DDIC - Virginia

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Enacted Laws

HB 1851 - Exempts an owner of an unmanned aircraft from the requirement to register aircrafts. View the Bill

SB 1098 - Exempts an owner of an unmanned aircraft from the requirement to register aircrafts. View the Bill

SR 16 - This bill commends the Know Before You Fly campaign. View the Bill

SB 5030 - Prohibits any agency employing law enforcement officers to acquire, purchase, or otherwise accept on any terms weaponized unmanned aerial vehicles and other military property. View the Bill

HB 5049 - Prohibits any agency of the Commonwealth or director or chief executive of any agency or department employing law-enforcement officers from acquiring, purchasing, or otherwise accepting weaponized unmanned aerial vehicles. View the Bill

SB 356 - This bill requires an aircraft be registered in the Commonwealth if it is based in the Commonwealth for more than 90 days during a calendar year, with the exception of unmanned aircrafts. View the Bill

HB 742 - This bill authorizes a political subdivision to adopt time, place, or manner restrictions regarding the takeoff or landing of unmanned aerial systems on property owned by the political subdivision. View the Bill

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Two-Year Moratorium on the use of Drones by State and Local Law Enforcement (HB 2012 and SB 1331) - Places a moratorium on drone usage in the state of Virginia until July 2015, except under specific circumstances. View the Act

HB 412 - Provides that no locality may regulate the use of privately owned, unmanned, autonomous aircraft within its boundaries. The provisions of the bill expire on July 1, 2019. View the Bill

HB 638 -The bill provides that anyone who is required to register with the Sex Offender and Crimes Against Minors Registry who uses or operates an unmanned aircraft system to knowingly and intentionally follow, contact, or capture images of another person is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. View the Bill

HB 1482 - Use of unmanned aircraft systems by public bodies; search warrant required. View the Bill

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HB 1636 - Provides that any person who knowingly and intentionally causes an unmanned aircraft system to enter the airspace within one mile of the boundary of any military airfield or military helicopter landing zone in the Commonwealth, for any reason, is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. View the Bill

HB 2125 - Replaces the moratorium currently set to expire on July 1, 2015, on the use of unmanned aircraft systems by state and local law-enforcement and regulatory entities, except in defined emergency situations or in training exercises related to such situations, with an absolute prohibition on the use of unmanned aircraft systems by such law-enforcement and regulatory entities unless a search warrant has been obtained prior to such use. The warrant requirement does not apply to (i) utilization of such systems to support the Commonwealth for purposes other than law enforcement; (ii) certain search and rescue operations; (iii) certain Virginia National Guard and United States Armed Forces functions; (iv) research and development conducted by institutions of higher education or other research organizations; or (v) the use of unmanned aircraft systems for private, commercial, or recreational use. View the Bill

HB 2149 - Requires unmanned aircraft to be registered with the Department of Aviation. View the Bill

HB 2350 - Punishes as a Class 1 misdemeanor the use of an unmanned aircraft system to trespass upon the property of another for the purpose of secretly or furtively peeping, spying, or attempting to peep or spy into a dwelling or occupied building located on such property. View the Bill

SB 186 - Authorizes a state or local government department, agency, or instrumentality having jurisdiction over criminal law-enforcement or regulatory violations to utilize an unmanned aircraft system without a search warrant when such system is utilized to support any locality for a purpose other than law enforcement. View the Bill

SB 307 - Authorizes the Virginia Aviation Board to promulgate rules and regulations in reference to unmanned aircraft systems, defined in the bill, and for the Department of Aviation to enforce such rules and regulations. View the Bill

SB 508 - Allows the Department of State Police and the Department of Transportation to utilize unmanned aircraft systems in surveying the scene of an accident that occurred on a highway and recording images and video following such accident for the purpose of crash reconstruction. View the Bill

SB 526 - The bill provides that anyone who is required to register with the Sex Offender and Crimes Against Minors Registry who uses or operates an unmanned aircraft system to knowingly and intentionally follow, contact, or capture images of another person is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. View the Bill

SB 873 - Authorizes a fire chief or other officer in charge to ban or restrict privately owned unmanned aircraft systems at fires, explosions, or other hazardous situations. View the Bill

SB 1301 - Replaces the moratorium currently set to expire on July 1, 2015, on the use of unmanned aircraft systems by state and local law-enforcement and regulatory entities, except in defined emergency situations or in training exercises related to such situations, with an absolute prohibition on the use of unmanned aircraft systems by such law-enforcement and regulatory entities unless a search warrant has been obtained prior to such use. The warrant requirement does not apply to (i) utilization of such systems to support the Commonwealth for purposes other than law enforcement; (ii) certain search and rescue operations; (iii) certain Virginia National Guard and United States Armed Forces functions; (iv) research and development conducted by institutions of higher education or other research organizations; or (v) the use of unmanned aircraft systems for private, commercial, or recreational use. View the Bill

SB 1507 - Provides that a law-enforcement officer may deploy an unmanned aircraft system (i) to aerially survey a primary residence to formulate a plan to execute an arrest warrant for a felony offense or (ii) to locate a person sought for arrest when such person has fled from a law-enforcement officer and a law-enforcement officer remains in hot pursuit of such person. View the Bill

Active Legislation

NACDL has not identified any active legislation for this state.

Previously Introduced Legislation (2020)

HB 118 - This bill provides that any person who knowingly and intentionally causes an unmanned aircraft system to come within 400 feet of the lateral boundaries of any local or state correctional facility is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. View the Bill

HB 311 - This bill authorizes a political subdivision to adopt time, place, or manner restrictions regarding the takeoff or landing of unmanned aerial systems on property owned by the political subdivision. View the Bill

HB 453 - Prohibits any person from knowingly and intentionally causing an unmanned aircraft system to come within either a horizontal distance of 500 feet or a vertical distance of 250 feet from any local or state correctional facility. View the Bill

HB 1227 - This bill authorizes a political subdivision to adopt time, place, or manner regulations regarding the takeoff or landing of unmanned aerial systems on property owned by the political subdivision, provided such regulations are narrowly tailored to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the public. View the Bill

Previously Introduced Legislation (2019)

HB 2552 - Provides that a law-enforcement officer who applies for a search warrant from a judicial officer to deploy an unmanned aircraft system may request that any notice of the search warrant be delayed for a period of up to 30 days if (i) the judicial officer finds reasonable cause to believe that providing immediate notification of the execution of the warrant may (a) endanger the life or physical safety of an individual, (b) cause a person to flee from prosecution, (c) cause the destruction of or tampering with potential evidence, (d) cause intimidation of potential witnesses, or (e) otherwise jeopardize an investigation or unduly delay a trial; (ii) the warrant prohibits the seizure of any tangible property or the interception of any wire, electronic, or oral communications; and (iii) the search utilizing an unmanned aircraft system is executed by a law-enforcement officer. The bill provides that upon the expiration of the period of delay of notification, the law-enforcement officer who executed the search shall serve a copy of the executed search warrant on the person who was searched or whose property was searched. View the Bill

Previously Introduced Legislation (2018)

HB 1290 - Allows a law-enforcement agency or other state or local agency having jurisdiction over criminal law enforcement or regulatory violations to deploy a tethered unmanned aircraft system without obtaining a search warrant, provided that the person with legal authority over the property upon which the aircraft system is tethered consents to the deployment and the property is posted as being under surveillance by a tethered unmanned aircraft system. View the Bill

Previously Introduced Legislation (2017)

HB 1602 - Creates a civil cause of action for the physical and constructive invasion of privacy where a person, with the intent to coerce, intimidate, or harass, enters onto the land or into the airspace above the land of another person to capture an image, as specified in the bill, of private property or an individual located on the private property without consent or uses any device, including an unmanned system, to capture such an image in lieu of physically entering the land or airspace. The bill creates the same causes of action where a person, with the intent to engage in criminal activity, enters onto the land or into the airspace above the land of another person, or uses any device, including an unmanned aircraft system, to engage in such activity in lieu of physically entering the land or airspace. The bill allows a plaintiff to recover the greater of actual damages or $1,000, along with reasonable attorney fees and costs. The bill allows a court to award punitive damages when actual damages are awarded. View the Bill

HB 2197 - Creates a civil cause of action for the invasion of privacy when a person uses an unmanned aircraft system to enter without consent into the airspace above any designated facility, as defined in the bill, or critical infrastructure to capture an image or attempt to capture an image, as specified in the bill. The bill allows a plaintiff to recover actual damages and allows the court to award punitive damages where actual damages are awarded and to order any other appropriate relief. The bill also makes it unlawful to use an unmanned aircraft to enter into the airspace of a designated facility or critical infrastructure without consent to capture an image or attempt to capture an image of such designated facility or critical infrastructure. The bill directs the Virginia Department of Aviation to prepare a plan and budget for developing Sectional Aeronautical Charts compliant with the provisions of the bill and the related regulations of the Federal Aviation Administration and present such a plan and budget to the Governor by October 1, 2017. View the Bill

 Previously Introduced Legislation (2016)

HB 89 - Provides that a person is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor if he uses or attempts to use an unmanned aircraft system while committing or attempting to commit a crime or obstructing or attempting to obstruct law-enforcement officers, animal control officers, or emergency medical services agency personnel in the performance of their duties. View the Bill 

HB 269 - Creates a civil cause of action for the physical and constructive invasion of privacy where a person enters onto the land or into the airspace above the land to capture an image. View the Bill

HB 413 - Fly Wisely Unmanned Aerial Systems Accelerator Authority. Creates the Fly Wisely Unmanned Aerial Systems Accelerator Authority (the Authority) for the purpose of assisting the coal-producing areas of the Commonwealth to achieve some degree of economic diversification. View the Bill

HB 538 - Provides that a locality may by ordinance prohibit the use of unmanned aircraft to trespass upon the property of others within its boundaries. Such ordinance may provide that landowners may exclude such aircraft from a column of airspace extending from the surface of their land up to 350 feet above ground level. A person shall be guilty of a Class 4 misdemeanor if he operates such aircraft in violation of the ordinance. View the Bill

HB 561 - Makes it a Class 3 misdemeanor to use an unmanned aircraft system to capture an image of private property or an individual located on such private property without the consent of the landowner or other person lawfully in charge of such private property with the intent to conduct surveillance on such property or individual. The bill also provides that the sale or dissemination of such a captured image is punishable as a Class 2 misdemeanor. View the Bill

HB 878 - Creates a civil cause of action for the physical and constructive invasion of privacy where a person, with the intent to coerce, intimidate, or harass enters onto the land or into the airspace above the land of another person to capture an image, as specified in the bill, of private property or an individual located on the private property without consent or uses any device, including an unmanned aircraft system, to capture such an image in lieu of physically entering the land or airspace. View the Bill

SB 584 - Creates a civil cause of action for the physical and constructive invasion of privacy where a person uses an unmanned aircraft system to enter into the airspace above the land of another person to capture an image, as specified in the bill, of private property or an individual located on the private property without consent or uses an unmanned aircraft system to capture such an image in lieu of physically entering the land or airspace. View the Bill

SB 729 - Provides that a person is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor if he uses or attempts to use an unmanned aircraft system while committing or attempting to commit a crime or obstructing or attempting to obstruct law-enforcement officers, animal control officers, or emergency medical services agency personnel in the performance of their duties. View the Bill

HB 737 - Makes it a Class 3 misdemeanor to use an unmanned aircraft system to capture an image of private property or an individual located on such private property after having been given written notice by the landowner or other person lawfully in charge of such private property that the individual, landowner, or other person objects to having such images taken. The bill also provides that the sale or dissemination of such a captured image is punishable as a Class 2 misdemeanor. View the Bill 

Previously Introduced Legislation (2015)

HB 2017 - Local regulation of certain aircraft. Provides that a locality may by ordinance regulate the use of privately owned, unmanned, autonomous aircraft within its boundaries. Such ordinance may place reasonable restrictions on the time, place, and manner of use of such aircraft. View the Bill

HB 2077 - Limitations on use of drone aircraft; penalties. Creates a Class 1 misdemeanor for the operation, manufacture, sale, or distribution of an unmanned aircraft system (drone) as a weapon or to deliver a weapon. The bill provides that no governmental agency or organization having jurisdiction over criminal or regulatory violations, including the Department of State Police, nor any local law-enforcement department, may procure a public unmanned aircraft system (drone aircraft) without the approval of ... View the Bill

SB 751 - Authorizes the town council of Leesburg to limit the use of unmanned aerial vehicles within town boundaries and, by ordinance, to require private construction projects to preserve existing trees. View the Bill

SB 937 - Local regulation of certain aircraft. Provides that a locality may by ordinance prohibit the use within its boundaries of privately owned, unmanned, autonomous aircraft weighing 55 pounds or less within its boundaries. View the Bill