Aviation Tax and Aircraft Sales Tax

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The Federal Aviation Administration (“FAA”) has issued the Final Rule regarding the Re-registration and Renewal of Aircraft Registration, (“Final Rule”).  The Final Rule becomes effective on October 1, 2010.  The Final Rule requires all current U.S. registered aircraft to re-register and receive a new certificate of registration that will include an expiration date and only be valid for a period of three years.


View & Print Your Re-registration Details


Re-Registration Summary

  • All current U.S. registered aircraft or those registered prior to October 1, 2010 have been assigned a date on which their certificates of registration will expire.  The expiration date is based on the month in which the aircraft was registered to the current owner.  All aircraft owners must re-register their aircraft pursuant to the schedule set forth in the Final Rule (table below).  The schedule provides for the re-registration of all U.S. registered aircraft over a period of three years.
  • All certificates issued by the FAA after October 1, 2010 including those issued for re-registered aircraft will state an expiration date and will be valid for a period of three years.

Renewal Summary

  • All aircraft registrations issued after October 1, 2010 must be renewed prior to the expiration date stated on the certificate of registration.  No registration will be valid for longer than 3 years.


Re-Registration Schedule


The schedule set forth in the Final Rule (below) assigns an expiration date to all certificates issued prior to October 1, 2010 and the time frame for re-registration is based on the month the current owner’s certificate of registration was issued.


Aircraft Re-Registration Schedule

If the Certificate was issued in:

The certificate expires on:

The owner must apply for re-registration between these dates, – to allow delivery of a new 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 time frames (also known as filing windows) during which the owner has to complete re-registration are critical.  Each aircraft owner must re-register during the filing window detailed in the Final Rule to avoid having the current certificate expire prior to the issuance of the new certificate.


FAA Disclaimers

  • The FAA will make a good faith effort to complete the processing and issue the new certificate prior to the expiration of the old certificate.  However, the FAA is not under any obligation to complete the process before the expiration date.
  • The Final Rule does not require the FAA to issue an extension of time in the event the FAA is unable to process the re-registration application in a timely manner.
  • If the aircraft owner misses the filing window they can and should still apply for re-registration.  Applications to re-register filed after the filing window closes will be processed by the FAA, but the FAA is under no obligation to process the re-registration before the expiration date.

FAA Notices to Owners

Notices will be sent by mail from the FAA direct to aircraft owners at 3 intervals prior to and after the expiration of the current certificate.   The first notice will be sent to the owner at the address on file approximately 180 days prior to the expiration date of the current certificate.  The notice will include basic instructions and outline the expiration date and filing window for re-registration.  The first notice will also provide a pass code for online re-registration.

  • Verify your address by following this link Search Aircraft Registration Information to the FAA registration web page.  Search by N-number for quick results.  Also verify that the names of owners shown are correct.
  • If the mailing address is wrong, the owner should update the address promptly.
  • If an ownership change has occurred, the seller should report the sale to the Registry, and the purchaser should submit their application for registration, evidence of ownership and $5 registration fee to the Registry as soon as possible.

The second notice will be sent to aircraft owners that failed to file the application for re-registration during the filing window.  The second notice will be mailed approximately 60 days before the expiration date of the current registration.  Aircraft owners that did not file during the filing window will not be able to file the application for re-registration online and must submit the 8050-1A paper form to the FAA. These owners run the risk of having their current certificate expire before the FAA has processed the re-registration and will have to ground the aircraft if this occurs.


A final notice will be sent to owners after the expiration date of the current certificate.  This notice will let aircraft owners know the aircraft must be grounded and provide instructions to apply for reinstatement.  It will also advise owners of the ability to reserve the U.S. registration number in their name prior to the cancellation of the aircraft registration.


To read the official rule click here – FAA Final Rule


Here is a more user friendly version – FAA Summary


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Advocate Consulting Legal Group, PLLC. 3073 Horseshoe Drive South, Naples, FL 34104. Suzanne Meiners-Levy, Esq. (239) 213-0066. IRS Circular 230 Disclosure.  New IRS rules impose requirements concerning any written federal tax advice from attorneys.  To ensure compliance with those rules, we inform you that any U.S. federal tax advice contained in this communication (including any attachments) is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of (i) avoiding penalties under federal tax laws, specifically including the Internal Revenue Code, or (ii) promoting, marketing or recommending to another party any transaction or matter addressed herein. Privacy Policy. Terms of Use. RSS Feed