FAA Aircraft Registration issues? Long delays and expired registrations
Answered By AOPA

Calls concerning Aircraft Registration issues, both for initial applications and renewals, have been picking up recently. As of right now, the FAA Aircraft Registration branch is processing paperwork received on approximately January 3, 2022 (check current processing date here). 

If you are waiting on your registration make sure to read all the way to the end, thanks.

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This is causing issues with new aircraft registration applications, n-number changes, registration renewals, etc. The FAA has taken steps to help those with new registration applications (8050-1) that are expiring while waiting (only valid for 90-days) by providing extensions. Details can be found on the Aircraft Registry’s main page , here's what it states:

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The form/email that you use for this communication can be found here.

Unfortunately, no relief has been forthcoming for those renewing their registrations or that have other registry requests for existing owners. So, what can you do to make sure you don’t end up in a situation where you’re waiting for months for a renewal with an aircraft you can’t fly?

Renew online

  • The FAA sends a notice out 6 months before the registration expiration date.
    • In this notice you are given an online option to renew, as well as instructions on how to renew by mail.
    • An online renewal is processed much faster than a paper renewal, but it must be accomplished at least 2 months prior to the expiration date, otherwise you are going to have to renew by mail.

Renew via Mail

  • This should only be used if you absolutely do not have any other option (address change, etc.)
  • Because the FAA is almost 6 months behind in process (at the time of this post) you would need to send your renewal in almost as soon as you get the notice in the mail.
  • You do not need to wait for the renewal notice to come in the mail (if renewing via the mail)
    • The sooner you send it in the better.


Other things you can do:

  • Make sure that the FAA has your current address on the registration for your aircraft. You can check that here. If you don’t have the correct address on file, you’ll never receive the renewal notice.
    • Updating the address for your airman certificate does not update the mailing address for your aircraft.
  • Make sure that you know when your aircraft’s registration expires and renew it early if you are going to be renewing by mail. You can check expiration dates here.
  • Paperwork that includes errors will not be processed and will have to be returned to you, delaying everything further.
    • Ensure that your paperwork is correct and if you have questions give us a call
    • You can also use a title agent to ensure your paperwork is correct
      • Doesn’t speed up processing times at the FAA though
      • We would recommend Aerospace Reports

AOPA is advocating on the behalf of our members to see what can be done to speed the processing times up at the FAA. In order to do this, we require specific examples to point out to the FAA. 

If you are attempting to renew your registration, still waiting for the FAA to process your renewal, and your registration has expired or is about to, we are asking for your help.

Please respond to this post with the following information, or if you like, send us an email at pilotassist@aopa.org (subject line “Registration Renewal Issues”).

  • Tail Number
  • Date you submitted your paperwork to the FAA
  • Expiration date of registration
  • Did you receive the renewal notice letter from the FAA at the 6-month mark?
  • Is your address correct on the FAA Aircraft Registry?
  • Has any of your paperwork been returned for corrections?


1 Replies
AOPA Staff Answer

Since the online forum doesn't like the pictures from my original post, here they are:

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