Drone under 250g: rules and laws

Dimitri Wolf Von Dimitri Wolf 3 Min. Lesen
The following rules and laws also apply to drones under 250g, such as the DJI Mini 4 Pro. Image: DeinDrohnenpilot

Drones weighing less than 250g are very popular due to the simple rules and laws. Nevertheless, certain regulations also apply to them when flying. We’ll show you what you need to bear in mind with mini drones despite the simplifications.

💡You need to know this

  • Drones under 250g may be flown with the most freedom. They fall into sub-category A1 and drone class C0.
  • However, there are still some restrictions on flight altitude, flight range and the places where they may be flown.
  • Compulsory insurance also applies to mini drones!
  • You must also register as a drone operator with your 250g drone.
  • You do not need a drone licence.

What rules apply to drones under 250g?

Drones under 250g (purchase advice) generally fall into subcategory A1 of the open operating category. This is the sub-category with the most freedom when flying drones.

This allows you to fly the drone in compliance with the following rules:

  • Main advantage: Flying in close proximity to uninvolved persons is permitted. No minimum distance specified, so overflight is also possible, even if it should be avoided
  • Flying over residential properties is permitted with the permission of the authorised user
  • Maximum flight altitude is 120m
  • Flight only within direct line of sight of the drone
  • No drone licence required
  • Insurance is also compulsory for drones under 250g!
  • Registration as a drone operator is mandatory

Important to note: Drones are categorised into drone classes based on various criteria. Drones weighing less than 250g are generally categorised as class C0. However, these classes have only been mandatory for drone manufacturers since 1 January 2024.

Drones that were launched on the market before this date without being categorised are classified as existing drones. A transitional regulation applied to these until the beginning of the year. This expired on 1 January 2024, meaning that stricter rules now apply to existing drones. However, this has little impact on drones under 250g.

Where am I allowed to fly drones under 250g?

Certain designated geographical areas (geo-zones) may restrict drone flights. Despite the simple rules for mini drones, it may not be permitted to fly the drone in certain areas without further ado. You can find information on this in the article Where am I allowed to fly my drone? There we go into the details when answering this question.

Rules for drones under 250g in detail

For a more in-depth understanding of operating categories, drone classes and the rules and laws for drones (regardless of the weight of less than 250 grams), we recommend our comprehensive and easy-to-understand article on the EU Drone Regulation. The regulation provides the basis for all drone laws.

Even though drones with a low weight offer a lot of freedom when flying, there are, as mentioned above, some rules and laws to observe that are often forgotten with small drones and do not directly affect the actual flight:

  • Insurance is also compulsory for drones under 250g!
  • Registration as a drone operator required
  • Attachment of a drone licence plate required

Compulsory insurance for drones under 250g

Very important: You also need appropriate drone liability insurance for your mini drone! This is required by law. There are no exceptions due to the lower weight. Do not rely on the fact that your normal personal liability insurance also covers drone flights. It may or may not. Find out in advance whether you have appropriate cover. Our linked article provides recommendations.

Registration of drones under 250g

As soon as a drone has a camera, you as the drone operator are automatically obliged to register it with the relevant state aviation authority. See the further explanations in the linked article.

Drone licence plate for mini drones

Due to the registration obligation, you are also obliged to affix a drone licence plate. This must be attached to the drone and include your e-ID, which you will be assigned after registration. You can also find all the information on this rule in the article linked above.

Do I need a drone licence for a drone under 250g?

No, you do not need to obtain a drone licence for drones in this (weight) class. However, we advise every drone pilot to obtain at least the A1/A3 drone licence (known as the EU proof of competence). The training documents for this are available free of charge and will at least provide you with some basic knowledge, even if you are not obliged to do so.

Dimitri is the founder of DeinDrohnenpilot.de and has been working at skyzr since 2021. He has been fascinated by the topic of drones since 2016. When he is not flying a drone, he is responsible for planning and developing new concepts for the platform as well as writing and creating content. He is also responsible for the technical implementation and maintenance. His training as an IT specialist for system integration and his bachelor's degree in media informatics help him with this.
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