FAA Registry Document Checklist

January 1, 2000

Transfer of Title

Curative documents – to clean up any open encumbrances on the FAA records – ink signed

FAA Bill of Sale – ink-signed by seller – signer needs to have a title acceptable to the FAA – see attached list of acceptable titles from the FAA Registry Examination Guidelines

If owner trust is involved:

  • Submit draft of trust agreement and trustee affidavit of ownership to FAA Counsel’s Office at least 3 business days before closing
  • File ink-signed or certified copy of trust agreement with the FAA
  • File ink-signed trustee affidavit of citizenship with the FAA – if the beneficiary is a United States citizen, then also file an ink-signed affidavit of citizenship for the beneficiary because the owner trustee affidavit will probably rely on it
  • If the beneficiary is not a United States citizen, the trust agreement must contain required limitation and control language

If an LLC is involved, be sure the LLC qualifies as a United States citizen and that the signatories on FAA documents are supported by the LLC documents

AC Form 8050-1 Aircraft Registration Application, ink-signed by the owner

International Flight — Is there an upcoming international flight?  If so, submit a Declaration of International Operations signed by the owner (this can be a FAX)

Pre-position the pink slip of the Aircraft Registration Application so that it may be placed on board the aircraft at closing

Deliver the old, cancelled AC Form 8050-3 Certificate of Aircraft Registration to the FAA Registry

Security Agreement

Ink-signed by grantor – acceptable titles

Equipment properly described:

  • Manufacturer – model – serial number
  • N#
  • 750 hp – engines – propellers

Is there a lease which is a part of the collateral?  If so, describe the lease in the security agreement

Move confidential financial or proprietary information to an appendix or exhibit – amount of loan, value of aircraft, interests rates, etc.

Lease Agreement

Ink-signed by lessor and lessee – acceptable titles

Equipment properly described

Truth-in-leasing clause, if required

File ink-signed certificate of acceptance or lease supplement if a part of the lease

Purchase options?  If so, submit draft to FAA Counsel’s Office for review and opinion regarding registration (i.e., true lease, synthetic lease, or conditional sale contract)

Move confidential financial or proprietary information to an appendix or exhibit (rent, agreed value, return conditions, if heavily negotiated, etc.)

File copy of lease with the FAA at closing for truth-in-leasing purposes

Constructive Notice Issues

Check FAA documents for references to parties outside the record (i.e. sublessees or lenders) and remove, where possible.

Other Closing Items

Escrow instructions – be sure that all parties needed are on the closing call in order to release documents from escrow and that any special escrow instructions are satisfied

Emailed documents – be sure that FAA Counsel in Oklahoma City has the final, execution version of the closing documents

Post Closing Matters

Where should the temporary Certificate of Aircraft Registration (i.e. fly time wire) be faxed?

Who should get the permanent Certificate of Aircraft Registration?

Who should get the recorded documents, after they are returned by the FAA (for the closing binders)?


Deregistration notice from exporting country

Must be in English; if not, it must be translated by an FAA approved translator

Assignment of N# – file affidavit

Bill of sale – ink-signed by seller – or other acceptable evidence of ownership

Affidavit of Continuous Ownership – if the aircraft has previously been on the FAA Registry, was removed, and is now coming back on the Registry by the same owner

Affidavit of Whereabouts

AC Form 8050-1 Aircraft Registration Application


  • If the aircraft has never been on the FAA Registry and documents are filed before 11:00 a.m. central time – best efforts to issue certificate the same day
  • Aircraft previously on the FAA Registry (a/k/a “prior records”) – 11:00/best efforts/same day rule does not apply
  • Translation – can delay registration 2-5 business days

Coordinate deregistration and re-registration with obtaining necessary export certificate of airworthiness and moving aircraft to another location


FAA Release of recorded security agreement ink-signed by secured party (certificate of repossession will also work) OR consent to deregister by secured party (which can be a FAXED document)

FAA Lease Termination for recorded leases with at least 6 months left on the term ink-signed by lessor and lessee (certificate of repossession by the lessor will also work) OR consent to deregister by lessor and lessee (which can be a FAXED document)

Letter by registered owner, addressed to the FAA, requesting deregistration of the aircraft for export (which can be a FAXED document)

  • Independent review of record by FAA examiner
  • FAA Registry Examination Guidelines:  “within 3 working days after receipt” of the request to deregister

Copyright 2000 Erin Van Laanen and McAfee & Taft, a professional corporation.