richard J. Gross and I’m a full-time Airbus pilot and commercial drone business owner. I got into drones in 2015 when I started doing aerial photography for real estate companies. I had no idea what I was getting into at the time, but it turns out that police were called on me shortly after I started flying. They didn’t like me flying my drone near people, so they asked me to come train their officers on the rules and regulations for drones. After that, I decided to start my own drone business and teach others about the safe and responsible use of drones.

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