FAA aircraft registration

FAA Aircraft Registration, Re-Registration, and De-Registration

According to FAA rules, no person is allowed to operate civil aircraft unless it is registered to be used within the USA territory. The purpose of this rule is to promote safety and security for all aircraft within American airspace. Registration is the first step an aircraft owner should take once they buy the aircraft.

FAA revised its registration rules in 2010 and all aircraft owners were required to re-register by the end of 2013. Starting from January 1, 2014, all aircraft owners in the US are required to register their licenses every three years according to FAA aircraft registration rules.

FAA Aircraft Registration

Immediately after buying an aircraft, it must be registered according to FAA rules. This ensures there is a record for every aircraft used for commercial purposes within the USA. The owner must fill a registration form, attach evidence of ownership, and pay $5 to FAA. Registration also helps improve security and helps safeguard private property.

Registration is done if the aircraft fulfills these requirements: – the aircraft must not be registered anywhere else globally and the owner must be a US citizen. If the aircraft is owned by two people, one of the partners must be a US citizen.

If it’s owned by a corporation, the president and 2/3 of the board should be US citizens and its voting on decisions meet two-thirds of the votes by members who are US citizens. A non-US citizen who has gained permanent US residence is eligible to register an aircraft.

A non-US organization doing business within the US can register an aircraft on condition that it permanently remain within the US territory and at least 60 percent of all its flight hours are within the US. Any US government unit is free to register an aircraft.

FAA aircraft registration


Before the year 2010, FAA felt that it didn’t have accurate information of all aircraft flying within the USA. As a result, FAA aircraft registration revised its rule and published it in July 2010. According to the new rule, all aircraft that were currently registered in the US before October 1, 2010, would have their licenses expire on a date in a month that the aircraft was registered.

To comply with the new rule, all aircraft owners had to re-register within three years starting from October 1, 2010. From this same date, every aircraft that would be re-registered or registered would have its license expire within three years from the date of registration. Renewal must be done before the expiry of the three years and the aircraft owner will get a new certificate.


An aircraft registered in the US can be sold to a citizen of another country. If that happens, the owner who sells the aircraft must notify FAA through writing so that the aircraft can be de-registered from its records. The notification must have all the supporting documents that prove it had been registered in the US.

The documents must prove the aircraft was legally owned by the seller and a document authorizing the exportation of the aircraft must be availed. The de-registration document must show details like the manufacturer, detailed aircraft descriptions, model, registration, and serial number.

It must show the country into which it will be exported and it must also be signed by the requester. Other documents are a valid export lease from the security department and an international registration certificate according to Cape Town Treaty.  

All these documents and processes have been put in place to ensure accountability and transparency when selling an aircraft to a citizen of another country. Apart from the local law, there is the international law governing aircraft exportation and importation.

Help for Aircraft Certificates is Just a Call Away

A lot of documents are involved in the process of buying an aircraft, transferring, registration or de-registration. Other processes that you will be required to complete are the aircraft security agreement, replacement, and airworthiness certificate. Our commitment is to help you go through a smooth process that will ensure you have complied with all FAA regulations. Call us at 1-800-357-0893 for help.