Louisiana Drone Laws (2017)


NOTICE: This page is for informational purposes only and does not provide legal advice!  The information may also not be complete. The laws are constantly changing. It might NOT be up to date. 

Traveling? Click here to see other US drone laws by state.

 Current as of February 21, 2017

LA Revised Statutes 3:41 Definitions
For the purposes of this Chapter, the following definitions shall apply:

(1) “Agricultural commercial operation” means the use of any agricultural facility or agricultural land for agricultural production or agricultural processing and includes the production and processing of crops or products, livestock or livestock products, farm-raised fish and fish products, wood, timber or forest products, fowl and plants for breeding or sale, and poultry or poultry products for commercial or industrial purposes. “Agricultural commercial operation” also includes the use of farm machinery, equipment, devices, chemicals, products for agricultural use, materials, and structures designed for agricultural use and used in accordance with traditional farm practices.
(2) “Aircraft” means an unmanned aircraft operated as a part of an unmanned aerial system.
(3) “Commissioner” means the Louisiana commissioner of agriculture and forestry.
(4) “Data” means any information, pictures, images, samples, or other such information obtained through an unmanned aerial system.
(5) “Department” means the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry.
(6) “Unmanned aerial system” means an unmanned aircraft and all associated support equipment, control station, data links, telemetry, communications, and navigation equipment necessary to operate the unmanned aircraft. Such system may include drones, remote-controlled aircraft, unmanned aircraft, or any other such aircraft that is controlled autonomously by computer or remote control from the ground.

 

LA Revised Statutes 3:42. Powers of the commissioner

A. The commissioner shall adopt rules and regulations to implement the provisions of this Chapter, including but not limited to rules and regulations governing the registration of unmanned aerial systems used in the course of agricultural commercial operations. All rules and regulations shall be adopted in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act.
B. The commissioner shall administer and enforce the provisions of this Chapter and the rules and regulations adopted pursuant to the provisions of this Chapter.
C. The commissioner may appoint committees to advise on the implementation of the provisions of this Chapter. The appointed committees shall include public universities holding certificates of authorization from the Federal Aviation Administration as well as other active university research programs.

 

LA Revised Statutes 3:43. Licenses and registration

A. Each person operating an unmanned aerial system in the course of an agricultural commercial operation shall obtain a license from the department, which shall be issued upon the applicant meeting the following requirements:

(1) Applicants shall submit a written application to the department as provided by the commissioner by rule.
(2) Prior to applying for a license, each applicant shall complete an agricultural education and safety training course administered by the Louisiana Cooperative Extension Service or the Southern University Agricultural Research and Extension Center and comply with any other licensing requirements established by the commissioner by rule.

B. Each unmanned aerial system operated in the course of an agricultural commercial operation shall be registered with the department.
C. Licenses and registrations shall be valid for three years and may be renewed for additional three-year periods in accordance with rules adopted by the commissioner.

 

LA Revised Statutes 3:44. Unmanned aerial systems; operation

A. Unmanned aerial systems may operate in agricultural commercial operations in accordance with this Chapter and the rules and regulations established by the commissioner, except as prohibited by federal law.
B.(1) Private landowners engaged in agricultural commercial operations on their private property may use unmanned aerial systems within the geographical confines of their property.

(1) Private landowners engaged in agricultural commercial operations on their private property may use unmanned aerial systems within the geographical confines of their property.
(2) Producers, tenants, lessees, university researchers, or other contracted or hired personnel working on private property who are engaged in agricultural commercial operations may use unmanned aerial systems within the geographical confines of the property, only with written permission of the landowner or entity controlling the agricultural commercial use of the property.
(3) Data obtained through the use of an unmanned aerial system shall be used solely in the course of conducting a generally accepted agricultural commercial operation, or in conjunction with an agricultural research, extension program, or initiative conducted by a Louisiana public postsecondary educational institution.
(4) All data obtained through the use of an unmanned aerial system shall remain the property of the legal owner of the property where the data was collected, unless written approval is given by the property owner for other uses. Public universities conducting agricultural research may negotiate with the legal owner of the property for the terms of use or shared ownership of the data.

LA Revised Statutes 3:45. Violations
Violations of this Part shall include but shall not be limited to the following:

(1) The failure or refusal to obtain an unmanned aerial system license in accordance with R.S. 3:43.
(2) The failure or refusal to register an unmanned aerial system operated in the course of an agricultural commercial operation in accordance with R.S. 3:43.
(3) Any violation of this Chapter or of any rule or regulation adopted pursuant to the provisions of this Chapter.
(4) Any interference with the commissioner and the department or its representatives in the performance of their duties as prescribed in this Chapter.
(5) Failure to timely pay any penalties or costs due pursuant to the provisions of this Chapter or any rule or regulation of the commissioner adopted pursuant to this Chapter.

LA Revised Statutes 3:46. Stop orders

A. When the commissioner has reason to believe that a violation has occurred, the commissioner may issue a stop order prohibiting the continued use of an unmanned aerial system.
B. Any violation of a stop order shall constitute a separate violation.
C. A stop order may be released by the commissioner upon a determination by the commissioner that the cause for issuing the stop order has been remedied.
D. Any person aggrieved by a stop order may petition the commissioner for a hearing to contest the validity of the stop order by making a written request within five calendar days after issuance of the stop order. The hearing shall be held within ten calendar days of receipt of the written request for a hearing. The commissioner may appoint a hearing officer to preside over the matter. The commissioner shall issue a ruling in the matter. The hearing and any subsequent appeal shall be held in accordance with the provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act.
E. Based upon the results of the hearing, or a consent agreement, the commissioner may take one or more of the following actions:

(1) Release the stop order.
(2) Require the cause for the stop order to be remedied prior to releasing the stop order.
(3) Amend the stop order.

LA Revised Statutes 3:47. Penalties

A. If the commissioner determines that a violation of the provisions of this Chapter or of the rules and regulations adopted pursuant to the provisions of this Chapter has occurred, an adjudicatory hearing shall be held to make a determination with respect to the suspected violation.
B. The commissioner shall give written notice to the alleged violator, which shall comply with the requirements of the Administrative Procedure Act, at least five days prior to the date set for such adjudicatory hearing.
C. The commissioner shall designate a hearing officer to preside at all adjudicatory proceedings.
D. At any such adjudicatory hearing, the alleged violator shall be accorded all of the rights set forth in the Administrative Procedure Act.
E. Whenever the commissioner makes a determination from the proceedings of the adjudicatory hearing that a violation of this Chapter or these regulations has occurred, the commissioner may impose a civil penalty not to exceed five hundred dollars for each violation. Civil penalties shall be imposed only on the basis of an adjudication of violations pursuant to an adjudicatory hearing held in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act.
F. Each separate day on which a violation occurs shall be considered a separate violation.

LA Revised Statutes 3:48. Fees

A. The commissioner shall establish, by rule in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act, a registration fee for each unmanned aerial system in an amount not to exceed one hundred dollars.
B. The commissioner shall establish, by rule in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act, an agricultural education and safety training course fee payable to the Louisiana State University Agricultural Center or the Southern University Agricultural Research and Extension Center, not to exceed fifty dollars for conducting the agricultural education and safety training course as required by R.S. 3:43(A)(2).

LA Revised Statutes 14:63. Criminal trespass

A. No person shall enter any structure, watercraft, or movable owned by another without express, legal, or implied authorization.
B.(1) No person shall enter upon immovable property owned by another without

(1) No person shall enter upon immovable property owned by another without express, legal, or implied authorization.
(2) For purposes of this Subsection, the phrase “enter upon immovable property” as used in this Subsection, in addition to its common meaning, signification, and connotation, shall include the operation of an unmanned aircraft system as defined by R.S. 14:337 in the air space over immovable property owned by another with the intent to conduct surveillance of the property or of any individual lawfully on the property.
(3) The provisions of Paragraph (1) of this Subsection shall not apply to any person operating an unmanned aircraft system in compliance with federal law or Federal Aviation Administration regulations or authorization.

C.(1) No person shall remain in or upon property, movable or immovable, owned by another without

(1) No person shall remain in or upon property, movable or immovable, owned by another without express, legal, or implied authorization.
(2) For purposes of this Subsection, the phrase “remain in or upon property” as used in this Subsection, in addition to its common meaning, signification, and connotation, shall include the operation of an unmanned aircraft system as defined by R.S. 14:337 in the air space over immovable property owned by another with the intent to conduct surveillance of the property or of any individual lawfully on the property.
(3) The provisions of Paragraph (1) of this Subsection shall not apply to any person operating an unmanned aircraft system in compliance with federal law or Federal Aviation Administration regulations or authorization.

D. It shall be an affirmative defense to a prosecution for a violation of Subsection A, B, or C of this Section, that the accused had express, legal, or implied authority to be in the movable or on the immovable property.
E. The following persons may enter or remain upon the structure, watercraft, movable or immovable property, of another:

(1) A duly commissioned law enforcement officer in the performance of his duties.
(2) Any firefighter, whether or not a member of a volunteer or other fire department, and any employee or agent of the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry engaged in locating and suppressing a fire.
(3) Emergency medical personnel engaged in the rendering of medical assistance to an individual.
(4) Any federal, state or local government employee, public utility employee or agent engaged in suppressing or dealing with an emergency that presents an imminent danger to human safety or health or to the environment.
(5) Any federal, state or local government employee, public utility employee or agent in the performance of his duties when otherwise authorized by law to enter or remain on immovable or movable property.
(6) Any person authorized by a court of law to enter or remain on immovable property.
(7) Any person exercising the mere right of passage to an enclosed estate, as otherwise provided by law.

F. The following persons may enter or remain upon immovable property of another, unless specifically forbidden to do so by the owner or other person with authority, either orally or in writing:

(1) A professional land surveyor or his authorized personnel, engaged in the “practice of land surveying”, as defined in R.S. 37:682.
(2) A person, affiliate, employee, agent or contractor of any business which is regulated by the Louisiana Public Service Commission or by a local franchising authority or the Federal Communication Commission under the Cable Reregulation Act of 1992 or of a municipal or public utility, while acting in the course and scope of his employment or agency relating to the operation, repair, or maintenance of a facility, servitude or any property located on the immovable property which belongs to such a business.
(3) Any person making a delivery, soliciting, selling any product or service, conducting a survey or poll, a real estate licensee or other person who has a legitimate reason for making a delivery, conducting business or communicating with the owner, lessee, custodian or a resident of the immovable property, and who, immediately upon entry, seeks to make the delivery, to conduct business or to conduct the communication.
(4) An employee of the owner, lessee or custodian of the immovable property while performing his duties, functions and responsibilities in the course and scope of his employment.
(5) The owner of domestic livestock or his employees or agents while in the process of retrieving his domestic livestock that have escaped from an area fenced to retain such domestic livestock.
(6) The owner of a domestic animal while in the sole process of merely retrieving his domestic animal from immovable property and not having a firearm or other weapon on his person.
(7) Any candidate for political office or any person working on behalf of a candidate for a political office.
(8) The owner or occupant of a watercraft or vessel traveling in salt water engaged in any lawful purpose for the purpose of retrieval of his property or for obtaining assistance in an emergency situation.

G. The following penalties shall be imposed for a violation of this Section:

(1) For the first offense, the fine shall be not less than one hundred dollars and not more than five hundred dollars, or imprisonment for not more than thirty days, or both.
(2) For the second offense, the fine shall be not less than three hundred dollars and not more than seven hundred fifty dollars, or imprisonment for not more than ninety days, or both.
(3) For the third offense and all subsequent offenses, the fine shall be not less than five hundred dollars and not more than one thousand dollars, or imprisonment for not less than sixty days and not more than six months, or both, and forfeiture to the law enforcement authority of any property seized in connection with the violation.
(4) A person may be convicted of a second offense and any subsequent offenses regardless of whether any prior conviction involved the same structure, watercraft, movable or immovable property and regardless of the time sequence of the occurrence of the offenses.
(5) In addition to the foregoing penalties, and notwithstanding any other law to the contrary, a person convicted under this Section who has killed or otherwise misappropriated any wildlife, as defined by R.S. 56:8, in the course of commission of the offense shall forfeit the misappropriated wildlife to the law enforcement authority, and shall be ordered to pay the value of the misappropriated wildlife into the Conservation Fund of the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries in accordance with R.S. 56:40.1 et seq. The value of the wildlife that was misappropriated shall be determined by the guidelines adopted by the Wildlife and Fisheries Commission pursuant to R.S. 56:40.2.

H. The provisions of any other law notwithstanding, owners, lessees, and custodians of structures, watercraft, movable or immovable property shall not be answerable for damages sustained by any person who enters upon the structure, watercraft, movable or immovable property without express, legal or implied authorization, or who without legal authorization, remains upon the structure, watercraft, movable or immovable property after being forbidden by the owner, or other person with authority to do so; however, the owner, lessee or custodian of the property may be answerable for damages only upon a showing that the damages sustained were the result of the intentional acts or gross negligence of the owner, lessee or custodian.
I. A minor ten years old or younger shall not be arrested, detained or apprehended for the crime of trespass.

LA Revised Statutes 14:108. Resisting an officer

A. Resisting an officer is the intentional interference with, opposition or resistance to, or obstruction of an individual acting in his official capacity and authorized by law to make a lawful arrest, lawful detention, or seizure of property or to serve any lawful process or court order when the offender knows or has reason to know that the person arresting, detaining, seizing property, or serving process is acting in his official capacity.
B.

(1) The phrase “obstruction of” as used herein shall, in addition to its common meaning, signification, and connotation mean the following:

(a) Flight by one sought to be arrested before the arresting officer can restrain him and after notice is given that he is under arrest.
(b) Any violence toward or any resistance or opposition to the arresting officer after the arrested party is actually placed under arrest and before he is incarcerated in jail.
(c) Refusal by the arrested or detained party to give his name and make his identity known to the arresting or detaining officer or providing false information regarding the identity of such party to the officer.
(d) Congregation with others on a public street and refusal to move on when ordered by the officer.
(e) Knowing interference with a police cordon resulting from the intentional crossing or traversing of a police cordon by an unauthorized person or an unmanned aircraft system (UAS). The cordoned area includes the airspace above the cordoned area.

(i) For purposes of this Subparagraph, “police cordon” means any impediment or structure erected or established by an officer for crowd or traffic control, or to prevent or obstruct the passage of a person at the scene of a crime or investigation.
(ii) “Impediment or structure” includes but is not limited to crime scene tape, rope, cable, wire or metal barricades, or the posting of uniformed officers or other personnel otherwise identifiable as law enforcement officers.
(iii) “Unmanned aircraft system” shall have the same meaning as provided by R.S. 14:337(B).
(iv) If the flight of a UAS into the cordoned area endangers the public or an officer’s safety, law enforcement personnel or fire department personnel are authorized to disable the UAS.

(2) The word “officer” as used herein means any peace officer, as defined in R.S. 40:2402, and includes deputy sheriffs, municipal police officers, probation and parole officers, city marshals and deputies, and wildlife enforcement agents.

C. Whoever commits the crime of resisting an officer shall be fined not more than five hundred dollars or be imprisoned for not more than six months, or both.

LA Revised Statutes 14:283. Video voyeurism; penalties

A. Video voyeurism is any of the following:

(1) The use of any camera, videotape, photo-optical, photo-electric, unmanned aircraft system, or any other image recording device for the purpose of observing, viewing, photographing, filming, or videotaping a person where that person has not consented to the observing, viewing, photographing, filming, or videotaping and it is for a lewd or lascivious purpose.
(2) The transfer of an image obtained by activity described in Paragraph (1) of this Subsection by live or recorded telephone message, electronic mail, the Internet, or a commercial online service.

B.

(1) Except as provided in Paragraphs (3) and (4) of this Subsection, whoever commits the crime of video voyeurism shall, upon a first conviction thereof, be fined not more than two thousand dollars or imprisoned, with or without hard labor, for not more than two years, or both.
(2) On a second or subsequent conviction, the offender shall be fined not more than two thousand dollars and imprisoned at hard labor for not less than six months nor more than three years without benefit of parole, probation, or suspension of sentence.
(3) Whoever commits the crime of video voyeurism when the observing, viewing, photographing, filming, or videotaping is of any vaginal or anal sexual intercourse, actual or simulated sexual intercourse, masturbation, any portion of the female breast below the top of the areola or of any portion of the pubic hair, anus, cleft of the buttocks, vulva, or genitals shall be fined not more than ten thousand dollars and be imprisoned at hard labor for not less than one year or more than five years, without benefit of parole, probation, or suspension of sentence.
(4) Whoever commits the crime of video voyeurism when the observing, viewing, photographing, filming, or videotaping is of any child under the age of seventeen with the intention of arousing or gratifying the sexual desires of the offender shall be fined not more than ten thousand dollars and be imprisoned at hard labor for not less than two years or more than ten years without benefit of parole, probation, or suspension of sentence.

C. The provisions of this Section shall not apply to the transference of such images by a telephone company, cable television company, or any of its affiliates, an Internet provider, or commercial online service provider, or to the carrying, broadcasting, or performing of related activities in providing telephone, cable television, Internet, or commercial online services.
D. After the institution of prosecution, access to and the disposition of any material seized as evidence of this offense shall be in accordance with R.S. 46:1845.
E. Any evidence resulting from the commission of video voyeurism shall be contraband.
F. A violation of the provisions of this Section shall be considered a sex offense as defined in R.S. 15:541. Whoever commits the crime of video voyeurism shall be required to register as a sex offender as provided for in Chapter 3-B of Title 15 of the Louisiana Revised Statutes of 1950.
G. For purposes of this Section, “unmanned aircraft system” means an unmanned, powered aircraft that does not carry a human operator, can be autonomous or remotely piloted or operated, and can be expendable or recoverable.

LA Revised Statutes 14:283.1. Voyeurism; penalties

A. Voyeurism is the viewing, observing, spying upon, or invading the privacy of a person by looking or using an unmanned aircraft system to look through the doors, windows, or other openings of a private residence without the consent of the victim who has a reasonable expectation of privacy for the purpose of arousing or gratifying the sexual desires of the offender.
B.

(1) Whoever commits the crime of voyeurism, upon a first conviction, shall be fined not more than five hundred dollars, imprisoned for not more than six months, or both.
(2) Upon a second or subsequent conviction, the offender shall be fined not more than one thousand dollars, imprisoned with or without hard labor for not more than one year, or both.

C. For purposes of this Section, “unmanned aircraft system” means an unmanned, powered aircraft that does not carry a human operator, can be autonomous or remotely piloted or operated, and can be expendable or recoverable.

LA Revised Statutes 14:284. Peeping Tom; penalties

A. No person shall perform such acts as will make him a “Peeping Tom” on or about the premises of another, or go upon the premises of another for the purpose of becoming a “Peeping Tom”.
B. “Peeping Tom” as used in this Section means one who peeps through windows or doors, or other like places, situated on or about the premises of another or uses an unmanned aircraft system for the purpose of spying upon or invading the privacy of persons spied upon without the consent of the persons spied upon. It is not a necessary element of this offense that the “Peeping Tom” be upon the premises of the person being spied upon.
C.

(1) Whoever violates this Section, upon a first conviction, shall be fined not more than five hundred dollars, imprisoned for not more than six months, or both.
(2) Upon a second conviction, the offender shall be fined not more than seven hundred fifty dollars, imprisoned for not more than six months, or both.
(3) Upon a third or subsequent conviction, the offender shall be fined not more than one thousand dollars, imprisoned with or without hard labor for not more than one year, or both.

D. For purposes of this Section, “unmanned aircraft system” means an unmanned, powered aircraft that does not carry a human operator, can be autonomous or remotely piloted or operated, and can be expendable or recoverable.

 

LA Revised Statutes 14:337. Unlawful use of an unmanned aircraft system

A. Unlawful use of an unmanned aircraft system is either of the following:

(1) The intentional use of an unmanned aircraft system to conduct surveillance of, gather evidence or collect information about, or photographically or electronically record a targeted facility without the prior written consent of the owner of the targeted facility.
(2) The intentional use of an unmanned aircraft system over the grounds of a state or local jail, prison, or other correctional facility that incarcerates or detains juveniles or adults accused of, convicted of, sentenced for, or adjudicated delinquent for violations of criminal law without the express written consent of the person in charge of that state or local jail, prison, or other correctional facility.

B. As used in this Section, the following definitions shall apply:

(1) “Federal government” means the United States of America and any department, agency, or instrumentality thereof.
(2) “State government” means the state of Louisiana and any department, agency, or instrumentality thereof.
(3) “Targeted facility” means the following systems:

(a) Petroleum and alumina refineries.
(b) Chemical and rubber manufacturing facilities.
(c) Nuclear power electric generation facilities.
(d) School and school premises as defined by R.S. 14:40.6(B).

(4) “Unmanned aircraft system” means an unmanned, powered aircraft that does not carry a human operator, can be autonomous or remotely piloted or operated, and can be expendable or recoverable. “Unmanned aircraft system” does not include any of the following:

(a) A satellite orbiting the earth.
(b) An unmanned aircraft system used by the federal government or a person who is acting pursuant to contract with the federal government to conduct surveillance of specific activities.
(c) An unmanned aircraft system used by the state government or a person who is acting pursuant to a contract with the state government to conduct surveillance of specific activities.
(d) An unmanned aircraft system used by a local government law enforcement agency or fire department.
(e) An unmanned aircraft system used by a person, affiliate, employee, agent, or contractor of any business which is regulated by the Louisiana Public Service Commission or by a local franchising authority or the Federal Communications Commission under the Cable Television Consumer Protection and Competition Act of 1992 or of a municipal or public utility, while acting in the course and scope of his employment or agency relating to the operation, repair, or maintenance of a facility, servitude, or any property located on the immovable property which belongs to such a business.

C.

(1) Nothing in this Section shall prohibit a person from using an unmanned aircraft system to conduct surveillance of, gather evidence or collect information about, or photographically or electronically record his own property that is either of the following:

(a) Located on his own immovable property.
(b) Located on immovable property owned by another under a valid lease, servitude, right-of-way, right of use, permit, license, or other right.

(2) Third persons retained by the owner of the property described in Paragraph (1) of this Subsection shall not be prohibited under this Section from using an unmanned aircraft system to conduct activities described in Paragraph (1) of this Subsection.

D. The provisions of this Section shall not apply to any of the following:

(1) Any person operating an unmanned aircraft vehicle or unmanned aircraft system in compliance with federal law or Federal Aviation Administration authorization or regulations or to any person engaged in agricultural commercial operations as defined in R.S. 3:41.
(2) The operation of an unmanned aircraft by institutions of higher education conducting research, extension, and teaching programs in association with university sanctioned initiatives.

E.

(1) Whoever commits the crime of unlawful use of an unmanned aircraft system as provided in Paragraph (A)(1) of this Section shall be fined not more than five hundred dollars, or imprisoned for not more than six months, or both.
(2) On a conviction for a second or subsequent offense as provided in Paragraph (A)(1) of this Section, the offender shall be fined not less than five hundred dollars nor more than two thousand dollars, or imprisoned, with or without hard labor, for not less than six months nor more than one year, or both.
(3) Whoever commits the crime of unlawful use of an unmanned aircraft system as provided in Paragraph (A)(2) of this Section shall be fined not more than two thousand dollars, or imprisoned for not more than six months, or both.
(4) On a conviction for a second or subsequent offense as provided in Paragraph (A)(2) of this Section, the offender shall be fined not less than two thousand dollars nor more than five thousand dollars, or imprisoned, with or without hard labor, for not more than one year, or both.

F. The provisions of this Section shall not apply to unmanned aircraft systems used for motion picture, television, or similar production where the filming is authorized by the property owner.

Want All the Laws in a PDF?

Sign up for the drone newsletter and receive the PDF and great articles.

Powered by ConvertKit