The Gulf Islands National Seashore, Tishomingo State Park, Grenada Lake, and Biloxi Lighthouse are some of Mississippi’s biggest claims to fame.
You’re quite interested in capturing these and other sights using your drone, but you’re not sure if you’re allowed to.
What are Mississippi’s drone laws?
Mississippi has federal and state drone laws, although no local laws. The crux of the laws is that drone pilots must always follow FAA Part 107 rules and should never use a UAV in a peeping tom fashion.
Before launching your drone in Mississippi, it’s a good idea to read through this overview of the state’s rules.
Although this southern state doesn’t have as many drone laws as some of the others in the country, you still don’t want to be lax.
Federal Drone Laws in Mississippi
Mississippi has a series of federal drone laws, as do other states across the United States.
These laws are mandated by the US government and apply to agency, recreational, and commercial drone pilots.
Here’s what you need to know.
Agency Drone Pilots
Government or agency drone pilots using UAVs for professional purposes such as a police or fire department are expected to follow the Federal Aviation Administration’s Part 107 rules.
You might also need a Certificate of Authorization or COA.
Recreational Drone Pilots
Hobbyist drone pilots, also known as recreational drone pilots, are also expected to stay on the right side of the FAA’s drone laws, even if flying for fun.
You’ll be expected to do more than read up on Part 107 laws, but you’ll be tested on them as well to earn your TRUST certificate.
TRUST is short for The Recreational UAS Safety Test, an FAA-issued, 23-question, free-to-take exam.
The TRUST exam isn’t so much focused on mastery as it is on understanding Part 107 rules.
That’s why you can go back and correct any question you got wrong while you’re still taking the test. This allows you to earn a score of 100 percent if you wish.
Your TRUST certificate never expires, but you should take special care not to lose it when traveling to Mississippi or elsewhere.
If you don’t have the certificate anymore, you’ll have to take the TRUST test again.
If your drone weighs at least 0.55 pounds or exceeds that weight, then you’ll have to pay a $5 registration fee to the FAA.
Your drone will be registered for the next three years.
Toy drones that weigh less than 0.55 pounds needn’t be registered.
Commercial Drone Pilots
The third group that must follow Mississippi federal drone laws is commercial drone pilots.
You’re always expected to obey Part 107 rules as well. As part of those rules, you must have a Remote Pilot Certificate on your person when flying your drone commercially.
To obtain a Remote Pilot Certificate, you need to take the Part 107 exam. This test isn’t nearly as easygoing as the TRUST exam, not by a long shot.
» MORE: FAA Part 107 for Commercial Drone Pilots
The Part 107 exam has more questions, it’s not free to take, and you need to register to take the test at an approved testing center.
You won’t see whether you got the questions right or wrong when taking the test, either. You’ll have to go with your gut.
Studying is integral if you want to pass. Some aspiring commercial drone pilots enroll in an online drone course to brush up on Part 107 material ahead of the exam.
If you’re interested in doing the same, check out this page on our site full of online drone schools complete with reviews!
» MORE: Best Drone Courses Taught by Experts
If you score 70 percent or higher, then congratulations, you’ve passed the Part 107 exam.
Your Remote Pilot Certificate is good for two years, then you have to do it all over again. This is how you stay current on your Part 107 knowledge.
In the meantime, register your drone with the FAA. The fee is $5, and the registration lasts for three years, just as is the case for recreational drone pilots.
State Drone Laws in Mississippi
Mississippi has but one state drone law, so let’s talk about it next.
SB 2022 // 2015
The law is known as SB 2022, which was passed in 2015. As we discussed in the intro, the law was put into effect to reduce peeping tom behavior with UAVs.
SB 2022 amends the Mississippi Code of 1972, adding several sections. Pertinent to drone pilots is Section 97-29-61 (1) (b).
The law in full is as follows:
“Any person who looks through a window, hole or opening, or otherwise views by any means of any instrumentality, including, but not limited to, a periscope, telescope, binoculars, drones, camera, motion-picture camera, camcorder or mobile phone, into the interior of a bedroom, bathroom, changing room, fitting room, dressing room, spa, massage room or therapy room or tanning booth, or the interior of any other area in which the occupant has a reasonable expectation of privacy, with the intent to invade the privacy of a person or persons inside and without the consent and knowledge of every person present, for the lewd, licentious and indecent purpose of spying upon the occupant or occupants thereof, shall be guilty of a felony.”
Although that’s a monster paragraph, it’s still important to keep this law mind whenever you’re operating your drone in Mississippi.
SB 2022 doesn’t differentiate between agency, hobbyist, or commercial drone pilots, so UAV pilots of all kinds should be on notice.
As the law states, disobeying SB 2022 could lead to a felony charge.
There’s more too. If you’re found to be more than 21 years old at the time of committing a peeping tom crime with your drone and you are “convicted of a violation of subsection (1),” then the Department of Corrections will put you in jail for at least five years.
Here’s Subsection (1) (a) in full just so you’re clear on that too.
“Any person who enters upon real property, whether the original entry is legal or not, and thereafter pries or peeps through a window or other opening in a dwelling or other building structure for the lewd, licentious and indecent purpose of spying upon the occupants thereof, shall be guilty of a felonious trespass.”
Does Mississippi Have Any Local Drone Laws?
Local drone laws are decided by the cities, towns, villages, and counties that comprise that state. It’s up to each individual state whether it has applicable drone laws. Most do but some do not.
Mississippi does not have any local drone laws that we could find.
Mississippi Drone Law FAQs
Are there still some lingering questions on your mind before you fly your drone in Mississippi? This section will tell you everything you need to know.
Can You Fly a Drone in a Public Park in Mississippi?
From Polkville Public Park in Morton to Pearl City Parks & Recreation in Pearl, Westside City Park in Booneville, and Olive Branch City Park in Olive Branch, Mississippi offers residents and tourists many beautiful public parks.
The banning of drones in public parks usually comes down to local drone laws, of which Mississippi has none. The sole state drone law also doesn’t touch upon flying a UAV in a public park.
You should be allowed to take your drone for a spin in a Mississippi public park. That said, you should contact the parks and rec association before flying just to be sure.
Always follow Part 107 rules as well!
Can You Fly a Drone in a State Park in Mississippi?
State parks are often heavily protected by drone laws and ordinances to maintain the beauty and prosperity of these lands and to uphold the peace for wildlife as well as human enjoyers.
We were unable to find any legislation that outright bars drone pilots from flying a UAV in a Mississippi state park.
As was the case with local parks, it’s best to get in touch with a state park authority to be sure.
Then you can enjoy the beauty of Buccaneer State Park, Paul B Johnson State Park, Wall Doxey State Park, Tombigbee Lake State Park, and others!
Mississippi has strict federal and state drone laws but no local laws as of this writing. The state drone law is mostly about preventing instances of peeping toms with drones.
These rules give drone pilots a lot more freedom to fly in this state than in others across the country.
As always, follow Part 107 rules when flying a drone in Mississippi so you don’t interrupt the experience of others when using your UAV. Be safe and have fun out there!
FAA Part 107 Remote Pilot Test Prep
Peltier has quite the experience, making him qualified to teach about photography and drones in separate courses. He was a part of the U.S. Air Force as an F-15E flight instructor for a decade.
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SB 2022 (link)