There are many reasons why you originally selected the N-Number for your current aircraft: to incorporate your or your company’s initials, the aircraft serial number, or other personal information; to comply with contractual requirements (the aircraft seller may have required a provision in the contract that the N-Number be returned so the seller could reassign it); or to enable the return of the N-Number of a new aircraft to the manufacturer so it can retain all N-Numbers indicative of the manufacturer (e.g. N100GA for a Gulfstream aircraft).
So, when it comes time to purchase your next aircraft, you may wish to move the N-Number from your current aircraft to the new one. Doing so is a two-part process, each involving several steps.
The first part of the process is to remove your current
N-Number from your current aircraft:
- Step 1: File an N-Number Change Request with the FAA requesting that a new N-Number that you have selected be assigned to your current aircraft.
- Step 2: The FAA will issue Form 8050-64, authorizing the new N-Number to be painted on your current aircraft. Paint this N-Number on your current aircraft and cover it with a decal (this will not damage the paint) containing your current N-Number.
- Step 3: Within five days of painting the new N-Number on the aircraft, sign the Form 8050-64 confirming that you have done so, and file it with the FAA.
A copy of the Form 8050-64 must be carried on board your current aircraft together with the old Certificate of Registration pending receipt of the new Certificate reflecting the new N-Number. If you have an international trip scheduled within four to six weeks following the 8050-64 filing, you may file a Declaration of International Operations to obtain an immediate “fly wire” (temporary certificate of registration) and expedited processing of the new permanent Certificate of Registration.
- Step 4: Submit a signed “Reservation of N-Number” letter to the FAA to reserve your current N-Number for your new aircraft, along with the executed 8050-64, and a letter from you relinquishing that N-Number to the current registered Owner of the aircraft (“Owner”). This enables the Owner to assign it to your new aircraft before you take delivery.
- Step 5: Obtain a new Certificate of Airworthiness for your existing aircraft reflecting the new N-Number.
- Step 6: The FAA will issue a new Certificate of Registration for the new N-Number for your current aircraft. The second part is for the Owner to complete the process of assigning your current N-Number to your new aircraft:
- Step 7: The Owner files an N-Number Change Request with the FAA asking that your current N-Number be assigned to your new aircraft.
- Step 8: The FAA will issue Form 8050-64, authorizing that N-Number to be painted on your new aircraft.
- Step 9: The Owner paints your reserved N-Number on the new aircraft and covers it with a decal.
- Step 10: The Owner then signs the 8050-64 confirming that he/she has done so, and files it with the FAA within five days. This form often is filed concurrently with the FAA Bill of Sale transferring the ownership to you. A copy of the 8050-64 must be carried on board your new aircraft together with the old Certificate of Registration and “pink slip” pending receipt of your new Certificate.
Following these steps enables you to obtain a new Certificate of Airworthiness for your new aircraft with your reserved N-Number, as the FAA will issue a new Certificate of Registration reflecting that N-Number.
While it may sound complicated, the process of moving an N-Number usually goes very smoothly, and generally can be completed in four to six weeks. BAA
Senior Attorney for Cooling & Herbers, P.C., concentrates her practice in the areas of purchase, sale, leasing and financing, like-kind exchanges, and business and tax planning for corporate aircraft.