For many years, the US Register has been the register of choice for private owners and operators of light aircraft and business jets. The Federal Aviation Administration's practical approach to the regulation of aircraft and pilots are a key part of the US register's popularity. This has translated into excellent safety statistics which have been the envy of many foreign registers.

The FAA is the executive agency responsible for aviation oversight in the United States and is headquartered in Washing, D.C. but is organised into eight geographical regions within the United States. The FAA Civil Aviation Registry Aircraft Registration Branch maintains registration records on individual aircraft and serves as a repository for airworthiness documents received from FAA field offices.

In the United States, the registration mark consists of the letter "N" plus up to five characters. An alphanumeric system is used because of the large numbers of aircraft registered in the United States. An N-number may only consist of one to five characters, must start with a digit other than zero, and cannot end in a run of more than two letters. In addition, N-numbers may not contain the letters 'I' or 'O'

Benefits of Registration in the United States

The principal benefits of registering an aircraft in the US are:
  1. Stable legal and political environment
  2. Clear and simple taxation regime
  3. High regulatory standards and service levels
  4. No weight or age restrictions for aircraft
  5. No Insurance Premium Tax

Qualified Owners

An aircraft may be registered only by and in the legal name of its owner. The following persons are eligible to register their aircraft in the US:

(a) US citizen (as defined in 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 47.2)
(b) Resident Alien (foreign individual lawfully admitted for permanent U.S. residence
(c) a US governmental unit or subdivision
(d) a non-citizen corporation lawfully organized and doing business under the laws of the US or one of the States as long as the aircraft is based and primarily used in the U.S. (60% of all flight hours must be from flights starting and ending within the US)

Where the citizenship test is not met, an owner trust agreement can be implemented with a bank.

Registration Fees

Initial Registration where citizen test has not been met
(1st Year Owner Trust)
USD 8,000
Registration Certificate/Renewal USD 5
Reservation of a selected registration mark (annual) USD 10
Mortgage Registration USD 5


To register an aircraft, the following initial items must be sent to the Aircraft Registration Branch:
  • Aircraft Registration Application (AC Form 8050-1)
  • The Bill of Sale or conditional sales contract (AC Form 8050-2)
  • USD 5 registration fee

The average time needed to register an aircraft will vary according to the availability of a Designated Airworthiness Representative for the inspection. However, owners are advised to allow 4-6 weeks for the completion of the registration process.


If you are interested in more information regarding the registration of your aircraft in the United States or to check the availability of an 'N' Registration, please contact our REGISTRATION, MANAGEMENT & ADMINISTRATION TEAM





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