Registering Your Homebuilt


The information contained on this page was assembled from FAA websites during my own research into registering and certificating amateur-built experimental aircraft. It was current in 2007, but may not be now. Please use it for what it's worth, but your mileage may vary.


The Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR part 21) provide for the issuance of FAA Form 8130-7, Special Airworthiness Certificate, in the experimental category to permit the operation of amateur-built aircraft. Section 21.191(g) defines an amateur-built aircraft as an aircraft, the major portion of which has been fabricated and assembled by person(s) who undertook the construction project solely for their own education or recreation. Commercially produced components and parts which are normally purchased for use in aircraft may be used including engines and engine accessories, propellers, tires, spring steel landing gear, main and tail rotor blades, rotor hubs, wheel and brake assemblies, forgings, castings, extrusions, and standard aircraft hardware such as pulleys, bellcranks, rod ends, bearings, bolts, rivets, etc.

The FAA has designated some private persons to act in its behalf in the inspection of amateur-built aircraft and the issuance of airworthiness certificates. These persons are known as Designated Airworthiness Representatives (DAR). The amateur-builder may contact the local FAA Flight Standards District Office (FSDO) or Manufacturing Inspection District Office (MIDO) for assistance.

Note: AC 20-27F contains a detailed evaluation of the registration process. I suggest that you begin the process by thoroughly reading it.

Easy 10-Step Process!

  Task Form # Submitted To Description
1. Reserve an N-number Online form; $10 FAA web site Reserve 6 months prior to desired aircraft inspection. You will receive a confirmation letter from the FAA. N-number availability search.
2. Affidavit of Ownership AC Form 8050-88 Submit along with item #4 (8050-1) Fill out and sign.
3. Bill of Sale AC Form 8050-2
(original Form only)
Submit along with item #4 (8050-1) At the top of the form, cross out the word "AIRCRAFT" from "AIRCRAFT BILL OF SALE" and write in "KIT". This must be signed by the kit manufacturor as well as anyone else that has owned the aircraft kit/project prior to you. If you didn't get one when you purchased the kit, call the manufacturor and request for them to complete and send one out to you. You may need to mail them an original AC Form 8050-2 first.
4. Register Aircraft with FAA AC Form 8050-1
(original Form only)
FAA Aircraft Registration Branch in Oaklahoma City Use an original FAA hardcopy form (get them from your local FAA FSDO/MIDO offices). To complete this form you must already have an N-number reserved. Mail in Item #'s 2, 3, 4, and $10. In 4-6 weeks you will receive your AC Form 8050-3 Certificate of Registration from the FAA. The Pink Copy of Form 8050-1 should be retained as a temporary registration form until receipt of AC Form 8050-3
5. Application for Airworthiness Certificate FAA Form 8130-6 Submit along with Item #7 (Program Letter) Fill out and sign.
6. Eligibility Statement: Amateur-Built Aircraft FAA Form 8130-12 Submit along with Item #7 (Program Letter) Fill out and sign.
7. 3-view Diagram / Weight and Ballance Sample Weight and Ballance Submit along with Item #8 (Program Letter) Prior to sending in the Program Letter, you must complete the weight and ballance report and submit 3-view diagrams of your aircraft. Make sure you use the standard FAA pilot/passenger weight of 170 lbs in all your calculations.
8. Program Letter Sample Letter Local FAA MIDO Office Mail in Item #'s 5, 6, 7, and 8 to the MIDO Office and they will either assign an FAA Inspector to inspect your aircraft or (more likely) refer you to a Designed Airworthiness Representative (DAR) who will do the inspection for a fee (typically $200-$500). Response times for getting the inspection done vary from weeks to months.
9. Conduct the Airworthiness Inspection FAA Form 8610-2 Inspector or DAR during the aircraft inspection The inspector or DAR will conduct the inspection and (hopefully!) issue the Special Air Worthiness Certificate. Use this Pre-Registration Checklist to ensure your aircraft is ready for the inspector. The inspector or DAR will also sign off on your application for Repairman Certificate, AC Form 8610-2.
10. Fly your newly-certificated homebuilt aircraft!



FAA Published Info on Certificating an Expirimental Aircraft


1.  What is a special airworthiness certificate in the experimental category?

This certificate is issued to operate an aircraft that does not have a type certificate or does not conform to its type certificate.  Additionally, this certificate is issued to operate kit-built aircraft that were assembled without the supervision and quality control of the production certificate holder.  Special airworthiness certificates may be issued in the experimental category for the following purposes:

2.  How do I obtain a special airworthiness certificate?

The general process for obtaining a special airworthiness certificate is defined in the following steps:  

1.  Register the aircraft.
2.  Submit formal application.
3.  Determine aircraft eligibility.
4.  Issue special airworthiness certificate.

If you are interested in obtaining a special airworthiness certificate for your aircraft, contact your local FAA Manufacturing Inspection District Office or Flight Standards District Office  to obtain registration and application forms as necessary and answers to any specific questions.  

Step 1.  Register the Aircraft.

You must register your aircraft following the procedures identified in 14 CFR part 47, Aircraft Registration.  

You must submit an original copy of FAA Form 8050-1, along with a Bill of Sale, FAA Form 8050-2 (original form only), and a check made out to the FAA for $5.00.

The FAA Registration Branch (P.O. Box 25504, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma,73125) maintains the Civil Aviation Registry and can provide detailed information regarding the FAA's aircraft registration process, forms, and related information.

Step 2.  Submit Formal Application.

The registered owner of the aircraft or the agent of the owner must submit FAA Form 8130-6, Application for Airworthiness Certificate, to the nearest FAA Flight Standards District Office (FSDO) or Manufacturing Inspection District Office (MIDO) in the geographic area where the aircraft is located.  The local FAA office may require that additional documentation be submitted with the application such as:

Step 3.  Determine Aircraft Eligibility.

An aircraft is eligible for a special airworthiness certificate when:

Step 4.  Issue Special Airworthiness Certificate, FAA Form 8130-7.

Once the FAA has determined that the aircraft is eligible for a special airworthiness certificate, the FAA will: