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

What is a government operator?

Government operators of UAS fly for a public entity. Examples include:

  • Cities
  • Counties
  • State agencies
  • Fire departments
  • Law enforcement

Federal rules, restrictions & requirements

If you want to fly your UAS for government use, you have two options:

Fly using FAA “Part 107” rules

Apply for a Certificate of Authorization

If you want to operate UAS for a government entity outside of the 14 CFR, Part 107 rules, you may apply for a Certificate of Waiver or Authorization. For more information on governmental UAS rules, restrictions and requirements, visit the FAA website.

Aircraft registration

All aircraft registered with the FAA must register with MnDOT and pay an annual registration fee in the State of Minnesota. To complete registration of the aircraft, the owner is required to show proof that sales tax has been paid and provide insurance information.  Use the FAA registration number in the first blank on the form that starts with “N-“. 

Where can I fly?

Though not required, it is good practice for government aircraft operators (14 CFR, Part 107 users) to contact airports when flying. A smartphone application like AirMap is suggested to locate airports in the vicinity.