Updated August 23, 2010

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) estimates that approximately one third of aircraft registrations are no longer valid. To rectify this, the FAA published new regulations regarding aircraft registration. Over a three year period, FAA will terminate the N number registrations of all aircraft registered before October 1, 2010, and will require the re-registration of each aircraft to retain U.S. civil aircraft status. Aircraft registrations will be valid for three years and registration certificates will include the expiration date. The FAA will cancel the N-numbers of aircraft that are not re-registered or renewed.

Before the implementation of this Final Rule, an aircraft registration had no expiration date and was effective until the aircraft was sold or de-registered. This Final Rule represents major change to the existing law governing aircraft registrations.

Re-Registration Schedule

Beginning on October 1, 2010, all civil aircraft that were registered before October 1, 2010, must be re-registered over a three year period based on a schedule established in the Final Rule. The expiration date and required re-registration period is determined by the month in which the current certificate of registration was issued.

The following schedule is contained in the Final Rule:

Certificate was issued Certificate expires Apply for re-registration between
March (of any year) March 31, 2011 November 1, 2010 and January 31, 2011
April (of any year) June 30, 2011 February 1, 2011 and April 30, 2011
May (of any year) September 30, 2011 May 1, 2011 and July 31, 2011
June (of any year) December 31, 2011 August 1, 2011 and October 31, 2011
July (of any year) March 31, 2012 November 1, 2011 and January 31, 2012
August (of any year) June 30, 2012 February 1, 2012 and April 30, 2012
September (of any year) September 30, 2012 May 1, 2012 and July 31, 2012
October (of any year) December 31, 2012 August 1, 2012 and October 31, 2012
November (of any year) March 31, 2013 November 1, 2012 and January 31, 2013
December (of any year) June 30, 2013 February 1, 2013 and April 30, 2013
January (of any year) September 30, 2013 May 1, 2013 and July 31, 2013
February (of any year) December 31, 2013 August 1, 2013 and October 31, 2013

Re-Registration Process

Operators will use a new form, designated as AC 8050-1A, to complete the re-registration process. If no changes need to be made to the current registration information, operators will be able to use an FAA website for re-registration. Instructions on how to access and utilize the website will be provided in the re-registration notices mailed out by FAA. If any changes need to be made to the registration information, the online process cannot be used.