Airplanes are one of the most recent forms of transportation. By that same token, airplane registration became mandatory more recently than most people might think. For example, according to the FAA, registration of an airplane didn’t become mandatory until the “Civil Aeronautics Act of 1938.” At that time, in their words “provided for recording of documents relating to title to or interest in aircraft. A 1948 amendment included instruments affecting an interest in engines or propellers (750 hp or more) and spare part locations.” In this blog, we’ll cover some interesting facts about the history of registration as well as some tidbits people might not know in the modern day.
If you’ve read through these blogs, you may have noticed that typically, registration records are available to the public to maintain security, commerce as well as safety. That’s been baked into the FAA since the beginning. In fact, the Federal Aviation Act of 1958 created the Federal Aviation Agency. According to the FAA itself, that was “to provide for the regulation and promotion of civil aviation in such manner as to best foster its development and safety.” Registration does serve this purpose. It can be a pain, but it also keeps untrained people from flying unsafe planes through the sky.
How Long the FAA Takes
When you send your forms into us, we go over them to make sure they’re filled out entirely properly. If there’s any slight error, we let you know. Once the form is entirely ready to go and completely filled out, we send it to the FAA. We often get asked “how long does it take?” The truth is it’s different for every form. That being said, we’ve found that the processing time is typically four to six weeks after your documents are received. The documents are processed in the order in which they’re received. That’s to fit a series of statutory requirements. So, you never have to worry about favoritism, or rich and famous people jumping the line ahead of you.
Expired Certificates are that: Expired
Another question we get quite a bit is: “OK, I missed the renewal date for my certification. I can just send extend it, right?” The sad news is that no, you can’t. Expired certificates can’t be extended at all. If your registration expired, and you didn’t get the renewal certificate, then your aircraft is (to use the FAA’s words) “without authority to operate.” In fact, according to them, you can’t just have received the certificate. You have to have placed it in your aircraft as well. That’s why the FAA goes to such lengths to make sure that you get a notice ahead of time. Indeed, it’s why they send them six months in advance.
After Expiration, the N-Number Lasts… For a Bit
Your plane’s N-Number is scheduled for cancellation if you don’t get your registration renewed. That will happen 90 days after your aircraft’s registration expires. But, all is not lost. You can still get your N-Number reserved. You have to send a request to the Aircraft Registry asking to cancel the aircraft’s registration and reserve the N-number in your name. You also have to pay a fee. If you don’t do this, then the number won’t be available for re-assignment or reservation for half a decade. Obviously, this part is a little confusing. If you have any further questions about how this works, don’t hesitate to contact us.
Obtaining aircraft records is easier than ever. Instead of searching all around the internet or driving to some far-flung location, you can let us find your information for you. Just go to the “Abstract” link on our site. For example, this is where you would go if you know an aircraft’s registration number, but you can’t find the owner, model or make of the aircraft. It’s built for questions like that. Then, when you’re on our “Abstract” site, fill in the information that you want to know. You can also get these records certified, if you’d like.
Of course, we’re always interested in giving our customers as many options as possible. So, you can also choose to get these documents on CD or paper. Those are just a few of the different kinds of forms we have at our site. The advanced SSL encryption at our site makes our site even stronger and more secure than before. When you send in your information about your airplane documentation, the last thing you should have to worry about is if someone is going to steal it. We’ve gone to great lengths to make sure that doesn’t happen. When you submit through our online portal, you get the peace of mind that comes from knowing your info is secure. For more information, give us a call at (800) 357-0893 or head to our site.