Drone Laws
in Washington (2023)

Welcome to this wiki. The goal of this wiki is to crowd-source drone information. Having said that, information may be inaccurate, out-of-date, and should not be relied upon for legal advice.

Washington State Drone Laws
These laws apply in the entire state.

Washington Administrative Code 352-32-130

  • Allows for drone use in Washington State Parks but only upon issuance of a one-time basis permission granted by the Director or designee.
  • Commercial or educational filming or stills photography requires a special permit and an RC Aircraft permit. Drone pilots are encouraged to file applications at least 60 days before the activity.

Ref Admin. Code 352-32-130


Washington Department of Transportation

  • Drones to be used for commercial applications must be registered with the WSDOT through the Secure Access Washington (SAW) portal.
  • Annual registration requires a $15 fee per drone.

Ref WSDOT Commercial Drone Registration Policy


WAC 220-413-070

Prohibits the use of unmanned aircraft to spot, locate, or report the location of wildlife for the purpose of hunting, as well as to pursue, concentrate, or harass any wild animal or wild bird, except if the activity has been authorized by the department.

Ref WAC 220-413-070

City and County
Drone Laws
These laws apply in some areas.

Local drone laws in Washington refer to policies and regulations that are enacted and enforced at the county, city, or town levels.


Snohomish County

Prohibits the use of remote controlled unmanned aircraft within a county park except in areas specifically designated for such activities.

Ref Snohomish County Park Code Chapter 22.16



Pierce County

Restricts county departments and agencies from using drones to gather evidence or information connected to criminal activities except in situations authorized by federal and state laws.

Ref County Code Chapter 1.30


City of Seattle

Prohibits the use of drones and other remote-controlled aircraft in parks except at places set apart by the Superintendent for such purposes or as authorized by a permit from the Superintendent.

Ref Municipal Code 18.12.265

Filming with a drone requires a permit if it involved taking or landing on city-owned property or flying over city-owned property and requiring control, such as holding pedestrians and traffic. No permit is needed when flying from or over private property or over waterways.

Ref Office of Film and Music – Commercial Filming of sUAS


Washington State Capitol

Prohibits launching, landing, or operating an unmanned aircraft from or on lands and waters within the boundaries of the Washington state capital campus. Exceptions only apply to law enforcement agencies, emergency or fire response, national defense activities, or other activities that have received prior approval by the director.

Ref WAC 200-250-030 to 040


Eastern Washington University

Prohibits the use of drones by university employees or students on or above Eastern Washington University during a university activity unless prior authorization has been granted by the director of public safety. Drone use is strictly prohibited in areas where there is a reasonable expectation of privacy in accordance with accepted social norms.

Ref WAC Chapter 172-110


City of Bellevue Park

Prohibits the use of drones in all Bellevue parks. Instead, drone pilots are encouraged to fly at Marymoor Park Airfield (required registration to MA RC Club) or at 60 Acres Park.

Ref Bellevue Parks and Recreation – Acceptable Drone Flying Sites


Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary

Aircraft operations below 2000 feet above ground level are not allowed over Olympic Coast. Sanctuary boundaries extend from the mouth of the Copalis River to Koitlah Point at Neah Bay. Takeoff and landings at Copalis Beach airstrip are unaffected.

Ref National Marine Sanctuaries Overflight Regulation

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