Registration Delay Woes Thought Likely To Continue Into 2023


The National Business Aviation Association warns that a continuation of the strong market for sales augurs that aircraft registration backlogs are likely to continue into 2023. The FAA Civil Aviation Registry in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, is expected to experience delays of up to six months for registering a newly purchased aircraft, according to the trade group. And the delays affect all aircraft buyers, not just business jet shoppers.

Scott McCreary, aviation group leader for McAfee & Taft and a member of the NBAA’s Tax Committee, said, “People should reach out immediately to their title companies and law firms assisting them and make sure all their documentation is in order. Even a small mistake may cause longer delays in the processing of documents and the registration of the aircraft.”

NBAA further warns, “Transactions may also involve changing the aircraft’s current registration number, with the sale paperwork reflecting the new registration.” McCreary added, “That process may take anywhere from six months to a year, and there’s really no way to expedite that. All sides must plan accordingly.”

Mark Phelps
Mark Phelps is a senior editor at AVweb. He is an instrument rated private pilot and former owner of a Grumman American AA1B and a V-tail Bonanza.

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  1. I sent a request to change my already-reserved tail number on October 24, 2021. The authorization to do so arrived 11 months later. The number was applied and inspected by the local FSDO within a couple of weeks and a new airworthiness certificate issued “on the spot”. The signed 8050-64 was returned to OKC mid-October, 2022. The new, permanent registration has yet to arrive. So, 1.3 years and counting. Ridiculous.

  2. Yep, took just under 6 months (which required filing for an extension) to get the registration changed on my recently purchased plane.

  3. Reach out to the FAA. My registration was about to expire so I sent a letter to the Aircraft Registration Branch requesting a temporary registration. I got it via email within the week. I will keep doing that if required until the genuine paper comes.

  4. How hard and complicated can these registrations be? I guess it depends on the quality and motivation of the people who do the work. But then again it is a federal government bureaucracy, so I guess that explains it.

  5. “Work expands to fill the time allotted.”

    One must ask “WHY the delay?” I’ve been an aircraft dealer for over 50 years, and I’m sure that the FAA completed FAR MORE REGISTRATIONS during the boom years than it does today–and did it in far less time.

    The problem with government is lack of accountability. Perhaps we should start linking management advances to actual performance instead of accepting mediocrity.