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How to Register Your RV









Update: Since this page was authored, the FAA has put much of the info necessary for aircraft registration on the FAA web site. Use this link to find the online tools:



Editor's Note: The following is a summary of the steps required to get the FAA to give you their blessing to carve up the skies in your new RV. This info is correct as best I can determine at this time (2001). However, be sure you check with your local FSDO or DAR for any changes or details not covered in this article. The text of the latest version of FAA Advisory Circular 20-27D is available for viewing in its entirety.

Here's a link to Advisory Circular 90-89A, Amateur-Built Aircraft & Ultralight Flight Testing Handbook.

This summary graciously provided by Gil Alexander.





Feb, 1, 1996 - Updated Nov 22, 1996

Edited by Gil Alexander - original by Herman Dierks

Reference: FAA Advisory Circular 20-27D 6/22/90 (may not be latest). This document was a little confusing. Below is my 'flow chart' of what needs to be done. Of course, the FAA Inspector or DAR has the final say.


1) RESERVE N-NUMBER 60 to 90 days before completion. Send $10.00 and a list of 5 possible N-numbers to FAA Aircraft Registry, P.O. Box 25504, Oklahoma City, OK 73125 (see example form attached below courtesy of Gil Alexander, which is simpler than that published in 20-27D, but they don't need to know what the model of the plane, etc. is at this point as you can put the number on what ever plane you choose when you register it).

You can call 405-954-3116 to see if a number is available. If you have an Internet WWW connection, you can check N-numbers on the Web of Registered (and Reserved) N-numbers at and look in their database section.

Note that a N-number is reserved for up to 1 year. They will send you a notice when it is about to expire. You can keep sending in $10.00 a year to hold it until you are ready for step 2.

2) FAA will send back a confirmation of the N number is reserved, and also send you a copy of:

Form 8050-88, Affidavit of Ownership for Amateur-Built Aircraft.

Form 8050-1, Aircraft Registration Application

Fill out 8050-88 and have it Notarized. Fill out 8050-1 and send the two forms and $5.00 to the address on form 8050-1. You keep the 'pink' copy and this is the 'Registration' form that can be used in the aircraft for 90 days. You may also want to send a copy of the Kit Bill of Sale or authority to build the kit. This should be done a few weeks before the aircraft is ready to fly.

Note that when you fill out all of the FAA forms that the Manufacturer is YOU, not the kit maker. In my case, my plane will be an "Alexander RV-6A", not a "Vans RV-6A". "Alexander" is the manufacturer and "RV-6A" is the model. If you don’t do it this way, the forms will be returned and extra time will be taken.

3) The FAA will send you back form 8050-3 which is your official 'Certificate of Aircraft Registration' which you put in the aircraft (to replace the pink copy). Check it for errors and notify FAA at 405-954-3116 if any errors are found.

4) Radio Station License. Not now needed for Domestic flights.

5) Other requirements before the FAA signoff.

A) N-number on plane. 3 inches high or 12 inches if Cruise > 180 kts.

B) EXPERIMENTAL placard with 2 inch high letters.

C) 'Passenger Warning' placard (except single place).

D) Fireproof 'Data Plate'.

E) Logbooks for airframe and engine.

F) Placards and Operating Limitations. (check-lists?).

G) Completed Weight and Balance

NOTE: There is a special case that changes A & B above. If your homebuilt is a replica of an aircraft that is over 30 years old (e.g. Pitts Special, Duster sailplane), you can use 2 inch high N numbers, but it must start "NX". In this case, item B is then not needed.

6) 'FAA' inspection

The FAA can inspect the plane (for free) or you can use a DAR which is a private individual approved by the FAA. The DAR will charge a fee, about $225.00 for the service. Why use a DAR? He is local and will probably come out when you want him to (the FAA shows up when they want to). He will give you the test area you want, within reason.

The DAR provided the following forms and will help you fill it out or you can get them from the GADO and have them filled out before the inspector shows up. Know what flight test area you want.

Form 8130-6, Application for Airworthiness Certificate

Form 8130-12, Eligibility Statement - needs to be notarized.

Form 8610-2, Airman Certificate &/or Rating Application. (this is for your 'repairman' certificate).

These forms will be filled out and signed by both of you and the DAR will send them in to the FAA. He will also want copies of your Weight & Balance form and copies of several pages of your log books and copies of the N-number and Registration forms from above.

7) The Inspector (DAR) will give you the signed Airworthiness Cert.

He will also give you two other forms.

8130-1, Experimental Operating Limitations (Phase 1 for the flight test period).

8130-1, Same form, but this one is Phase 2 which begins after the flight test period is signed off by the builder. These are part of the 'Operating Limitations' and go in the aircraft.

You now have all the 'ARROW' documents!

Other Notes:

Have project inspected 3 times by an EAA 'Technical Counselor', utilize the services of an EAA ‘Flight Advisor’ and receive a 10% discount on insurance from Avemco/National, as well as coverage for the first 10 hrs.

Work with an EAA 'Flight Advisor' and complete the associated paperwork and the first 10 hours will also be covered by above insurance company (otherwise it is excluded).




Download and print a letter requesting reservation of an N-number





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