The extension from three to seven years will have a positive effect on reducing the FAA’s unacceptable backlog of registration renewals of six months and sometimes longer. Thankfully, the FAA registry has been reducing the number from a high of over 190 days before the holidays to 148 days, as of late January.
For aircraft purchases, the FAA will also no longer issue letters of extension and instead says that the Aircraft Registration Application or “Pink Copy” will remain valid until the applicant receives an aircraft registration certificate or a denial notification, or after a registration has been pending for 12 months. The elimination of the 90-day temporary validity requirement is welcome news to help ensure pilots and owners can remain flying while waiting to receive their new registration. You no longer need to request an extension.
For registration renewals, if your registration is expired you must apply accordingly and a new registration certificate will be issued, valid for seven years. If your registration is current, you will be receiving a new registration certificate.
For owners of aircraft with a valid registration, new registration certificates are being sent in early February in bulk, covering those expiring in the next few months, with additional bulk mailings to follow each month thereafter until all have been issued. The new certificates will add four years to the original expiration date.
The FAA has already updated all current registrations in the electronic database, so if you look up your registration number you should see the new date lengthening your expiration date to seven years.
Also, the FAA registry is implementing a long overdue IT system called the Civil Aviation Registry Electronic Services, or CARES. Phase 1 was implemented in December and allows aircraft owners to submit aircraft registration applications, upload documents, request aircraft registration N numbers, make payments, and more online. Phase 2 of the system will add more electronic capability and automation, bringing it a little closer to the modern day. AOPA will continue to focus on the system’s implementation and keep members informed of its progress.