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



South Dakota Legislature


50-1-1.   Definitions.

22-21-1.   Trespassing to eavesdrop--Installation or use of unauthorized eavesdropping device--Drones.

50-15-1.   Repealed by SL 2018, ch 269, § 40.

50-15-4.   Prohibited delivery of contraband or controlled substance--Felony.

50-15-3.   Authorization required to operate drone over certain facilities--Violation as misdemeanor.

50-15-2.   Compliance with federal requirements--Exemption from chapter.

41-8-39.   Use of aircraft in hunting prohibited


Brown County Fairgrounds - No Drone Zone


July 1, 2017 - Department of Corrections facilities become No Drone Zones in South Dakota


Aberdeen Ordinance 15-12-04


July 2017 - Deadwood approves drone policy



Drones in the news

June 2020 - SFPD using drones to assist with public safety, investigations





Bill History

Where just the name of the bill or resolution is hyperlinked in black that means that it is not yet law!

Note that bills that are now law are changed to blue font


SB 80defines “drone” as a powered aerial vehicle without a human operator that can fly autonomously or be piloted remotely. The law requires that UAS operation comply with all applicable FAA requirements. It also prohibits operation of drones over the grounds of correctional and military facilities, making such operation a class 1 misdemeanor. If a drone is used to deliver contraband or drugs to a correctional facility, the operator is guilty of a class 6 felony. The law also modifies the crime of unlawful surveillance to include intentional use of a drone to observe, photograph or record someone in a private place with a reasonable expectation of privacy and landing a drone on the property of an individual without that person’s consent. Unlawful surveillance is a class 1 misdemeanor. The unlawful surveillance provisions do not apply to individuals operating a drone for commercial or agricultural purposes or to emergency management workers using a drone in their duties.


SB 22 exempts UAS that weigh less than 55 pounds from aircraft registration requirements.


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Sarah Nilsson, J.D., Ph.D., MAS


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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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