Aircraft Registration/Purchase Question
Good day everyone, 

I'm in the process of purchasing a 1966 Cherokee 140 and had a question regarding the registration of the aircraft, since I'm quite new to aircraft ownership. For background info, the plane I'm looking at purchasing is in Florida and I'm in North Carolina. The plane just finished a fresh annual and pre-buy inspection. I intend to have the plane ferried within 10 days of final payment. I have an insurance policy ready to purchase on the day of the sale. My understanding of the registration process is: 
  • Upon payment, the buyer fills out the back of his Form 8050-3 with my information, as the new owner, and sends the original registration to the FAA. 
  • The buyer fills out Form 8050-2 in duplicate and send me both of the originals. One will go to the FAA with the 8050-1, and the other is for me to keep. He will keep a copy for his records. 
  • I complete Form 8050-1 and send the original, plus one of the original 8050-2s, to the FAA along with the $5.00 registration fee. 
  • I send the buyer a copy of the 8050-1 to place in the aircraft, which will be valid for 90 days until I receive the actual registration from the FAA.
Does that sound about right? Is there anything I may have missed? Thank you in advance for the assistance! 

2 Replies
Ron has some very good points and you do have a good handle on the paperwork. Just a couple things I would recommend:
  • Both of the 8050-1 forms need to have original signatures, no copies. You can fill them out on the computer, print two copies and just sign both, then you'll be good.
    • The $5 processing fee needs to be a check or money order made payable to the FAA.
  • Keep copies of absolutely everything for your records.
  • Make sure that when you do send your paperwork to the FAA, you send it some way you can track it (registered mail, tracking number, signature required, etc.).
    • The FAA doesn't make a habit of losing paperwork, but if they do, and you can't prove it got there, you're out of luck.
I second what Ron says about the escrow services, especially since this is out of state, unless you know the seller personally. Here's a link to the AOPA page; .  And if you haven't done a title search it would be highly advisable (unless you have a lender and they've already done one).

Enjoy the new to you plane!

1012 Posts
You've got the registration process right.  Only question is who's your trusted agent to handle the exchange of funds for the Bill of Sale?  Not many folks would send the money relying on the seller to send back the Bill of Sale.  AOPA offers an escrow service to handle that part of the process in a financially safe and secure manner.  And I'm assuming you got someone other than the seller's own mechanic to do the pre-buy inspection, and that you've done a title search to confirm the title is passing free and clear of any encumbrances.