When does the FAA recommend I apply for registration of my amateur-built aircraft?
We recommend you apply for registration of your amateur-built aircraft 60-120 days before you finish building your aircraft and before you submit FAA Form 8130-6, "Application for U.S. Airworthiness Certificate" to us.  We will not inspect your amateur-built aircraft before it has been registered or during construction of the aircraft.

Does my amateur-built aircraft have to be inspected by the FAA?
Yes, the FAA or a Designated Airworthiness Representative (DAR) in your geographical area will inspect your amateur-built aircraft for general airworthiness only after you have made application for an airworthiness certificate.

Does the FAA charge a fee to the public for inspecting their amateur-bulit aircraft?
No, the FAA does not charge a fee to the public for inspecting their amateur-built aircraft.  However, the FAA’s workload may delay inspection of your aircraft. For this reason, the FAA staff is augmented by the use of a DAR who may charge a fee for their services. (Ref. 14 CFR section 183.33(b), "Designated Airworthiness Representative")

How may I locate a DAR in my geographical area?
You may locate a DAR in your geographical area by reviewing the on-line DAR Directory (PDF). Manufacturing DARs are listed by state in the first half of the directory and Maintenance DARs are listed by state in the second half.  DARs with the authority to inspect and certify amateur-built aircraft will have the DAR Function Code "46" under their name. (Also see FAA Order 8100.8, "Designee Management Handbook", for designee program details.)