Aircraft Registration

A Step by Step Guide to Completing Aircraft Registration

Is it finally time to purchase your very own aircraft? If so, you are undoubtedly experiencing some excitement. After logging all the necessary training hours and passing the requisite tests, you obtained your pilot’s license with the hopes of one day owning your own plane. Now, you have allocated the necessary funds, found a seller, and negotiated a price for an aircraft. With the deal nearly finalized, you are probably itching to take off from the runway and venture off into the skies. Well, before you leave the hangar, you are going to need to complete some paperwork. Specifically, you will need to complete an aircraft registration with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). 

Your registration document is of extreme importance with regard to the legal operation of your aircraft. The FAA is tasked with managing the air traffic of the United States skies, and in order to effectively carry out that duty, they need to maintain accurate records of who and what is in the air. By registering your aircraft–and renewing it every three years–you are doing your part as a responsible aircraft owner. Your airplane registration also designates your plane’s tail number (officially known as an N-number), which you are able to customize within a certain set of parameters. Read on to learn how you can register your aircraft.

Locating the Aircraft Registration Application

To get started on registering your aircraft, you will first need to locate the correct application form. This document is officially called a Form AC 8050-1 – Aircraft Registration Application. If you visit the FAA’s website, you will find a PDF copy of this form. You can then download the file, print it out, complete it in black ink, and mail it to the FAA’s headquarters in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma for processing.

To complete your Form AC 8050-1, you will need to provide your name and address. You will also need to fill in the make, model, and serial number for your aircraft. After adding your signature, this relatively simple document will be ready to process. Once submitted, your aircraft will be registered with the FAA and, if it is new aircraft, you will be given an N-number. This registration will be valid for a period of three years. Six months before your registration is set to expire, you will be sent a letter from the FAA reminding you to submit a renewal. This letter will include a code that you will need to fill in on your renewal application. The FAA will also send a follow-up letter eight weeks before your registration’s expiration date.

Aircraft Registration

Filling Out Your Form AC 8050-1 Online

There is also an easier way to complete your registration. At the National Aviation Center, we are a private service that assists aircraft owners in submitting their FAA documentation online. Using our easy-to-fill web forms, you can complete your FAA registration application in just minutes. To learn more about our services, visit our Frequently Asked Questions page, or contact us by phone or email today.