FAA Re-Registration Requirement

25 August 2010 Publication
Author(s): Jeffery R. Atkin Michael A. Gehl Benjamin F. Rikkers

Legal News Alert: Aviation & Aircraft Transaction Services

The FAA has issued a final rule requiring re-registration of all U.S.-registered aircraft on a periodic basis. We published a Legal News Alert in May 2010 describing the proposed FAA rule (http://tinyurl.com/foleyfaarule). This alert will summarize the key provisions of the final rule, which will be of interest to all owners, lessors, and lessees of U.S.-registered aircraft as well as to lenders and other financing parties engaged in the financing of U.S.-registered aircraft.

The rule terminates the registration of all U.S.-registered civil aircraft registered before October 1, 2010, on a specified date that corresponds to the date when the current registration was issued. The rule requires re-registration on the following staggered schedule over the next three years:


If the registration certificate
was issued in:

The certificate expires on:

Filing Window (The owner must apply for re-registration between these dates to allow delivery of the new registration certificate before expiration):

March of any year

March 31, 2011

November 1, 2010 and January 31, 2011

April of any year

June 30, 2011

February 1, 2011 and April 30, 2011

May of any year

September 30, 2011

May 1, 2011 and July 31, 2011

June of any year

December 31, 2011

August 1, 2011 and October 31, 2011

July of any year

March 31, 2012

November 1, 2011 and January 31, 2012

August of any year

June 30, 2012

February 1, 2012 and April 30, 2012

September of any year

September 30, 2012 

May 1, 2012 and July 31, 2012

October of any year

December 31, 2012

August 1, 2012 and October 31, 2012

November of any year

March 31, 2013

November 1, 2012 and January 31, 2013

December of any year

June 30, 2013

February 1, 2013 and April 30, 2013

January of any year

September 30, 2013

May 1, 2013 and July 31, 2013

February of any year

December 31, 2013

August 1, 2013 and October 31, 2013

The two-month lag between the last day of each Filing Window and the certificate expiration date is intended to provide the FAA with sufficient time to process the application and deliver the new registration certificate to the registered owner. The new registration certificate will contain an expiration date that is the third anniversary of the last day of the calendar month during which the re-registration occurred. Re-registration of the aircraft will be required at the end of each three-year registration renewal period.

Initial registrations issued from and after October 1, 2010 also will contain an expiration date of the third anniversary of the last day of the calendar month during which the initial or, thereafter, the immediately preceding registration is issued.

The FAA will issue two reminder notices to each registered owner by mail to the address currently reflected in the FAA registry: The first will be sent 180 days prior to the registration’s scheduled expiration date. If a re-registration application is not received by the FAA by the end of the Filing Window for the aircraft, a second notice will be sent at the end of the Filing Window. Re-registration applications received after the closing of the Filing Window will still be processed, but the registered owner will run the risk that the new registration certificate will not be received prior to the scheduled expiration date.

Re-registration can be accomplished online, if there will be no change in the registration information currently on file with the FAA, or by filing a hard copy application with the FAA. The FAA has developed a new form (AC Form 8050-1A) for re-registration applications. No “pink copy” of the re-registration application will be available to permit domestic operation of the aircraft pending receipt of the new registration certificate from the FAA.

The consequences of failing to re-register on a timely basis are potentially severe. The aircraft’s registration will be cancelled on the scheduled expiration date (if no re-registration application has been received by that date). The cancellation will suspend the authority to operate the aircraft until it is properly registered and could trigger a default under existing loan and lease documents. The final rule contains a procedure under which the N-number for an aircraft whose registration is cancelled also will be cancelled. If an N-number is cancelled, it cannot be reissued for five years. If a new registration application is submitted for the aircraft after the N-number has been cancelled, a new N-number will be issued and must be painted on the aircraft.

Registration cancellation might adversely affect perfection of security interests held by a lender and/or lessor of the aircraft and also might jeopardize insurance coverage for the aircraft.

Legal News Alert is part of our ongoing commitment to providing up-to-the-minute information about pressing concerns or industry issues affecting our clients and colleagues.

If you have any questions about this alert or would like to discuss the topic further, please contact your Foley attorney or one of the following Aviation & Aircraft Transaction Services attorneys :

Jeffery R. Atkin
Los Angeles, California

Mary Ann Christopher
Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Timothy S. Crisp
Madison, Wisconsin

Ralph P. Dudziak
Chicago, Illinois

Michael A. Gehl
Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Benjamin F. Rikkers
Milwaukee, Wisconsin


Related Services