Are Drones Legal In Mexico For Foreigners?


You are planning to go to Mexico to see the beautiful beaches and the other sights and scenery, and you want to go because you want to soak up the sun. However, if you’re going to take your drone there, can you do it? That can be a significant problem if you want to capture places and beaches with your drone in Mexico. Also, if you are a foreigner, which you would be if you are visiting Mexico and never lived there, you will have some problems if you want to use your drone. That is because foreigners cannot legally use drones in Mexico. However, let’s delve into this further to find out how you might be able to get around this situation anyway.

You Cannot Legally Fly A Drone In Mexico If You Are A Foreigner

If you once went to Mexico within the last decade but not within five years or so, you probably had no issues with flying your done. First, you had to fill out the registration and learn about the laws in Mexico regarding drones. However, as of December 1st, 2018, Mexico made it illegal for all foreigners to fly their drones there. That law applies to Cozumel and Cancun, and only Mexicans can fly their drones. However, they have to register their drones that weigh less than 0.55 lbs with the DGCA.

However, even though foreigners cannot fly their drones in Mexico, it is legal to travel with the drone there. And if you have a friend that lives in Mexico who wants to register a drone that you have, that is one way to get around the law. So let’s go over how to travel with your drone to Mexico without any trouble.

You Can Travel With Your Drone But You Need To Follow Important Steps

If you have a friend who lives in Mexico and wants to fly your drone with you, that is the best thing to do, but they have to register the drone first. However, you need to take it over the border legally, so you do not end up with preventable penalties. The first thing you need to do is bring proof of purchase of your drone as long as you purchased it more than six months ago. Otherwise, you will end up with a 16% import tax. You also want to ensure that you do not go over the battery limit rule as you are likely only able to take three lithium batteries with you. You need to check with the airport to clarify that.

You will want to call the airline and do some research before taking your drone to the airport to know their policies. You do not want to end up with unpleasant surprises that will get in the way of you taking your drone to Mexico. You will also want to keep any policies from the TSA with you. Please print them and prove them because many TSA officers may not know all of the rules. For example, you can show them proof if they tell you that you cannot do something with the drone, whereas you legally can.

Also, remember that if you bring the drone because you want to give a friend of yours in Mexico a gift, you cannot wrap it. The TSA will need to see your drone, which means the work you put into wrapping will go to waste. Additionally, gift-wrapping the drone will bring you a 16% import tax, and why would you want to do that? That is avoidable in many cases. Therefore, if you follow all of those steps, you should not have to face any hassle when flying a drone.

But remember, if you don’t know anyone in Mexico and you plan to fly your drone, you will probably get caught by the authorities, and you may end up with a $21,000 fine which is not what you want to do. But at the same time, you probably have heard about people finding hacks to fly drones in Mexico. I do not vouch for illegal behavior at all. However, since you probably see people sneaking drones into Mexico and flying them without having any trouble, I will let you know what they are. However, I advise you to do this with extreme caution if you go by this route.

What Are Ways To Get Away With Flying Your Drone In Mexico As A Foreigner?

If you want to find a hack to fly your drone in Mexico, you will only want to do it safely as early as morning before anyone is awake and walking around. That means if you truly want to fly your drone in Mexico without getting caught, you need to do it before the beaches start crowding, which means you need to wake up very early. Also, make sure that it is still daylight because flying in the dark is illegal. But remember, this is not legal, and I do not advise this at all.

You also need to know the Mexican drone laws, as many are similar to the laws in the US, but if you are an experienced flier, you will likely be okay. You also cannot fly the drone more than 1,500 feet away as you need to see your drone at all times. Stay five miles away from airports, and keep away from historical sites, hotels, and resorts you are not staying. Never fly the drone more than 400 feet up, and never fly it near a group of over 12 people. You also do not want to fly it closer than 900 meters to a helipad.

Remember, though. You are taking a risk if you do these things because, as a foreigner, you cannot fly your drone to Mexico legally. Odds are the authorities will catch you and penalize you. I do not recommend it. So what is the best solution if you want to fly a drone there?

The Best Solution To Enjoy Flying Your Drone In Mexico As A Foreigner

There is a previous mention of this. But if you want to fly your drone in Mexico, make a friend there. You can find drone groups on Facebook and other platforms, and surely you will come across someone from Mexico there. Meet up with them, and you can take your drone, and they can register it with the DGCA. Therefore, you can enjoy flying your drone legally that way if a Mexican resident can register your drone. And be sure to stick to the laws. You should be fine. That is the best way for a foreigner to fly their drone in Mexico legally. The other methods are too risky.


Mexico is a fun destination, and you can enjoy the beaches, other scenery, and sunshine. However, if you fly drones, you will no longer be able to do so legally as a foreigner. Mexico created that law on December 1st, 2018. However, you can fly to Mexico with your drone‘ as long as you know the airport rules. The best thing to do is to make a friend who lives there to register your drone, and you can fly it with them, which can be a lot of fun. That way, as long as you and your friend abide by the laws there, it will become a fun experience.