Are you using a drone to snap photos of your latest listing? We’ve noticed several drone-assisted photos in the MLS, and we have some advice you, “STOP!”  Unless you or the company you’ve hired to take the pictures has a waiver from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), using a drone or Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) for commercial purposes is illegal.  

Current FAA regulations prohibit the commercial use of UAVs, except in situations where the operator has obtained a Section 333 waiver. The FAA Modernization Act of 2012 charged the agency with integrating UAVs into the National Air Space. The rulemaking for UAV integration began in February 2015 and likely won’t be completed until late 2016 or early 2017

The National Association of REALTORS® has been meeting with the FAA to develop guidelines that would allow REALTORS® to photograph properties using drones.  This regulatory process will take some time. So, unless you (or the drone operator) have the Section 333 waiver, for now, it’s best to keep that drone on the ground.

In response to member’s increasing interest in drone-assisted photography, NAR has compiled a number of resources on its website here.


This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended as legal advice.