Aircraft Registration

Frequently Asked Questions

Aircraft Registration Renewal FAQ

How do I search aircraft records?

The Aircraft Registration Inquiry contains aircraft registration information. You can also order individual aircraft records by mail, fax, or request copies of aircraft records online.

How do I schedule a visit to the Public Documents Room for aircraft records research?

To schedule your visit, contact the Aircraft Registration Branch by e-mail at:

  • U.S. Citizens must schedule their visit no less than two days before their planned arrival.
  • Foreign Nationals must schedule their visit three weeks before their planned arrival.

On the day of your scheduled visit, check-in at the Mike Monroney Aeronautical Center, Visitors Center. A current state- or government- issued photo ID is required to confirm your visit and receive a visitor's pass. If your arrival will be delayed by more than two days, you must reschedule your visit.

Most reviewable data is available on the aircraft registration web site, and individual aircraft records may be ordered online.

What aircraft are eligible for registration in the United States?

Eligibility is defined in Chapter 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 47. You can learn more about aircraft registration on our Register an Aircraft page.

What should I consider when buying a surplus military aircraft?

Certain surplus military aircraft are not eligible for FAA airworthiness certification in the standard, restricted, or limited classifications. Since you can't fly civil aircraft unless it's certificated as airworthy, you should discuss this with an FAA Aviation Safety Inspector (ASI) at your local Flight Standards District Office (FSDO). This person can advise you on airworthiness certification procedures. An additional source for advice on amateur-built and surplus military aircraft is the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA), located in Oshkosh, WI. You can reach them at (414) 426-4800.

Can new Airworthiness Directives and Special Airworthiness Information Bulletins about my aircraft and its engines be sent to me by e-mail?

Yes! You can subscribe to ADs and SAIBs at the FAA Regulatory & Guidance Library. Current and historical ADs are also available through RGL.

How do I replace my lost or worn out Certificate of Airworthiness?

Your local Flight Standards District Office (FSDO) processes replacement airworthiness certificates.

How do I find the nearest FAA Flight Standards District Office (FSDO)?

You can use our FSDO locator to find your local FSDO office. FSDOs are also listed in the U.S. government pages of your local telephone book under Federal Aviation Administration.

How can I find out if the Aircraft Registration Branch received my registration documents?

You can check to see if the Aircraft Registration Branch received your documents using the Document Index search located on the Aircraft Inquiry page accessed by selecting the Search Aircraft Registration Information link from the main menu or the "Top Tasks" feature.

How long does it take to process aircraft registration documents?

In compliance with statutory requirements, documents are worked in the order we receive them. We are currently processing Documents received on approximately #MyString#

How do I report my stolen aircraft?

Stolen aircraft should be reported to your local law enforcement agency. Ask that they report the theft to the National Crime Information Center, as this will initiate notifications to the appropriate government offices. If enough time has passed that the return of the aircraft is no longer expected, the owner should write to the Aircraft Registration Branch requesting that the registration for this aircraft be canceled. The request should fully describe the aircraft, indicate the reason for cancellation, be signed in ink by the owner and show a title for the signer if appropriate.

Where do N-numbers come from?

The U.S. received the "N" as its nationality designator under the International Air Navigation Convention, held in 1919. The Convention prescribed an aircraft-marking scheme of a single letter indicating nationality followed by a hyphen and four identity letters (for example, G-REMS). The five letters together were to be the aircraft's radio call sign.

Last updated: Monday, May 13, 2024