Can you fly after your FAA Registration expires?

The quick answer is NO!

     Once your FAA Aircraft Registration has expired, the aircraft is not authorized for flight. You must now start a re-registration process which can take a minimum of 6 weeks to several months. There is no way to expedite this process. You cannot fly on a pink slip until the process is complete, and you may risk losing your original N Number.

     In 2010 the FAA revised the aircraft registration process to require re-registration of US aircraft every 3 years. The FAA will mail a notice 180 days prior to the expiration date to the address provided on the Registration Application (Form 8050-1). 60 days before expiration you will receive one additional notice. Many times these notices are overlooked or misplaced.


  • Look up your aircraft on the Search Aircraft Registration Information web page. Verify that the mailing address and the names of owners shown are correct. If the mailing address is wrong, the owner should update the address promptly. It may be useful to print the results page.
  • It is advised to file a registration renewal application about five months before expiration. Complete AC Form 8050-1B Aircraft Registration Renewal Application online. Print the form and sign it as appropriate for the aircraft’s type of ownership. Send the form and the $5 renewal fee to the FAA Aircraft Registration Branch at the address shown.
  • You may complete the Aircraft Registration Renewal online after you receive the FAA EXPIRATION OF AIRCRAFT REGISTRATION NOTICE in the mail. You will need the ‘Online Security Code’ supplied by the FAA in order to complete the renewal online. Note: The online option is available only if no changes need to be made.
  • Pay an aircraft title company to handle the renewal process for you.


  • Fortunately, there is a legal way to obtain a new registration. If you transfer ownership of your aircraft to another entity and file for a new registration with the FAA Aircraft Registration Branch, you can fly away on a pink slip anywhere in the United States. Take caution in the transfer so that you do cause sales taxes to be due and be sure to transfer insurance coverage to the new registrant.