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There are two types of registration for unmanned aircraft.

  1. Registration for hobbyist non-commercial operation which came into law  December 21, 2015.
  2. Commercial operators that will require an aircraft N number, just like any airplane, which is a much more formal registration process.

 

For any UAS registration, the following guidelines apply:

Owners must register their UAS by paper if it meets the following guidelines:

  • Your aircraft is used for commercial purposes.
  • Your aircraft is used for other than hobby and recreation.
  • Your aircraft is greater than 55 lbs.
  • You intend to operate your aircraft outside of the United States.

Typically, hobbyist aircraft will weigh less than 55 pounds so the non paper on line registration would be used.

First, we will cover this new  December 21, 2015 hobbyist non-commercial registration.

Second, we will cover the commercial operators registration requirements.

1. Hobbyist Registration

Starting December 21, 2015, anyone who owns a small unmanned aircraft of a certain weight must register with the Federal Aviation Administration’s Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) registry before they fly outdoors. People who previously operated their UAS must register by February 19, 2016. People who do not register could face civil and criminal penalties.

 Who must register a UAS?

The owner must be:

  • 13 years of age or older. (If the owner is less than 13 years of age, a person 13 years of age or older must register the small unmanned aircraft.)
  • A U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident.

Which unmanned aircraft do I have to register?

Owners must register their UAS online if it meets the following guidelines:

  • Weighs more than 0.55 lbs. (250 g) and less than 55 lbs. (25 kg). Unmanned Aircraft weighing more than 55 lbs. cannot use this registration process and must register using the Aircraft Registry process.

See examples of UAS that do and do not require registration (PDF).

 

How do I register my UAS?

It costs only $5 to register your UAS and the process is simple and web-based. Registration is free for the first 30 days. Some things you’ll need before you get started:

  • An email address
  • Credit or Debit card
  • Physical address and mailing address (if different from physical address)

Your registration is valid for three years. Once you receive a registration number, you can use it on all of your unmanned aircraft if they meet the online registration criteria. You must mark the registration number on all aircraft you own. Read about How to Label Your UAS (PDF).

Register Now

Additional Resources:

2. To Register a New – Small Unmanned Aircraft (sUA) to be used for commercial operations:

A commercial unmanned aircraft is considered a new sUA when it has never been registered anywhere, and its maximum takeoff weight is less than 55 pounds.

To register the owner must provide the following:

  1. A completed Aircraft Registration Application, AC Form 8050-1.
    • An original Aircraft Registration Application, AC Form 8050-1 must be used.
      Photocopies or computer generated copies of this form will not be accepted. These forms may be obtained from the
      FAA Aircraft Registration Branch or any Flight Standards District Office.
    • When a Limited Liability Corporation (LLC) is an applicant to register a sUA it also must provide information regarding its organization,
      how management authority is held, and how it meets the definition of a U.S. citizen for aircraft registration. The
      Limited Liability Corporation Registration Information Sheet
      provides instructions on meeting this requirement.
    • Form AFS-750-94, Information to Aid in the Registration of U.S. Civil Aircraft, provides helpful information about eligibility,
      types of registration, the proper form of names, signatures, titles, and addresses plus other related issues.
  2. A full description of the UA provided by the manufacturer, builder or applicant in a Notarized statement.

    sUA Required Description Items

    • Full Legal Name of UA Manufacturer or Builder
    • sUA Model Designation
    • sUA Serial Number
    • Class (Airplane, Airship, Rotorcraft, Gyroplane, Ducted Fan)
    • sUA Maximum Takeoff Weight
    • Category (Land, Sea, or Both)
    • Name of Engine Manufacturer
    • Engine Model Designation
    • Engine Serial-Numbers (if none shown, enter ‘none’)
    • Number of Engines
    • Engine Power Output (given in HP or Lbs. Thrust)
    • Engine Type (2 or 4 Cycle Reciprocating, Electric, Turbo – Fan/Prop/Shaft/Jet)

    The notarized statement must also state “To the best of the undersigned’s knowledge the information provided above is correct,
    the described UA is not currently registered in another country, and the undersigned is the aircraft’s rightful owner”

  3. Evidence of Ownership: An Aircraft Bill of Sale, AC Form 8050-2 ,or an equal transfer of ownership document is required for each change in ownership from the sUA manufacturer or builder through any intervening owner(s) to the owner making application for registration. However, the FAA recognizes that bills of sale may not be available for sUA that have been in operation since before sUA registration became necessary or for sUA that were purchased as off-the-shelf items from a retail shop, or internet retailer not associated with the builder or manufacturer. When a bill of sale or other transfer of ownership document is unobtainable, the applicant may provide for consideration a notarized statement that:
    • identifies the subject sUA by the builder’s full name, its model designation and serial number,
    • identifies undocumented transfers to the extent possible by the date they occurred, the purchaser’s name,
      as well as the name and location (city, state & country) of the person, company, or vendor that sold the sUA.
    • explains why any missing transfers of ownership are unavailable.
    • describes the other evidence provided with the notarized statement like an invoice, sales receipt or
      witness statement that proves the transfer of ownership took place. This alternative evidence is especially
      important when documenting the transfer of ownership to the applicant.
    • certifies, to the best of the applicants knowledge that; the information provided is correct,
      the described UA is not currently registered in another country, and the undersigned is the aircraft’s rightful owner.

    Sample statements are available for review.

    NOTE: Items 2 and 3 may be combined into one notarized affidavit.

  4. Confirmation the sUA is not registered in another country.
    When a sUA is purchased from a manufacturer or seller located in another country it is considered an import.
    This requires a statement from the Civil Aviation Authority of the exporting country confirming that the registration of the sUA in that country has been canceled or that the sUA was never issued registration by that country.
  5. An N-number to be assigned to the registered aircraft.
    If a special N-number
    was reserved in advance by the sUA owner for this registration,
    this number will be assigned if it is entered on the forms in the indicated blanks.

    • A special N-number may be requested
      when filing the application and other documents for registration.
      Include a letter that lists several N-number choices, and the $10.00 special number fee. The first listed number verified as available will be assigned to the aircraft.
    • A random N-number will be assigned at no cost if the indicated blanks on the registration forms are left empty, or a random number is requested.
  6. The $5.00 registration fee by check or money order made payable to the Federal Aviation Administration.
    This fee is waived when the applicant is a Federal, State or local government office, agency or institution.

Send your Registration documents to the FAA, Aircraft Registration Branch.
Addresses for regular mail and overnight courier deliveries are available through the
Contact the Aircraft Registration Branch menu item.

Once the sUA is registered, apply for the appropriate operational authority.
The following links will take you to information and directions.
Operating for Non-Recreational Purposes
Aircraft Owned by Government Agencies or Offices

 


To Register a Used – sUA or UA Aircraft:

A used sUA or UA is an unmanned aircraft that has been registered in the U.S. or another country, or operated by the military forces of any country.

To register the owner must provide the following:

  1. A completed Aircraft Registration Application, AC Form 8050-1,
  2. Evidence of Ownership: An Aircraft Bill of Sale, AC Form 8050-2, or an equal transfer of ownership document is required for each change in ownership from the last registered owner or military owner through any intervening owner(s) to the owner making application for registration. If a bill of sale or other transfer document is unobtainable for one or more changes of ownership, the applicant may provide for consideration a notarized statement that:
    • describes the used sUA or UA by the builders name, its model designation, and serial number;
    • gives the relative history and whereabouts of the sUA or UA telling how the applicant became its owner and explains why the missing transfer of ownership document is unavailable.
    • identifies undocumented transfers to the extent possible by the by the date they occurred, the purchaser’s name, the name and address (with country) of the person, company, or vendor that sold the sUA or UA.
    • describes the other evidence provided with the notarized statement like an invoice, sales receipt or witness statement that proves the transfer of ownership took place. This alternative evidence of ownership is especially important when documenting the transfer of ownership to the applicant.
    • certifies, that to the best of the applicants knowledge, that the information provided is correct, the described sUA or UA is not currently registered in another country, and that the undersigned is the aircraft’s rightful owner.
    • Sample statements are available for review.
  3. Confirmation the used sUA or UA is not registered in another country.
    When a previously registered or military operated sUA or UA is purchased from a manufacturer or other seller located in another country the sale is considered an import. This requires a statement from the Civil Aviation Authority of the country where the aircraft was last registered or operated that confirms the registration for this sUA or UA has ended or that the sUA or UA was never issued civil registration in that country.
  4. A full description of the sUA or UA:
    If the model of an imported or former military UA or sUA is not covered by a U.S. Type Certificate, a full description of the aircraft is needed.
    The description elements listed below may be provided by the builder, manufacturer or applicant in a Notarized statement provided with the aircraft’s registration documents. This item is not required if the aircraft was last previously registered in the U.S.Used sUA, UA Required Description Items

    • Full Legal Name of UA Manufacturer or Builder
    • UA Model Designation
    • UA Serial Number
    • Class (Airplane, Airship, Rotorcraft, Gyroplane, Ducted Fan)
    • UA Maximum Takeoff Weight
    • Category (Land, Sea, or Both)
    • Name of Engine Manufacturer
    • Engine Model Designation
    • Engine Serial-Numbers (if none shown, enter ‘none’)
    • Number of Engines
    • Engine Power Output (Given in HP or Lbs Thrust)
    • Engine Type (2 or 4 Cycle Reciprocating, Electric, Turbo Fan/Prop/Shaft/Jet)

    The notarized statement must also state “To the best of the undersigned’s knowledge the information provided above is correct, the described UA is not currently registered in another country, and the undersigned is the aircraft’s rightful owner”

  5. The N-number assigned to the registered aircraft.
    When a U.S. registered sUA or UA is sold to another U.S. owner, it already has an assigned N-number.
    The new owner should show the assigned N-number in the indicated blanks on the application and bill of sale forms.
    The aircraft will then be registered and a registration certificate issued using this N-number.

    • If a special N-number was reserved or is desired by the new owner for use on this sUA or UA, we suggest that the new owner allow the registration process to take place using the already assigned N-number to ensure continued operability of the aircraft. Once registration is issued to the new owner an N-number change may be requested.
    • A random N-number will be assigned at no cost to import and former military aircraft if the indicated blanks on the registration forms are left empty, or a random number is requested.
  6. The registration fee of $5.00 per aircraft. Please pay all fees by check or money order made payable to the Federal Aviation Administration. Multiple fees may be consolidated into a single payment. Registration and N-number fees are waived when the applicant is a Federal, State or local government office, agency or institution.

Send your Registration documents to the FAA, Aircraft Registration Branch.
Addresses for regular mail and overnight courier deliveries are available through the Contact the Aircraft Registration Branch menu item.

Once the sUA or UA is registered, apply for the appropriate operational authority. The following links will direct you to useful information and directions.
Operating for Non-Recreational Purposes
Aircraft Owned by Government Agencies or Offices


Sample Wording for sUA and UA Notarized Statements

Describe the sUA or UA with

  • Full Legal Name of UA Manufacturer or Builder
  • sUA Model Designation
  • sUA Serial Number
  • Class (Airplane, Airship, Rotorcraft, Gyroplane, Ducted Fan)
  • sUA Maximum Takeoff Weight
  • Category (Land, Sea, or Both)
  • Name of Engine Manufacturer
  • Engine Model Designation
  • Engine Serial-Numbers (if none shown, enter ‘none’)
  • Number of Engines
  • Engine Power Output (given in HP or Lbs. Thrust)
  • Engine Type (2 or 4 Cycle Reciprocating, Electric, Turbo – Fan/Prop/Shaft/Jet)

 

THE UNDERSIGNED OWNER CERTIFIES

  1. For new retail purchased sUA only: I purchased the sUA described above as a new off-the-shelf item on (date)
    from (name, city, state & country of retail shop or internet vendor) A manufacturer’s bill of sale was not available at the time of purchase, and the (receipt / invoice / other evidence)(is enclosed / is not available) to confirm the purchase.
  2. For any size KIT built UA: I built the UA described above from a prefabricated kit. The kit bill of sale from
    the kit manufacturer (and if applicable, evidence of ownership through all intervening owners) to the undersigned is enclosed.
  3. For any size UA: I built the UA described above using salvaged, fabricated, or miscellaneous spare parts.
  4. For manufacturers, any size UA: The UA described above is newly manufactured using standard parts in a
    proprietary design by the undersigned manufacturer.
  5. For Used UA of any size: The UA described above was purchased used. My evidence of ownership from the previous owner is attached. A good faith effort was made to obtain evidence of ownership from the UA’s (builder/manufacturer/last registered owner/other) through all intervening owners to the previous owner. (Enter explanation of aircraft’s history and whereabouts, why any ownership change is not documented by a bill of sale and what evidence of the transaction(s) is provided.)

To the best of the undersigned owner’s knowledge, the information provided above is correct, the described UA is not registered in another country, and the undersigned is the aircraft’s rightful owner.

Name(s) of Owner(s): __________________, ________________________
Signature(s): _______________________, __________________________
Title of Signers: _____________________, ___________________________
Address: _______________________________________________________
Telephone: __________________

NOTARY PUBLIC
State: _______________ County: ______________
Country: ______________________

Subscribed and sworn before me this: ______ day of: __________, ______

Signature: ___________________________________
(Signature of individual authorized under local law to administer oaths)

My Commission Expires: ___________________
(Seal as required by State or local law.)


Selling your U.S. registered sUA or UA:

  • The seller should execute a bill of sale transferring all or a specific portion of their right, title and interest in the sUA or UA to the purchaser.
    Provide the original signed bill of sale to the purchaser. Use the aircraft description shown on the registration certificate or the
    Search Aircraft Registration Information website to correctly describe the sUA or UA on the bill of sale.
  • The seller should also retain their Certificate of Aircraft Registration, AC Form 8050-3, complete the applicable items on the reverse side, and return it to the FAA Aircraft Registration Branch.
  • The purchaser should forward the bill of sale with the seller’s original signature, a completed Aircraft Registration Application,
    AC Form 8050-1, and the $5.00 registration fee to the FAA Aircraft Registration Branch.
  • All signatures on all forms must have the typed or printed name of the signer next to their signature in the signature block.
  • All fees should be paid by check or money order made payable to the Federal Aviation Administration.

Helpful links for sUA and UA registration.
Aircraft owned by a Limited Liability Corporation, LLC
Aircraft Registration Forms
Information to Aid in the Registration of U.S. Civil Aircraft
Information to Aid in The Recording of Aircraft Ownership and Security Documents
About Aircraft Registration Renewal
Contact the Aircraft Registration Branch, by telephone or e-mail for assistance
Operating Hobby or Recreational sUA and Model Aircraft
FAA UAS Integration Office webpage
14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 47 – Aircraft Registration Regulations

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