Has it always been your dream to own an aircraft of your own? If so, it is probably an ambition you have held since you were a child. Aviation is more than just a passing interest for those who pilot their own aircraft, and you probably know a thing or two about airplanes. Maybe you can identify the make and model of aircraft just by looking at it. Well, if that is the case, then you probably have a pretty good idea of what type of airplane you would like to purchase. Still, as an aircraft is a considerable investment, you are going to need to put in some serious hours in order to research which plane is right for you. As you had to study hard and long hours in the cockpit to get your pilot’s license in the first place, odds are you are fully capable of performing such measures of due diligence. Once you have clearly identified the type of plane that is right for you, you will then need to check the marketplace for a seller in your area. Once an agreed-upon price has been decided and the keys to your new plane are in your hands, you are very nearly ready for take off. First, however, you need to obtain a registration from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). This document is key to the legal operation of your plane, and from time to time, you will also need to process an aircraft registration renewal.
Air travel has advanced quite a bit since the Wright brothers first took off from Kitty Hawk, North Carolina more than a hundred years ago. In order to ensure the safety of our skies, the Federal Aviation Administration is tasked with air traffic control, as well as the issuance of licenses and registrations. Existing in its current iteration for more than 70 years, the FAA has thousands of employees and takes its role very seriously. By maintaining an accurate registry of the aircraft operating in U.S. skies, they can craft more thoughtful, data-driven legislation and safety guidelines. As an aviator, you can do your part to assist the FAA by staying on top of your periodic aircraft registration renewal. Though it may seem like a headache to complete this process, it is important to remember that it is vital to the safety of all pilots and passengers in the sky. The reason renewal is asked for regularly is that, simply put, things change. For example, you may have had to relocate your plane due to a recent move. The FAA prefers to stay abreast of developments like these, and by requesting renewals, they are better positioned to do so.
What is an Aircraft Registration Renewal?
When you first purchase an airplane, there is a fair amount of paperwork to be completed before you are cleared for take-off. The cornerstone of your FAA documentation will be your aircraft registration form. This document, which is officially called a Form AC 8050-1 – Aircraft Registration Application, will call for some basic details about you and your airplane. You can expect to fill in your name and address, as well as the manufacturer, model, and a serial number of your aircraft. Once completed, this document can be sent to the FAA’s headquarters in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma for processing.
Once your registration has been issued, and you have been given an N-number (also called a tail number), this document will be valid for a period of three years. Ahead of your registration’s expiration date, you will need to submit an aircraft registration renewal. The FAA, for their part, will send you a reminder notice six months before your registration is set to expire. In this letter will be a security code, which you will need to enter on your renewal request form. At two months before your expiration, the FAA will send you a follow-up reminder if you have not yet sent in your renewal document.
Staying on top of your registration renewal is required by law. You cannot legally operate an aircraft without a valid registration, so unless you want to be stuck on the ground, you will want to submit your renewal in a prompt manner. A lapsed registration can also put you in jeopardy of losing your N-number. If you have taken steps to obtain a customized tail number, this can be a major hassle, as you may not be able to get it back.
Submit Your Renewal Request Online
At the National Aviation Center, we can help you submit your renewal request online in just minutes. Simply locate the correct, easy-to-fill form from our navigation menu, and you can process your application via our secure, SSL-encrypted web portal. To learn more about how we can help you get back up in the air, take a few minutes to explore our site. You can also contact us with any questions you may have.