New FAA Requirements for Registration of Aircraft

New FAA Requirements for Registration of Aircraft

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The FAA has amended its aircraft registration rules, requiring owners of U.S.-registered aircraft to re-register their aircraft every three years. Under the new amended rules, all current aircraft registrations will be terminated over a three-year period. The FAA will implement a new system for the renewal of registrations for all U.S.-registered aircraft and establish a new process for the cancellation of registration numbers (N-numbers) for unregistered aircraft. These new amendments take effect on October 1, 2010, and the FAA believes they will increase the accuracy of its Civil Aviation Registry database.

Aircraft Re-Registration and Renewal Requirements

Under the FAA's new rules, all aircraft currently registered in the U.S. must be re-registered within the next three years and the registration must be renewed every three years thereafter. Current aircraft registration certificates will expire and must be renewed according to the following schedule:

If an aircraft's certificate of registration was issued in:

Then the certificate of registration would expire on:

And the owner would be required to re-register the aircraft between the following dates in order to ensure issuance of the new certificate before the expiration of the current certificate:

March (of any year)

March 31, 2011

Nov. 1, 2010 – Jan. 31, 2011

April (of any year)

June 30, 2011

Feb. 1, 2011 – Apr. 30, 2011

May (of any year)

Sept. 30, 2011

May 1, 2011 – July 31, 2011

June (of any year)

Dec. 31, 2011

Aug. 1, 2011 – Oct. 31, 2011

July (of any year)

March 31, 2012

Nov. 1, 2011 – Jan. 31, 2012

August (of any year)

June 30, 2012

Feb. 1, 2012 – Apr. 30, 2012

September (of any year)

Sept. 30, 2012

May 1, 2012 – July 31, 2012

October (of any year)

Dec. 31, 2012

Aug. 1, 2012 – Oct. 31, 2012

November (of any year)

March 31, 2013

Nov. 1, 2012 – Jan. 31, 2013

December (of any year)

June 30, 2013

Feb. 1, 2013 – Apr. 30, 2013

January (of any year)

Sept. 30, 2013

May 1, 2013 – July 31, 2013

February (of any year)

Dec. 31, 2013

Aug. 1, 2013 – Oct. 31, 2013


The expiration date, which will be printed on the new registration certificate for aircraft registered or re-registered after October 1, 2010, will be three years from the last day of the month in which the registration was issued. In addition, the FAA's Civil Aviation Registry website will also show the expiration date for each individual aircraft and list aircraft that are pending re-registration or renewal.

Re-Registration and Renewal Notices

The FAA will send two reminder notices to owners as their registration certificate expiration nears. The first reminder notice will be sent 180 days before a registration is scheduled to expire and will provide basic renewal instructions, identify the aircraft, state the registration expiration date, and identify the three-month window during which a registration or renewal application must be submitted. Filing the application within the assigned three-month window will ensure that the new registration certificate is issued and delivered before the old certificate expires. The second reminder notice will be sent at the end of the filing window to owners who have not yet re-registered their aircraft or renewed their certificate. The filing window will close two months prior to the scheduled expiration date to provide the FAA with enough time to process and issue new certificates. Although applications will still be processed if sent after the filing window closes, the aircraft may be without authorization to operate until the registration is completed.

Re-Registration Application Forms and Electronic Filing

The current Aircraft Registration Application (AC Form 8050-1) will not be used for re-registration. Instead, a separate application form has been developed and will be available shortly from the FAA Registry at its website: registry.faa.gov/renewregistration. Aircraft may be re-registered either in paper form or electronically when no certificate changes are required. However, the FAA cannot currently process information changes or updates electronically, so registration certificates requiring any changes must be applied for in paper form. Aircraft owners who can apply for re-registration or renewal electronically will be provided a unique passcode for use with on-line filing. For those requiring changes to their registration certificates, a printable form will be available on-line and from the FAA Registry.

Cancellation of Registration Numbers

The new rules provide for cancellation of an N-number when the aircraft registration expires or otherwise ends. However, the FAA will provide a 30-day waiting period to ensure that any pending re-registration or renewal requests are processed. The FAA will also send a pending cancellation letter to the aircraft owner, so it is imperative that addresses listed on registration certificates be kept accurate. The FAA will cancel the assignment of a registration number after six months have passed since the FAA received notification that an aircraft has been transferred and no application for registration has been received for the aircraft. In addition, the FAA will cancel the assignment of a registration number if one year has passed since the registration application was received, but the applicant has failed to meet registration requirements. The FAA will also cancel the assignment of a registration number if six months have passed since an aircraft dealer filed evidence of ownership that did not meet registration requirements and the requirements have remained unmet.

Filing Fees

Aircraft owners will pay a $5.00 re-registration and renewal fee per aircraft. There is no fee for updating an address or other information, such as a name change.

Elimination of the Triennial Aircraft Registration Report

The FAA has eliminated the requirement for aircraft owners to complete and submit a Triennial Aircraft Registration Report, since the three-year re-registration and renewal requirements eliminate the need for the report.

Replacement Certificates of Registration

Replacement certificates are issued for an address change, an N-number change, or after the report of a lost or mutilated certificate. Replacement certificates of registration issued on or after October 1, 2010 will show the same expiration date that was displayed on the replaced certificate of registration. If no expiration date was displayed on the replaced certificate, the replacement certificate will show an expiration date based on the month of issue of the replaced certificate.

The FAA's Re-Registration and Renewal of Aircraft Registration final rule can be accessed at: edocket.access.gpo.gov/2010/pdf/2010-17572.pdf.

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