49 USC 44103: Registration of aircraft
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49 USC 44103: Registration of aircraft Text contains those laws in effect on June 24, 2024
From Title 49-TRANSPORTATIONSUBTITLE VII-AVIATION PROGRAMSPART A-AIR COMMERCE AND SAFETYsubpart iii-safetyCHAPTER 441-REGISTRATION AND RECORDATION OF AIRCRAFT

§44103. Registration of aircraft

(a) General.-(1) On application of the owner of an aircraft that meets the requirements of section 44102 of this title, the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration shall-

(A) register the aircraft; and

(B) issue a certificate of registration to its owner.


(2) The Administrator may prescribe the extent to which an aircraft owned by the holder of a dealer's certificate of registration issued under section 44104(2) of this title also is registered under this section.

(b) Controlled Substance Violations.-(1) The Administrator may not issue an owner's certificate of registration under subsection (a)(1) of this section to a person whose certificate is revoked under section 44106 of this title during the 5-year period beginning on the date of the revocation, except-

(A) as provided in section 44106(e)(2) of this title; or

(B) that the Administrator may issue the certificate to the person after the one-year period beginning on the date of the revocation if the Administrator decides that the aircraft otherwise meets the requirements of section 44102 of this title and that denial of a certificate for the 5-year period-

(i) would be excessive considering the nature of the offense or the act committed and the burden the denial places on the person; or

(ii) would not be in the public interest.


(2) A decision of the Administrator under paragraph (1)(B)(i) or (ii) of this subsection is within the discretion of the Administrator. That decision or failure to make a decision is not subject to administrative or judicial review.

(c) Certificates as Evidence.-A certificate of registration issued under this section is-

(1) conclusive evidence of the nationality of an aircraft for international purposes, but not conclusive evidence in a proceeding under the laws of the United States; and

(2) not evidence of ownership of an aircraft in a proceeding in which ownership is or may be in issue.


(d) Certificates Available for Inspection.-An operator of an aircraft shall make available for inspection a certificate of registration for the aircraft when requested by a United States Government, State, or local law enforcement officer.

(e) Validity of Aircraft Registration During Renewal.-

(1) In general.-An aircraft may be operated on or after the expiration date found on the certificate of registration issued for such aircraft under this section as if it were not expired if the operator of such aircraft has aboard the aircraft-

(A) documentation validating that-

(i) an aircraft registration renewal application form (AC Form 8050–1B, or a succeeding form) has been submitted to the Administrator for such aircraft but not yet approved or denied; and

(ii) such aircraft is compliant with maintenance, inspections, and any other requirements for the aircraft's airworthiness certificate issued under section 44704(d); and


(B) the most recent aircraft registration.


(2) Proof of pending renewal application.-The Administrator shall provide an applicant for renewal of registration under this section with documentation described in paragraph (1)(A). Such documentation shall-

(A) be made electronically available to the applicant immediately upon submitting an aircraft registration renewal application to the Civil Aviation Registry for an aircraft;

(B) notify the applicant of the operational allowance described in paragraph (1);

(C) deem an aircraft's airworthiness certificate issued under section 44704(d) as valid provided that the applicant confirms acknowledgment of the requirements of paragraph (1)(A)(ii);

(D) confirm the applicant acknowledged the limitations described in paragraph (3)(A) and (3)(B); and

(E) include identifying information pertaining to such aircraft and to the registered owner.


(3) Rule of construction.-Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to permit any person to operate an aircraft-

(A) with an expired registration, except as specifically provided for under this subsection; or

(B) if the Administrator has denied an application to renew the registration of such aircraft.

( Pub. L. 103–272, §1(e), July 5, 1994, 108 Stat. 1162 ; Pub. L. 118–63, title VIII, §812(a), May 16, 2024, 138 Stat. 1326 .)

Historical and Revision Notes
Revised

Section

Source (U.S. Code)Source (Statutes at Large)
44103(a)(1) 49 App.:1401(c), (d). Aug. 23, 1958, Pub. L. 85–726, §§501(c), (d), (f), 505 (2d sentence), 72 Stat. 772 , 774.
  49 App.:1655(c)(1). Oct. 15, 1966, Pub. L. 89–670, §6(c)(1), 80 Stat. 938 ; Jan. 12, 1983, Pub. L. 97–449, §7(b), 96 Stat. 2444 .
44103(a)(2) 49 App.:1405 (2d sentence).
  49 App.:1655(c)(1).
44103(b) 49 App.:1401(e)(2)(D), (E). Aug. 23, 1958, Pub. L. 85–726, 72 Stat. 731 , §501(e)(2)(D), (E); added Oct. 19, 1984, Pub. L. 98–499, §4(a), 98 Stat. 2315 .
44103(c) 49 App.:1401(f).
44103(d) 49 App.:1401(g). Aug. 23, 1958, Pub. L. 85–726, 72 Stat. 731 , §501(g); added Oct. 27, 1986, Pub. L. 99–570, §3401(a)(2), 100 Stat. 3207–99 .

In subsection (a)(1), the words "On application" are substituted for "upon request", and the words "meets the requirements of section 44102 of this title" are substituted for "eligible for registration", for consistency in this subchapter. The text of 49 App.:1401(d) is omitted as unnecessary because of 49:322(a).

In subsection (b)(1)(B), before subclause (i), the words "after the one-year period beginning on the date of the revocation" are substituted for "before the end of such five-year period (but not before the end of the one-year period beginning on the date of such revocation)" for clarity and to eliminate unnecessary words. The words "otherwise meets the requirements of section 44102 of this title" are substituted for "is otherwise eligible for registration under this section" because of the restatement. The words "denial of a certificate" are substituted for "revocation of the certificate" for clarity.

In subsection (c), before clause (1), the words "A certificate of registration" are substituted for "Registration" for clarity. In clause (2), the words "by a particular person" are omitted as surplus.


Editorial Notes

Amendments

2024-Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 118–63 added subsec. (e).


Statutory Notes and Related Subsidiaries

Regulations

Pub. L. 118–63, title VIII, §812(b), May 16, 2024, 138 Stat. 1327 , provided that: "Not later than 36 months after the date of enactment of this Act [May 16, 2024], the Administrator [of the Federal Aviation Administration] shall issue a final rule, if necessary, and update all applicable guidance and policies to reflect the amendment made by this section [amending this section]."

Implementation of Anti-Terrorist and Narcotic Air Events Programs

Pub. L. 118–63, title II, §231(a), May 16, 2024, 138 Stat. 1065 , provided that:

"(1) Priority recommendations.-Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this section [May 16, 2024], the Administrator [of the Federal Aviation Administration] shall-

"(A) implement recommendations 6, 13, 14, and 15 as set forth in the Government Accountability Office report entitled 'Aviation: FAA Needs to Better Prevent, Detect, and Respond to Fraud and Abuse Risks in Aircraft Registration,' (dated March 25, 2020); and

"(B) to the extent that rulemaking is necessary to implement such recommendations, issue a notice of proposed rulemaking pursuant to the rulemaking authority of the FAA [Federal Aviation Administration].

"(2) Remaining recommendations.-The Administrator shall implement recommendations 1 through 5 and 8 through 12 as set forth in the Government Accountability Office report described in paragraph (1) and, to the extent that rulemaking is necessary to implement such recommendations, issue a notice of proposed rulemaking pursuant to the rulemaking authority of the FAA, on the earlier of-

"(A) the date that is 90 days after the date on which the FAA implements the Civil Aviation Registry Electronic Services system; or

"(B) January 1, 2026."

Deadline To Eliminate Aircraft Registration Backlog

Pub. L. 118–63, title VIII, §817, May 16, 2024, 138 Stat. 1328 , provided that: "Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act [May 16, 2024], the Administrator [of the Federal Aviation Administration] shall take such actions as may be necessary to reduce and maintain the aircraft registration and recordation backlog at the Civil Aviation Registry so that, on average, applications are processed not later than 10 business days after receipt."

Aircraft Registration

Pub. L. 115–254, div. B, title V, §556, Oct. 5, 2018, 132 Stat. 3383 , provided that:

"(a) In General.-Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act [Oct. 5, 2018], the Administrator [of the Federal Aviation Administration] shall initiate a rulemaking to increase the duration of aircraft registrations for noncommercial general aviation aircraft to 7 years.

"(b) Considerations.-In promulgating the notice of proposed rulemaking described in subsection (a), the Administrator may consider any events, circumstances, changes in any ownership entity or structure, or other condition that would necessitate renewal prior to the expiration of an aircraft registration."

Right to Privacy When Using Air Traffic Control System

Pub. L. 115–254, div. B, title V, §566, Oct. 5, 2018, 132 Stat. 3385 , which provided for blocking the registration number of certain private aircraft from public dissemination upon request by the owner or operator, was repealed by Pub. L. 118–63, title VIII, §803(c), May 16, 2024, 138 Stat. 1322 . See section 44114 of this title.

Aircraft Situational Display Data

Pub. L. 106–181, title VII, §729, Apr. 5, 2000, 114 Stat. 168 , provided that:

"(a) In General.-A memorandum of agreement between the Administrator [of the Federal Aviation Administration] and any person that directly obtains aircraft situational display data from the Federal Aviation Administration shall require that-

"(1) the person demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Administrator that the person is capable of selectively blocking the display of any aircraft-situation-display-to-industry derived data related to any identified aircraft registration number; and

"(2) the person agree to block selectively the aircraft registration numbers of any aircraft owner or operator upon the Administration's request.

"(b) Existing Memoranda To Be Conformed.-Not later than 30 days after the date of the enactment of this Act [Apr. 5, 2000], the Administrator shall conform any memoranda of agreement, in effect on such date of enactment, between the Federal Aviation Administration and a person under which that person obtains aircraft situational display data to incorporate the requirements of subsection (a)."