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What started as a handful of passionate enthusiasts has developed into a major force—and a significant component—of the aircraft industry.

How to Register Your Homebuilt

When should I apply for my N number?
The aircraft must be Registered with the FAA and have the assigned N number painted on it before the final inspection and issuance of an airworthiness certificate. So, it is best to work back from the projected final inspection date. If you are comfortable with the FAA assigning the next available N number to your aircraft, we suggest that you apply for registration no less than 60 days prior to the final inspection. If you would like an N number of your choice, begin working with the FAA Aircraft Registration Branch's Support Section no less than 90 days prior to inspection. Special Registration Numbers can take longer since your initial choices may already be in use and the FAA will have to come back to you for new choices.

You can register your aircraft at any time during the construction process. However, you must consider that your State government may look to the FAA's Listing of Registered Aircraft to find aircraft eligible for taxation. You could be assessed an aircraft tax well before your project becomes an aircraft, and face a paperwork fight with your State over whether a tax is really owed yet.

You can reserve a Special N number in your name for future use at any time. This Special N number can then be assigned to your project during construction or when you apply for registration. See, "How do I reserve a Special N number?"

How do I Reserve a Special N number?
Special N number requests must be submitted in writing. You should include at least five (5) N numbers of your choice listed in order of preference, with your name, address, telephone number, and title if appropriate. The fee is $10 (US) payable by check or money order made out to the United States Treasury. The initial fee will hold your reservation for one year. A notice indicating which N number has been reserved will be sent immediately.

A tickler will be sent by FAA after 10 months to remind you the year is almost up and that you can pay another $10 fee to retain the N number for another year. You can request that your reserved N number be assigned to an aircraft at any time it is still properly reserved in your name.

Mailing Address:
Aircraft Registration Branch, AFS-750
PO Box 25504
Oklahoma City, OK 73125

For more information, call the FAA Aircraft Registration Branch at:
Phone Number: 405.954.4206

Do you have a sample letter for the Reservation of a Special N number?
Yes, use the following:

Aircraft Registration Branch, AFS-750
PO Box 25504
Oklahoma City, OK 73125

Dear Sir/Madam,
I request that a Special identification number be reserved in the following name for future use:




Any of the following numbers would be acceptable:
1. N..........
2. N..........
3. N.........
4. N.........
5. N.........

Enclosed is my check for $10.00 payable to the United States Treasury.

(Your name)

Is there any way to find out if my preferred Special N number is already taken?

Yes, www.landings.com has databases of both N Numbers in use and reserved N numbers. If you don't have web access, contact EAA's Aviation Information Services for help.

How do I register my aircraft?
You will need to complete the following paperwork:

AC 8050-1

Aircraft Registration Application
Fill it out and leave the "N" number space blank (unless you already have an N number reserved or assigned).

AC 8050-2

Aircraft Bill of Sale
Not applicable for plans built aircraft. The kit manufacturer should supply this. The word "aircraft" should be crossed out and the word "kit" inserted in its place.

AC 8050-88

Affidavit of Ownership for Amateur Built Aircraft
This form is not required as long as you submit a statement in writing with the following information (although we suggest you use the form!):

Builder’s Name
Model (Pietenpol Aircamper, GlaStar, etc.)
Serial Number (Either use the plans number, or make up your own.)
Class (airplane, rotorcraft, etc.)
Engine Type (Reciprocating, Turbine, etc.)
Number of engines
Manufacturer, model and serial number of engine
Land or sea operation (indicate both if amphibious)
Number of seats

Include either of the following statements:
More than 50% of the above described aircraft was built from miscellaneous parts and I am the owner.
More than 50% of the above-described aircraft was built from a kit (prefabricated parts) and I am the owner. The bill of sale from the kit manufacturer is attached.

Lastly, sign the statement

The form or statement must be notarized – it establishes your ownership to the aircraft.

NOTE: Be sure you are consistent in listing your name on all the documents. If the Bill of Sale form lists only you do not list you and your wife on the other forms. This will cause delays.

Send a check or money order in the amount of $5 (U.S.) made payable to the U.S. Treasury, along with the forms to:

Aircraft Registration Branch, AFS-750
PO Box 25504
Oklahoma City, OK 73125

If more information is needed, call the FAA Aircraft Registration Branch at:
Phone Number: 405/954-3116

How do I register my aircraft AND request a custom N number at the same time?
The procedure is the same as under "How do I Register My Aircraft" except you will also need to include a written request that lists, in order of preference, at least five (5) N-Numbers of choice. A special number of your own choosing will cost $10 plus the $5 registration fee. Make the check payable to the U.S. Treasury for $15.

I’m building a replica of an old aircraft and I would like to use one of the old style registration numbers (e.g. NC1234 or NX1234). Can I do this?

Yes. The aircraft must be operated as an amateur-built or exhibition aircraft and must have the same external appearance as an aircraft built at least 30 years ago. The registration markings must be at least 2 inches high on each side of the fuselage or vertical tail surface consisting of the Roman capital letter "N" followed by the symbol appropriate to the airworthiness certificate of the aircraft:

C for standard
R for restricted
L for limited, or
X for experimental
followed by the US registration number of the aircraft. (Even if the aircraft is eligible to display the old style markings, the Registration Certificate and all FAA references to the N number will omit the C, R, L, or X from the N number).

If you are trying to build an exact replica of an old aircraft, you can even use the old registration number if it had been deactivated.

Once I receive my N number, where do I put it on the aircraft?
The N number can be placed horizontally anywhere on the fuselage in between the trailing edge of the wing, to the leading edge of the horizontal stabilizer. Also, the vertical stabilizer can be used for N number placement, either vertically, or horizontally.

Horizontally on both surfaces of the cabin, fuselage, boom, or tail.

What size does my N number have to be?
Your N Number must be at least 3 inches high when the maximum cruising speed of the aircraft does not exceed 180 knots CAS. If the maximum cruising speed is over 180 knots CAS, then the size of the registration number must be 12 inches high.

Note: If you plan on travelling internationally, through ADIZ or DEWIZ, registration numbers must be 12 inches high, and can be fixed temporarily, or permanently.

Where do I have to put the word "Experimental" on the aircraft?

Near each entrance to the cabin or cockpit, in letters between 2 inches to 6 inches in height. It must be visible when entering the aircraft. It can also be placed on the inside of the aircraft, as long as pilot and/or passenger can see it upon entering.

Note: If your N number begins with NX, the "X" substitutes for the "Experimental" on the fuselage (please see section on antique N numbers to determine if you qualify).

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