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FAASTeam Notice
Type: General Information
Notice Date: Thursday, June 25, 2020
Notice Number: NOTC0189
Are you changing your N#? Read Below for More Information
This posting will be removed on
Monday, July 26, 2021

For those that are in the process of or considering changing an Aircraft Registration Number please consider the below information to help avoid any issues or delays.

First, owners of the aircraft would request a special N-Number. Please visit the FAA.gov website for more details, click here.

Once the owner has been issued the FAA Form “AC Form 8050-64 – Assignment of Special Registration Numbers” the below steps are necessary when ready to place the new Registration Number on the aircraft. Remember the FAA Permission to place the special number on your aircraft is given on AC Form 8050-64, Assignment of Special Registration Numbers. Afterwards, when the number is placed on your aircraft to include a temporary placement of numbers, sign and return the original AC Form 8050-64 to AFS-750 within 5 days. More so, please read the special instructions displayed on the AC Form 8050-64. Remember, the 8050-64 expires one year from issuance.

Also, the old registration certificate and a duplicate AC Form 8050-64 should be carried in the aircraft until the new FAA Certificate of Registration card is received, in accordance with 14 CFR part 91, section 91.203(a)(1).

Within 10 days of placing the new registration number on the aircraft, request a “Replacement Airworthiness Certificate” by present to the FAA a signed copy /duplicate AC Form 8050-64, together with the old airworthiness certificate (photo/copy is acceptable), to an FAA Aviation Safety Inspector (ASI) from your local FSDO or use the latest online tool called AWC, click here for more information on this online tool.  After review, the FAA will issue a replacement airworthiness certificate showing the new registration number. FYI -just recently, the FAA may issue the Certificate of Airworthiness on an electronic document (PDF) with an electronic FAA signature or on paper card stock, while supplies last.

See below for additional steps to consider by the owner and the maintenance team when applying the new registration number on the aircraft.

1. Re-strapping the Transponders. The aircraft transponders (XPDR) code strapping reconfiguration can be performed on the units either by accessing the XPDR rack plugs or at an external terminal block. Reference the XPDR service manual or aircraft maintenance manual for instructions. Also, the maintenance will require the new aircraft identification code (MODE S ADDRESS) which is given by the FAA. The applicable 24-bit strap code (MODE S ADDRESS) of the transponder must then be changed.

 Ensure the maintenance team completes a functional check of the XDRS and ADS-B equipment before returning the aircraft back to service. FYI - Don’t forget to use an antenna shield to avoid Transponder and ADS-B broadcasts (see FAA SAFO 17002). In addition, depending on installed equipment, verify the reprogramming needs for the following: SatCom/Datalink, GPS/FMS, PFD/Garmin.

Lastly, if you have been issued Part 91 Letter of Authorization (LOAs) or Part 135 OpSpecs please contact the issuing FSDO to have these documents updated. For example: MEL (D095/D195) RVSM (B046).

Note: For aircraft registered in the USA, the aircraft identification code is given by the Aircraft Registration Branch of the FAA Aeronautical Center. This agency is in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma and can be reached at 405-954-3116. The aircraft identification code (MODE S ADDRESS) is given at the same time that the aircraft special N number is registered. Which can be an Eight digit transponder address code assigned to each U.S. Registration Number as part of the Mode Select Beacon System (Mode S). Sometimes referred to as the ICAO address code. To locate your N Number aircraft identification code, Mode S Code (base 8 / oct) or Mode S Code (base 16 / hex)  click here or reference your Certificate of Aircraft Registration  AC Form 8050-3.

2. 406 MHz ELT registration and/or reprogramming. If the aircraft is equipped with a 406 MHz ELT, (to include portable ELTs and Life Raft Equipped ELTs) then the owner is responsible for notifying National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Search and Rescue Satellite Aided Tracking (SARSAT). FCC regulations require that “Aircraft owners shall advise NOAA in writing upon change of aircraft or ELT ownership, or any other change in registration information” (see 47 CFR § 87.199(f)). An ELT can be registered or updated at www.406registration.com. Owners of ELT equipment should carefully follow manufacturers’ and Cospas-Sarsat’s instructions and register the ELT system. Proper registration of a 406 MHz ELT device will aid SAR teams, should the need arise. Registering the beacon will provide SAR authorities crucial information about the ELT owner and the aircraft it is installed on, and provide emergency contact information of people that can provide additional valuable information that may save a life in an emergency. If a beacon transmission is detected, the information on file will be forwarded to the Government Search and Rescue Point of Contact who will respond to the alert. Also, by contacting the person or persons on file, rescue authorities will be better able to determine if the alert is real or inadvertent. If the alert is real, this information will improve the chances of finding the people in distress and saving their lives. If the alert is inadvertent, limited SAR resources will not be expended or possibly diverted from someone else experiencing a real emergency. Again, if applicable, after ELT reprogramming, make sure the maintenance team completes an ELT functional check.

3. Painting or applying temporary Registration Markings on aircraft. Please review the following regulations found in Part 45: Display of Marks 45.23, Size of Marks 45.29, and Location of Marks 45.25 & 45.27.

Note: if the old registration number is to be removed from the rudder or will be applied to the rudder, have the maintenance team verify in the aircraft standard practices section of the aircraft maintenance manual of any requirements to check the flight control balancing. It is important the to avoid an unnecessary flutter. Click here for more info on this topic.

4. Update your Instrument Panel – Radio Call Placard

5. Make a Maintenance Log Entry - Most importantly, when the job is done, have the mechanic or repair station provide a record with a description of the work performed. Reference FAR Part 43.9 for more info.

For more information on this topic please contact your local FSDO airworthiness inspector or your local airworthiness FAA Safety Team Program Manager.

References: 

  • Code of Federal Regulations: Title 14 Part 47 & 45
  • FAA Order 8130.3J
  • FAA Plane Sense FAA-H-8083-19a
  • Aircraft Service Manual – Standard Practices

FAAST FPM Andrew Crossman - email me at andrew.w.crossman@faa.gov