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Updated Drone Laws in South Carolina In 2023

By: Richard J. Gross
Updated On: December 17, 2022

Although drones have been around for a while, their popularity has exploded in recent years. As drones become more widespread, questions about how they should be regulated arise.

Drone Laws in South Carolina

If you're thinking about flying a drone in South Carolina, there are a few things you should know. Drones are subject to the same rules and regulations as any other aircraft.

This post will explore drone laws in South Carolina. Specifically, we will look at what is allowed and what is not allowed when it comes to drones in the Palmetto State. So, if you are curious about drone laws in South Carolina, going through this post might help you.

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

Are Drones Legal in South Carolina?

Drones are legal in South Carolina. However, there are a few things you need to keep in mind if you want to fly your drone in the state. First, you must be aware of the state's privacy laws.

In South Carolina, it is illegal to use a drone for surveillance purposes without the consent of the person being spied on.

So, if you're thinking about using your drone to take pictures or videos of people without their permission, you could be breaking the law.

Drones are legal in South Carolina as long as they are operated in accordance with Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) guidelines.

Drone Rules and Laws in South Carolina (2023)

With the growing popularity of drones, it's important to be aware of the laws governing their use. You need to keep a few things in mind if you want to fly your drone in South Carolina.

Drone Laws in South Carolina
  • You must be at least 16 years old to operate a drone in South Carolina.
  • You must register your drone with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
  • You will be given a registration number, which you must mark on your drone.
  • You must also obtain a remote pilot license from the FAA.
  • You must follow the rules of controlled airspace.
  • Drones are not allowed to fly over 400 feet of controlled airspace.
  • They are also only allowed to fly in daylight.
  • Operators should always keep their distance from airports, military bases, and sensitive areas.
  • Drones should always be kept in a visual line of sight (VLOS).
  • Drones should not be flown recklessly or under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  • It is against the law to fly a drone near government or federal buildings or offices.
  • When flying your drone, you must always give way to manned aircraft.
  • You should avoid flying over crowded places or people.
  • Do not come in the way of emergency and law enforcement activities.

By following these laws, you can ensure that you are operating your drone safely and responsibly.

Also Read: Drone Laws In Texas: Rules and Regulations

Penalties and Charges For Violating The Drone Laws in South Carolina

If you break the law when flying your drone, you may be subject to a number of penalties. These can range from a warning from the authorities to a fine of several thousand dollars.

Penalties and Charges For Violating The Drone Laws in South Carolina

Confiscation of Drone

Those who fail to abide by these rules may have their drones confiscated by the authorities. In addition, anyone who uses a drone to commit a crime may also have the drone seized as evidence.

Reckless flying

One of the most important things to remember is not to fly your drone recklessly. This can include flying too close to people or buildings or in a way that could endanger other aircraft. If you're found to be flying recklessly, you could be fined. 

Flying in Restricted areas

It's important to know where you can and cannot fly your drone. Restricted areas include places like airports, military bases, and power plants.

If you fly your drone in a restricted area, you could be fined or even jailed. Not only is it illegal, but it's also dangerous. You could crash your drone into an airplane or power line, causing serious damage and injuring people. 

Criminal charges

In addition to civil penalties, you could also face criminal charges if you use your drone to invade someone's privacy or for other illegal activities. These charges can result in a prison sentence. If you are convicted of a crime, you will also have a criminal record, which can make it difficult to find employment or housing. 

Cancellation of license

In South Carolina, you may have your license revoked if you are caught breaking the law with your drone. This means that you will no longer be able to operate a drone in the state.

The penalties for violating drone laws in South Carolina can be severe, so it's important to be aware of the rules before you take to the skies. If you break the law, you could be fined, have your drone confiscated, or even face criminal charges.

Restricted Places For Flying Your Drones

It's important to know where you can and cannot fly your drone. If you fly your drone in a restricted area, you could be fined or even jailed. Not only is it illegal, but it's also dangerous.

Restricted Places For Flying Your Drones

No Drone Zones

South Carolina has designated several areas as "No Drone Zones." These areas are off-limits to drones, and violators could face stiff penalties.

The areas include all the airspace around airports and nuclear power plants. The state is also considering creating additional no-drone zones, such as near military bases and wildlife sanctuaries.

Government / Federal offices

Another place where drones are not allowed to fly is within the boundaries of any federal office. If you try to fly a drone in these areas, you could be arrested and charged with a crime.

Private property

Before flying your drone on their property, you also need to get permission from the owner. If you don't have permission, you could be trespassing. Trespassing is a serious offense, and you could be fined or even jailed if convicted.

These restrictions aim to protect South Carolina residents from the potential hazards posed by drones, such as disruptions to airline traffic or interference with emergency response efforts.

At the same time, the state is working to develop regulations that will allow drones to be safely operated in other areas.

How to Know About No Drone Zones?

The easiest way to find out about no drone zones is to check the South Carolina Department of Transportation website. The website has a list of all the designated no-drone zones in the state.

You can also find out about no-drone zones by talking to the local authorities. If you're not sure whether a particular area is off-limits to drones, you should contact the police or other local officials to find out.

B4UFLY App

B4UFLY is an app developed by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to help drone pilots know where it is safe to fly. The app is available for free on the App Store and Google Play.

When you open the app, it will ask you for your location. Once you input your location, the app will tell you whether there are any restrictions in the area. The app will also give you information on how to contact the local authorities if you have any questions.

The Federal Aviation Administration

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is the South Carolina state agency that has regulatory authority over drones, also known as unmanned aircraft systems (UAS). The FAA's mission is to ensure the safe and efficient operation of drones in South Carolina.

To that end, the FAA regulates drone operations in South Carolina through a variety of means, including issuing certificates of waiver or authorization (COA) for drone operators who wish to fly in certain airspace, imposing operational restrictions on drones, and investigating reports of unsafe or illegal drone operations.

In addition, the FAA works with law enforcement agencies to investigate and prosecute individuals who violate South Carolina's drone laws. As the use of drones continues to grow in South Carolina, the FAA will play an increasingly important role in ensuring the safety of South Carolina's airspace.

FAA's Part 107

The rules, known as Part 107, apply to all drones. 107 is part of the Federal Aviation Regulations that govern the operation of small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), also called drones, in the National Airspace System (NAS). This rule makes it possible for businesses and individuals to operate drones safely and legally.

In order to operate a drone under this rule, one must obtain a remote Pilot Certificate from the FAA. This can be done by passing an initial aeronautical knowledge test at an FAA-approved testing center.

Once obtained, drone pilots operating under Part 107 are required to follow certain rules, such as flying only during daylight hours and maintaining a visual line of sight (VLOS) of the drone at all times.

South Carolina does not currently have any additional state laws or regulations regarding the operation of drones.

Remote Pilot License by FAA

The FAA's remote pilot license is required for anyone who wants to operate a drone for commercial purposes.

The license is obtained by passing an exam covering airspace regulations, weather conditions, and emergency procedures. Operating a drone without a license can result in penalties, fines, and jail time.

To obtain a remote pilot license, applicants must be at least 16 years old. They must also pass a background check and a written exam. Once licensed, pilots must renew their license every two years by completing a recertification course.

Registration of Your Drone With The FAA

According to the Federal Aviation Administration, drones must be registered with the agency. The registration process is simple and only takes a few minutes. You will need to provide your name, address, and email address. You will also need to create a username and password.

Once you have registered, you will be given a unique registration number that must be displayed on your drone. There is a small fee for registering your drone, but it is well worth it to avoid any potential penalties.

By taking the time to register your drone, you can help to ensure that everyone can enjoy the skies safely. You must renew your registration every 2 years.

The process is the same as the initial registration, and you will be given a new registration number. It is important to keep your registration up to date, as flying a drone without a valid registration can result in penalties.

Conclusion

South Carolina is a beautiful state, and there are many amazing places to fly a drone. If you are flying a drone in South Carolina, it is important to be aware of the laws that apply.

It is also important to remember that drones should always be flown safely and responsibly. If you are unsure about whether or not it is legal to fly your drone in a particular area, it is always best to check with the local authorities before taking off.

By following the law and flying safely, you can help make sure that everyone can enjoy the amazing beauty of South Carolina from the air. Hope this article helped. If you have any questions or suggestions, please leave them in the comments.

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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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