Vermont UAS Laws

Note on Federal vs State Laws:

Federal airspace laws take precedence over state drone laws. If a state or local law directly conflicts with FAA regulations, the state or local law is likely to be invalidated. 



Drone” means a powered aerial vehicle that does not carry a human operator and is able to fly autonomously or to be piloted remotely.

4622. Law enforcement use of drones

The statute generally prohibits any of these law enforcement agencies from using a drone “for the purpose of investigating, detecting, or prosecuting a crime” or to “gather or retain data on private citizens peacefully exercising their constitutional rights of free speech and assembly.”


Law enforcement agencies may use drones in the following circumstances, which serve as exceptions to the general rule:

  1. if the agency has obtained a warrant pursuant to Rule 41 of the Vermont Rules of Criminal Procedure or
  2. for public safety reasons that do not include collecting and keeping data.

Any use of drones by any person, including a law enforcement agency, shall comply with all applicable Federal Aviation Administration requirements and guidelines.


On or before September 1 of each year, any law enforcement agency that has used a drone within the previous 12 months shall report the following information to the Department of Public Safety:

  1. The number of times the agency used a drone within the previous 12 months. For each use of a drone, the agency shall report the type of incident involved, the nature of the information collected, and the rationale for deployment of the drone.
  2. The number of criminal investigations aided and arrests made through use of information gained by the use of drones within the previous 12 months, including a description of how the drone aided each investigation or arrest.
  3. The number of times a drone collected data on any person, home, or area other than the target of the surveillance within the previous 12 months and the type of data collected in each instance.
  4. The cost of the agency’s drone program and the program’s source of funding.
4018. DRONES

No person shall equip a drone with a dangerous or deadly weapon or fire a projectile from a drone. A person who violates this section shall be imprisoned not more than one year or fined not more than $1,000.00, or both.

20 Aerial Hunting

The purpose of this rule is to restrict the taking of wild animals by use of aircraft and drones.


  1. It shall be unlawful for any person to take or attempt to take wild animals while a person is in an aircraft.
  2. It shall be unlawful for any person to take or attempt to take wild animals by use of an UAV.
  3. It shall be unlawful for any person within an aircraft, or with the use of a drone or UAV, to:
  1. a) attempt to locate, surveil, or aid or assist in attempting to locate or surveil any wild animal, for the purpose of taking or attempting to take the wild animal; or
  2. b) drive or harass any wild animal, or otherwise aid or assist in taking or attempting to take a wild animal.