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Attention All Aircraft Owners – New Registration and Re-registration Rules Issued by FAA

Source: FAA and NATA

According to a new final rule by the FAA, all aircraft owners will be required to re-register their existing aircraft with the FAA. The new aircraft registration rules will also apply to new aircraft.

Over a 3-year period, this rule will terminate the registration of all aircraft registered before October 1, 2010, and will require the re-registration of each aircraft to retain U.S. civil aircraft status. These amendments also establish a system for a 3-year recurrent expiration and renewal of registration for all aircraft issued registration certificates on or after October 1, 2010.


According to the FAA, it estimates that approximately one-third of the 357,000 registered aircraft records it maintains are inaccurate and that many aircraft associated with those records are likely ineligible for United States registration. The inaccuracies result from failures in the voluntary compliance based system. Although aircraft owners are required to report the sale of an aircraft, death of an owner, scrapping or destruction of an aircraft, and changes in mailing address; many have not. Without owner initiated action, there has been no means to correct those records.

The FAA has been asked by government and law enforcement agencies to provide more accurate and up-to-date aircraft registration information. This rule is intended to support the needs of the FAA system users.

The changes made by this Final Rule provide the FAA Aircraft Registry the tools to improve the currency and accuracy of the Civil Aircraft Registry database and maintain the improvement into the future. Re-registration of all U.S. civil aircraft over a three year period will redraw the Civil Aircraft Register with current data derived from recent contact with aircraft owners.

Additionally, the FAA is enabled to cancel the registrations of those aircraft that are not re-registered. These amendments will also ensure that aircraft owners refresh that data by providing information on the status of their aircraft at least once every three years when registration is renewed.

What does this mean to you as an aircraft owner?

  • The registration of all aircraft registered before October 1, 2010 will expire and must be registered.
  • All aircraft owners are mandated to re-register their aircraft over a three year period, according to the table below, and then renew these registrations every three years thereafter.
  • The FAA will mail two reminder postcards regarding the need to complete the re-registration/renewal process, as long as there is a valid mailing address in the current records.
  • You should submit their re-registration no later than two months prior to the expiration of the current certificate. Re-registrations may be submitted in the five-month period preceding expiration. This effectively provides you with a three-month window to file for re-registration in order to ensure a timely return of the registration certificate in the mail.
  • The expiration date printed on the registration certificate of aircraft registered or re-registered after October 1, 2010, the date the new regulations are effective, will be three years from the last day of the month in which registration occurred as provided in the table below.
  • A renewed aircraft registration will expire three years from the previous expiration date in accordance with the table below. When renewing, registration information may be submitted in the six-month period preceding expiration. It should still be submitted no later than two months prior to the expiration date.
  • Replacement registration certificates issued on or after October 1, 2010, will display the same expiration date that was shown on the registration certificate being replaced. If the replaced registration certificate did not display an expiration date, the replacement certificate will display the expiration date indicated in the table below. A replacement certificate does not constitute a re-registration or renewal.
  • A $5 re-registration fee will be assessed on top of the existing initial $5 registration fee.
  • The FAA is permitting those registrations that do not include a change to any information to be completed online. If there is a change to any information, the appropriate form must be mailed to the FAA.

The table below provides the registration expiration dates and the dates when re-registration should occur.

If the certificate was issued in: The certificate expires on: The owner must re-apply for re-registration between these dates, - to allow delivery of the new certificate before expiration.
Mar. of any year Mar. 31, 2011 Nov. 1, 2010 and Jan. 31, 2011
Apr. of any year June 30, 2011 Feb. 1, 2011 and Apr. 30, 2011
May of any year Sept. 30, 2011 May 1, 2011 and July 31, 2011
June of any year Dec. 31, 2011 Aug. 1, 2011 and Oct. 31, 2011
July of any year Mar. 31, 2012 Nov. 1, 2011 and Jan. 31, 2012
Aug. of any year June 30, 2012 Feb. 1, 2012 and Apr. 30, 2012
Sept. of any year Sept. 30, 2012 May 1, 2012 and July 31, 2012
Oct. of any year Dec. 31, 2012 Aug. 1, 2012 and Oct. 31, 2012
Nov. of any year Mar. 31, 2013 Nov. 1, 2012 and Jan. 31, 2013
Dec. of any year June 30, 2013 Feb. 1, 2013 and Apr. 30, 2013
Jan. of any year Sept. 30, 2013 May 1, 2013 and July 31, 2013
Feb. of any year Dec. 31, 2013 Aug. 1, 2013 and Oct. 31, 2013


Bottom Line

The rule (Docket No, FAA-2008-0188) is final. Aircraft owners are expected to comply starting October 2010. Download a copy of the final rule.

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