Sarah Nilsson, JD, PhD, MAS
Sarah Nilsson, JD, PhD, MAS

Texas Drone Laws


Texas Government Code 423-002 (2013) - identifies 19 legitimate commercial purposes for UAS operations and prohibits UAS photography and filming of property or persons without prior consent.

On May 29, 2013 the Texas House of Representatives passed House Resolution (HR) 3035 (download below), which suspends limitations on conference committee jurisdiction. 

TX HR3035.docx
Microsoft Word document [110.0 KB]

On September 1, 2013, House Bill (HB) 912 (download below) went into effect, which discusses law enforcement and public protection with respect to use of unmanned aircraft.

HB 912 enumerates 19 lawful uses for unmanned aircraft, including their use in airspace designated as an FAA test site, their use in connection with a valid search warrant and their use in oil pipeline safety and rig protection. The law creates two new crimes, the illegal use of an unmanned aircraft to capture images and the offense of possessing or distributing the image; both offenses are class C misdemeanors. “Image” is defined in the law as any sound wave, thermal, ultraviolet, visible light or other electromagnetic waves, odor, or other conditions existing on property or an individual located on the property. Additionally, the measure requires the Department of Public Safety to adopt rules for use of UAS by law enforcement and mandates that law enforcement agencies in communities of over 150,000 people make annual reports on their use. 

Adobe Acrobat document [64.9 KB]

On May 26, 2013 the Texas Senate passed Senate Resolution (SR) 1084 (download below), addressing legislative procedure needed to enact their new drone law.    

TX SR1084.docx
Microsoft Word document [110.6 KB]

On June 14, 2013 the Texas House of Representatives passed House Concurrent Resolution (HCR) 217 (download below).     

HCR 217 altered reporting requirements from the original HB 912.

 TX HCR 217.docx
Microsoft Word document [110.4 KB]

On May 28, 2015 the Texas House of Representatives passed House Bill (HB) 3628 (download below).     

HB 3628 permits the creation of rules governing the use of UAS in the Capitol Complex and provides that a violation of those rules is a Class B misdemeanor.

 TX HB3628.docx
Microsoft Word document [98.0 KB]

On June 9, 2015 the Texas House Bill (HB) 2167 (download below) became law. It is an act relating to certain images captured by an unmanned aircraft. 

HB 2167 permits individuals in certain professions to capture images used in those professions using UAS as long as no individual is identifiable in the image.

TX HB2167.docx
Microsoft Word document [103.4 KB]

On June 19, 2015 the Texas House of Representatives passed House Bill (HB) 1481 (download below), which becomes effective September 1, 2015, and is an act relating to prohibiting the operation of an unmanned aircraft over certain facilities; creating a criminal offense.

HB 1481 makes it a Class B misdemeanor to operate UAS over a critical infrastructure facility if the UAS is not more than 400 feet off the ground.

TX HB1481.docx
Microsoft Word document [103.5 KB]

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Legal disclaimer 

The information on this website is for educational purposes only and DOES NOT constitute legal advice. While the author of this website is an attorney, she is not your attorney, nor are you her client, until you enter into a written agreement with Nilsson Law, PLLC to provide legal services.

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