Minnesota Department of Transportation

511 Travel Info

Aeronautics and Aviation

Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) or Drones: Government UAS Operators

Picture of a Drone

Government UAS Operators


The FAA regulates all aircraft in flight. Drone operations by government employees should generally be conducted under civil (small aircraft rule) or public aircraft (COA) rules.

In addition to FAA requirements, Minnesota requires all aircraft that operate in Minnesota airspace to be registered with MnDOT. In Minnesota, governments operating drones are exempt from aircraft registration fees.  Here's what you'll need to do to meet the Minnesota requirements:

  • Register your aircraft with the FAA before registering with MnDOT. You will need the N- or F- registration number assigned by the FAA to register with MnDOT
  • Go to MnDOT’s Aircraft Registration website for instructions on how to register your aircraft with MnDOT


MnDOT is the state-level regulatory agency for aircraft in Minnesota. We are here to help guide you with your UAS operations. For assistance, please contact:

UAS Department
MnDOT - Office of Aeronautics