Frequently Asked Questions

You can find this information by submitting an application for an abstract.

Processing time is generally 12 to 16 weeks after documents are received. In compliance with statutory requirements, documents are processed in the order in which they are received.

An aircraft is eligible for U.S. Registration if it is not registered in another country and it is owned by:

  • An individual who is a United States citizen,
  • A partnership each of whose partners is an individual who is a U.S. citizen,
  • A corporation or association:
  • organized under the laws of the U.S. or a State, the District of Columbia, or a U.S. territory or possession,
  • of which the president and at least two-thirds of the board of directors and other managing officers are U.S citizens, and
  • in which at least 75% of the voting interest is owned or controlled by persons that are U.S. citizens,
  • An individual citizen of a foreign country lawfully admitted for permanent residence in the U.S.,
  • A U.S. governmental unit or subdivision
  • A non-U.S. citizen corporation organized and doing business under the laws of the U.S. or one of the States as long as the aircraft is based and primarily used in the U.S. (60% of all flight hours must be from flights starting and ending within the U.S.)

If you are registering an aircraft for the first time, you will need to submit a form for Initial Registration.

General aviation aircraft are aircraft operated under 14 CFR part 91 rules, which could be any category of airplane, including transport category and rotorcraft.  Additionally, airplanes operated under 14 CFR parts121 and 135, which may include small airplanes, are not considered General Aviation aircraft when operated under these rules.

The regulations do not consider physical cleaning of an aircraft as maintenance or preventative maintenance.  However, when preparing the aircraft for cleaning requires removal of components or protection of components, that may fall under the definition of maintenance or preventative maintenance.  For example, before cleaning an aircraft, it may be necessary to close and secure the upper and lower fan cowl doors on a transport category aircraft.  The FAA considers the closing and securing of the engine fan cowl doors maintenance.  Additionally, after the cleaning process, it may be necessary to reapply lubrication compounds and preservatives to aircraft components, both of which could be considered maintenance/preventative maintenance.  Conversely, we do not consider cleaning seat cushions/covers maintenance or preventative maintenance.

14 CFR part 1 defines a small aircraft as an aircraft of 12,500 lbs or less maximum certificated take-off weight.  Therefore, any airplane, including transport category airplanes, could be considered small by the Part 1 definition if the airplane is less than 12,500 lbs.

You may contact your nearest FAA Aircraft Certification Office with questions about airworthiness of an aircraft.

You can record an aircraft claim of lien by filling out our Claim of Lien form.

You can record a security agreement against an aircraft by filling out our Aircraft Security Agreement form.

No, you may not operate a U.S.-registered aircraft in the U.S. unless you possess a U.S. pilot license (certificate).