FAA Aircraft N-Registration-USA

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I be sure that the aircraft has a clear title?

Let us do an "Extended Title Search" for you.

Even if you are planning to purchase the aircraft from an established dealer, it makes good sense to determine the true status of the aircraft records before you buy. There is no substitute for examining the aircraft's records to secure an ownership history and to determine if there are any outstanding liens or mortgages. This procedure should help avoid a delay in registering an aircraft and the headaches many have suffered because they failed to take this one important step before purchasing their aircraft. The "Extended Title Search" gives you additional information about major repairs or alterations that would have affected the value of the aircraft. These could probably come from previous owners and the current seller may not be aware of it. Such circumstances could make the aircraft almost impossible to sell because of horrendous costs in the future.

What documents may I expect to receive with my new or used aircraft?

(1) Bill of sale or conditional sales contract.
(2) Either FAA Form 8100-2, Standard Airworthiness Certificate, or FAA Form 8130-7, Special Airworthiness Certificate.
(3) Maintenance records containing the following information:
(a) The total time in service of the airframe, each engine, and each propeller;
(b) The current status of life-limited parts of each airframe, engine, propeller, rotor, and appliance;
(c) The time since last overhaul of all items installed on the aircraft that are required to be overhauled on a specified time basis;
(d) The identification of the current inspection status of the aircraft, including the time since the last inspection required by the inspection program under which the aircraft and its appliances are maintained;
(e) The current status of applicable Airworthiness Directives (AD's), including for each the method of compliance, the AD number, and the revision date. If the AD involves recurring action, the time and date when the next action is required; and
(f) A copy of current major alterations to each airframe, engine, propeller, rotor, and appliance.
(4) Equipment list, and weight and balance data.
(5) Appropriate aircraft flight manual and/or Operating Limitations

What is the meaning of airworthy?

Two conditions must be met for a standard category aircraft to be considered airworthy. These conditions are:
(1) The aircraft conforms to its type design (type certificate). Conformity to type design is considered attained when the required and proper components are installed, and they are consistent with the drawings, specifications, and other data that are part of the type certificate. Conformity would include applicable Supplemental Type Certificates (STC's) and field-approved alterations.
(2)The aircraft is in condition for safe operation. This refers to the condition of the aircraft with relation to wear and deterioration.

Does a current 100-hour or annual inspection mean that the aircraft is in "first-class" condition?

No. It indicates only that the aircraft was found to be in airworthy condition at the time of inspection.

Why are you so low-priced, are you cutting corners?

There are several reasons :
1. My main focus, as a passionate pilot , was to always make flying affordable. In my former days as a cashier and thus as a board member of a major German flying club , it was always my concern to make flying as affordable as possible without cutting on security. Only if we maintain and grow our community and try to reduce the costs to an affordable level, we can ensure that we can still pursue our passion in the future. Otherwise, our beautiful airports are likely to be a playground for the bureaucrats who prefer to build an industrial park or a supermarket on the site.
2. We do not need to spend thousands of $ in advertisement . Most of our clients are word-of-mouth advertisement . The flying community is like a village . It gets around quickly who offers a good and reputable service at a fair price.

Is the aircraft "pooled"?

No, all our aircraft are registered to Secure Individual Trusts and are not an asset of the company.

Do I need to have an American pilot's license to fly an FAA registered aircraft?

Good question! This always leads to confusion. No, absolutely not. Every pilot can fly a US registered aircraft with the pilot's license of his country. This is clearly explained in FAR 61.3 (a) : "..... a pilot need not hold an FAA pilot's license to fly an N registered aircraft outside the United States . A pilot may operate an aircraft within a foreign country using a pilot's license issued by that country. "

Why should I register with you?

There are many reasons:

1. For most customers the price is vital. This alone should not be the reason, even though we are very affordable.
2. We know the business from the peak, since I registered my first aircraft in this Trust and since 10 years I have worked intensively in this matter. There are continuous changes that one has to be aware of in order to adjust them to the legal changes.
3. As pilot and certified A&P I am available for any consulting, knowing the concerns of my clients.
4.We don't charge for any technical or administrative support.
5.Clear prices and no hidden costs.
6.Assistance in obtaining the necessary documents.
7. Assistance in shipment if necessary.
8. Explanation of custom and import regulations.
9. Our service does not end with creating the invoice.
10. We are entitled to process the Trust & Registration Documents digitally for fast processing. No day-long postal delivery times.
11. Registration can be done in the absolute shortest time, usually within 2 days.
12. Only one partner for the whole project and all services are obtained from a single source, no matter how extensive the task is.

How can I be sure that everything is true what the seller claims?

We can make for you the inquiries by the FAA. This shows whether the seller is also the owner, whether the aircraft was ever damaged, whether it was involved in an accident , whether there had been made major repairs (337) or modifications, the number and names of owners and other information. Check also the topic "Title Search"

If I opt for a trust, do they comply with the FAA?

Of course. Each contract is checked by the FAA attorneys and they issue a "Legal Opinon". Without this "Legal Opinion" the aircraft can not be registered.

How long does the registration process take?

The processing time depends on the FAA. We can accelerate the registration through our collaborators in Oklahoma, headquarters of the FAA. In this case, we can shorten the process to a couple of days.

Why can I not register my aircraft in a LLC, if I'm not a US citizen??

Today I read a very easy to understand article from Greg Reigel:
A Limited Liability Company ("LLC") provides personal liability protection to its owners, as well as the tax and management flexibility. Both of these advantages have resulted in the increased use of LLC's for aircraft ownership. However, in order for the FAA to accept an application for aircraft registration submitted by an LLC, the aircraft owner needs to comply with the registration requirements of 14 C.F.R. Part 47.
One of those requirements is that the LLC must meet the U.S. citizenship requirements of 14 C.F.R. § 47.3. One of the ways to prove to the FAA that the LLC does, in fact, satisfy those requirements is to submit a "Statement in Support of Registration by a Limited Liability Company" ("LLC statement"). Although this isn't the only way to prove citizenship to the FAA, it is one of the most common methods.
In the LLC statement, the LLC must identify its members and confirm whether each of its members is a U.S. citizen. However, if one of the members is another LLC, the FAA will require an additional LLC statement for that member LLC identifying its members and confirming that those members are also U.S. citizens. The idea is that the FAA wants to drill down to identify which of the individuals involved are U.S. citizens and then determine whether the LLC qualifies as a U.S. citizen under 14. C.F.R. § 47.2. If that second (or third, if necessary) LLC statement isn't filed, the FAA will not register the aircraft until it either receives the LLC statement(s) or it receives other proof (usually organizational documents for the LLC) showing the citizenship of the members.
When all of the LLC's individual or entity members are U.S. citizens, then the LLC will be considered a U.S. citizen. If all of the individuals or entity members are not U.S. citizens, in order for the LLC to be satisfy the citizenship requirement, 2/3 of its officers/managers satisfy U.S. citizenship AND whether 75% of the voting interest of the LLC is controlled by individuals or entities meeting U.S. citizenship requirements.
Another item on the LLC statement indicates whether the LLC is managed by its members or managers. Whatever answer is provided, that information needs to match the information provided by the LLC on the application for registration. For example, if the LLC statement indicates that the LLC is managed by its members, then the individual who signs the application for registration should indicate his or her title as "member" or "managing member." On the other hand, if the LLC statement indicates that the LLC is managed by managers, then the individual signing the application should indicate his or her title as "manager" or some variant that includes the word manager (e.g. chief manager, chief financial manager etc.). If the LLC statement and the application for registration do not match, the FAA will reject the application.
Additionally, although an LLC may also be managed by officers, if the individual signs the application for registration as an officer (e.g. president, vice-president, treasurer etc.) the LLC statement will not be sufficient for the FAA to determine whether that individual has the appropriate authority. In that case, the FAA will reject the application unless it also receives the LLC's operating agreement or some other documentation evidencing the officer's authority to sign on behalf of the LLC.
Applying for registration of an aircraft with the FAA on behalf of an LLC can be tricky. The aircraft owner(s) using an LLC to own an aircraft need to carefully dot the "i's" and cross the "t's" to ensure that the FAA will accept the LLC's application and register the aircraft. Understanding the LLC statement and the FAA's requirements can help you avoid some of the "gotcha's" that can cause problems for an aircraft owner trying to register an aircraft with the FAA using an LLC.

Does the aircraft need an Radio Station License?

Yes, if the aircraft is operated outside the USA. The License will be issued from the FCC and is valid for 10 years. We can apply the license for you.

What kind of information has the trustee give to the FAA?

Since 2013, something is changing. The FAA would like to have more information and influence over the aircraft that is operated abroad.
This is a concession to the EASA. It was a thorn in their flesh or of their predecessor, to see the private N-aircrafts flying in almost uncontrolled terrain.
Recently, the FAA wants to have upon request, within 2 days (in an emergency immediately) the following information from the Trustee:
1. The name, address, telephone number, email of the person which normally operates the aircraft.
2. The address where the maintenance documentation and records are hold .
3. The base of the aircraft.

Within 5 days (in an emergency immediately), the following information must be provided with the assistance of Trustors.
1 Information about the operator, the names of the crew including license number.
2 Where the aircraft was staying at a certain date or where it will be on a certain date.

It must be ensured, that an AD (emergency airworthiness directive) will be provided immediately to the holder or operator.
The FAA may have the aircraft checked by a foreign aviation authority, in case of justified suspicion of violation of the rules.
The FAA may, with reasonable suspicion of violation of the rules, have the aircraft by a foreign aviation authority.

Who can do an Annual Inspection on my FAA aircraft?

Give me also your Zip Code and your N-number. Will email you the 3 nearest locations.

I bought an aircraft in the United States. Could you help me with its shipment?

Sure. This is one of our other services. We can handle Container Shipping and Ferry Flights. Don't worry about the export documents or custum procedures. Ask for a special quote.

How should the Aircraft be insured?

The minimum liability is $1 Million. The Operator is responsible that every pilot is on the policy. Co-Insurance must be given for the Trustee.

I bought an airplane in the USA. Can I ferry it before I registered it?

No. The FAA has adopted after 9/11 a new law , that the aircraft must first be registered to the new owner. If you are interested in an aircraft, but you are not sure, we can prepare all contracts and you give us upon purchase only the N-number and we will take care of the rest.

How can I be sure that everything is true what the seller claims?

We can make for you the inquiries by the FAA. This shows whether the seller is also the owner, whether the aircraft was ever damaged, whether it was involved in an accident , whether there had been made major repairs (337) or modifications, the number and names of owners and other information. Check also the topic "Title Search"

How long does the registration process take?

The processing time depends on the FAA. We can accelerate the registration through our collaborators in Oklahoma, headquarters of the FAA. In this case, we can shorten the process to a couple of days.

If I opt for a trust, do they comply with the FAA?

Of course. Each contract is checked with the current laws of the FAA . Should it not be compliant, it has to be updated . With us you can be sure that there are no delays due to a not lawful contract.

Is it true that the aircraft needs to be re-registered every 3 years?

Yes. We keep track and will renew the registration before it expires. You do not need to worry about it.

I've heard that you can register an aircraft much cheaper?

Yes, it is. There are American individuals that sell their names for a registration. However, this is a very delicate matter.
Even if it is a friend. If your friend is under suspicion for a crime, the entire property will be frozen.
Since such procedures take some time before they get solved, it can take years until innocence is proven and you can use again your aircraft.
If this friend sets up an LLC in order to limit the liability, it becomes immediately more expensive. By then you will have reached our price and you will not have a competent professional that will help you out from the nets and snares of the FAA.
If you make any mistake, you're always in the burden of proof.

What purpose has the "Registration Card" ?

It is the proof that the aircraft is US-registered and can be legally operated.
It is no proof of ownership. This is also described on the back explicitly: "Effect of Registrations Title 49 USC [United States Code] 44103 (c) (2) provides:.
'A certificate of registration issued under this section is not evidence of ownership of aircraft in a proceeding in which ownership is, or 'may be in issue. "

What do I need to do to switch to you?

Fill out the registration form and mail it to me.
Then I'll contact the Trustee and take care of the corresponding Trust contracts and registration documents.

How safe is my "property"?

The best security is provided by the Trust.
The Trust is in contrast to the Corporation, LLC or Private (an American friend as a straw man) the only form of society, where the Trustor is known by name and asset to the FAA, means that your aircraft is protected.
The Trustee will only transfer the aircraft back to the Trustor.
The purpose of the Trust is that the aircraft is only managed by the trust for a beneficiary (Trustor).
Therefore: Only an Owner Trust offers total security for your assets.

What is exactly a Trust?

A Trust is quite simply an agreement between one person (the settlor) who gives to another person (the Trustee) an asset,
in this case an aircraft, to hold on certain terms. In the case of an Owner Trust the aircraft is typically held solely for one beneficiary who is the settlor.
The reason that a Trust is required by the FAA is that in this way they can ultimately control the aircraft through their US Citizens who are the registered trustees of US registered aircraft.

Can a foreigner own an N-Registered aircraft?

Yes. The general rule is that only US citizens and green card holders can own American registered aircraft.
However, there are four exceptions to this rule:
1. Foreign corporation - if the aircraft will be flown at least 60% of its flight time in America it can be registered to a US corporation which is foreign owned provided that regular returns are filed with the FAA proving its flight time in America.
2. Owner Trust - If the aircraft is settled in trust with a US trustee it may be beneficially owned by a foreign person or company.
3. Voting Trust - If a US corporation is structured so that not less than two thirds of the Directors and Officers are US citizens and not less than 75% of the voting rights in the shares of the corporation are settled in trust then that corporation can be the registered owner of a US aircraft and may be owned by a foreigner.
4. The Aircraft is registered in a US corporation where two thirds of the Directors and Officers are US citizens and the President is a US citizen. In this case is the aircraft property of the corporation.

Validation of a European (or other non-US) Pilot Certificate in the U.S

It is still very easy to have your US-PPL issued on the basis of your foreign certificate.
However it now involves some paperwork to be completed in a timely manner before you come to the US.
In our experience this process takes about 2-3 weeks, but you should factor in more time since the FAA allows up to 90 days to complete the process. You will receive a notification from the FAA by email, fax, or letter (You can specify how you would like to be notified) and gives you 6 months to contact the FSDO (Flight Standard District Office) you requested. The FSDO will provide you with a list of FAA Examiners depending where you are located in US. The Examiner can be contacted for an appointment to issue the US restricted PPL.
If you don't contact the FSDO or Examiner within 6 months, your validation becomes void and the process must be repeated. If you want to go to another FSDO Office, your validation can be transferred, but there have been cases where the paperwork got lost and the Airmen Cert. Branch had to re-issue the validation. This takes time, so better stick with your choice of FSDO…
Recently the FAA changed the way you could add a Category or Class Rating (i.e. Multi Engine or IFR) to your restricted License. Now you have to re-validate your Certificate before you can take the Checkride with the Examiner.

How to Proceed Now:
First you have to download and print the form "Verification of Authenticity of Foreign License, Rating, and Medical Certification". This form needs to be filled out and sent to the FAA with the following documentation:
- A legible photocopy of all Pages of your Pilot Certificate
- If your Certificate isn't issued in English, you must accompany an English translation
- A legible photocopy of your Medical
- A legible photocopy of your International Passport - Your name(s) on your passport MUST EXACTLY match your Pilot's License, Medical Exam, and Letter of Verification

On the form you have to specify at which FSDO you wish to pick up your US-PPL.
Here is the link for the : FSDO
All this you can either mail or Fax to the:
Federal Aviation Administration
Airmen Certification Branch
P.O. Box 25082
Oklahoma City, OK 73125-0082
Fax: +1 405 954 9922

After your local CAA has verified your license, you will receive a notification and are ready to pick up your US-certificate. Best of all: This whole procedure is free of charge!

Some links to more information:
"Verification of Authenticity of Foreign License, Rating, and Medical Certification"
FAA Info about the Verification of Authenticity of Foreign License, Rating, and Medical Certification
Additional requirements for United Kingdom applicants:
In addition to the procedures stated under Verification of Authenticity of Foreign license, Rating and Medical Certification above, airmen from the United Kingdom should note the following additional steps that are required by the United Kingdom CAA to complete this verification process.
Please visit the UK CAA website. The additional forms are required prior to the UK CAA providing any requested information to the Airmen Certification Branch.

You must send the Verification of Authenticity of Foreign license, Rating and Medical Certification form directly to FAA's Airmen Certification Branch, not to the UK CAA.
You must send the information required by the UK CAA directly to the UK CAA and not to FAA's Airmen Certification Branch

Of course, if you need any assistance with this whole procedure, just drop us an email:
We'll be happy to help!
More Info about the ¨ACCOMPLISH ISSUANCE OF A U.S. PILOT CERTIFICATE BASED ON A FOREIGN-PILOT LICENSE¨ Part 8710_3E Chapter 21 dated 04/21/06 can you find here: Form 8060-71.pdf

Validation of a European (or other non-US) Pilot Certificate in the U.S

There is also an option with the AOPA.
Check their website
From time to time they do invite an US examiner to do the validation in their headquarter in Egelsbach.
They charge around 400 Euro.
Another option does exist in England: faapilot.co.uk/

I am a foreign pilot and I want a US license with an instrument rating. How do I ....

You must have an instrument rating on your license issued by your country of origin. If so, then you may get a US license with an instrument rating by following these three steps:
First, FAA will verify your license by checking with the civil aviation authority in the country that issued you the license.
Fill out the form Form_8060-71 then send it, with the documents the form requires, to:
Federal Aviation Administration
Airmen Certification Branch,
AFS-760 PO BOX 25082
Oklahoma City, OK 73125-0082

Fax: (405) 954-9922

It will take FAA about 90 days to confirm your license. They will send you a letter when it's approved.
Second, take the Instrument-Foreign Pilot written test at any computerized knowledge-testing center that gives FAA written tests.
(Add. by Detlef: As foreigner with a foreign IR you will get 50 Questions instead of regular 60. But you have to have the whole knowledge)
Third, bring …

1. your license,
2. a current medical certificate,
3. the letter from FAA Oklahoma City,
4. another picture ID, and
5. the results of the computerized test

to any flight standards district office.
(You can get a list of flight standards district offices at FSDO)
Contact an operations inspector. There is no fee if you are applying in the United States.
If you are applying in a foreign country, bring a check from a US bank or an American Express travelers check. Make the check out to the FAA for $68.00 (US).

More Info about the ¨ACCOMPLISH ISSUANCE OF A U.S. PILOT CERTIFICATE BASED ON A FOREIGN-PILOT LICENSE¨ Part 8710_3E Chapter 21 dated 04/21/06 can you find here:

About US

US Aircraft Registration of any kind of aircraft for NON-US citizens

Fly your aircraft with US-Registration worldwide.


If you want to fly without any problems, the N-Registration is your solution. We do all the necessary paperwork. If you bought an airplane in USA and want to ship it to Europe, we can help you.

Get in Touch

  • Phone:
    +1 505 514 0321 skype: detlili
  • Email: detlef (at) aircraft-trust.com