The following information provides a summary of the laws, rules and procedures for aircraft registration, as required by law. Its purpose is to increase the general understanding of aircraft registration requirements in Arizona and to facilitate the registration process for individual owners. In addition to state aircraft registration requirements, the federal government administers a national aircraft registry program though the Federal Aviation Administration. A brief description of the federal program is also included.
All aircraft based in Arizona are required to be registered with the Motor Vehicle Division. Registration must be accomplished within 60 days after an aircraft is brought into the state and must be renewed annually by the last day of February.
New Aircraft Entrants into Arizona
Initial registration must be accomplished within 60 days of purchase or lease of an aircraft or within 60 days after the aircraft is brought into the state. If the aircraft is purchased from a dealer in Arizona, the dealer is to require the buyer fill out an Application for Aircraft Registration. The dealer is required to forward the application to the Motor Vehicle Division within 20 days of sale. An owner bringing in an aircraft from out of state must submit the application. Registration must be completed within 60 days of entry into Arizona to avoid payment of penalty.
Transfer of Ownership
When an aircraft currently registered in Arizona is transferred or sold in the state the registration expires. The seller must assign the registration certificate to the buyer by filling out the back of the certificate. The signed certificate is sent to the Motor Vehicle Division. The buyer must register the aircraft in his name within 60 days and pay the registration fee of $5.00.
Owners of currently registered aircraft will receive a renewal billing in late December. This allows those owners who wish to pay before the end of the calendar year to do so. It is important to notify the Motor Vehicle Division of address changes in writing, so your renewal registration certificate will be correctly addressed. Payment by check or money order of the tax and registration fee must be received or postmarked by the last day of February. On or after March 1st, a $25 penalty fee will be added with an additional $5 penalty for each subsequent month of delinquency.
Determining Residency Status
State law requires that you obtain an Arizona aircraft registration immediately if any of the following applies. If you:
- Work in Arizona (other than for seasonal agricultural work) –or–
- Are registered to vote in Arizona –or–
- Place children in school without paying the tuition rate of a nonresident –or–
- Have a business that has an office in Arizona, and that bases and operates vehicles in this state –or–
- Obtain a state license or pay school tuition fees at the same rate as an Arizona resident –or–
- Have a business that operates vehicles to transport goods or passengers within Arizona –or–
- Remain in Arizona for a total of 7 months or more during any calendar year, regardless of your permanent residence.
Out-of-state students enrolled with 7 or more semester hours, are not considered Arizona residents, regardless of employment.
Active duty military personnel based in Arizona who qualify for exemption under the Service Members Civil Relief Act of 2003 are not considered Arizona residents.
Registration for Nonresidents
Nonresident owners whose aircraft are based in the state for more than 90 days in the calendar year, must register the aircraft with the Motor Vehicle Division. The 90 days is total time in the state and need not be consecutive days. Nonresident aircraft based in the state for more than 90 days, but less than 210 days are taxed at a reduced rate (see Aircraft Value and Tax Determination). Aircraft engaging in commercial activity in the state, regardless of owner residency, must be registered prior to such operations.
Aircraft in Storage or Being Repaired
Arizona Senate Bill 1178, passed by the 39th legislature in May 1990, eliminated, for aircraft in storage or being repaired, the exemption from the license tax and registration fee and prescribes a license tax rate for such aircraft.
Aircraft in storage or under repaired must be registered with the Motor Vehicle Division and the registration fee paid. The tax on a stored aircraft is $20.00 plus a $5.00 registration fee.
To quality for the stored aircraft tax, the owner must file a sworn affidavit with the Motor Vehicle Division no later than the last day of February or within 60 days after the aircraft is placed in storage or under repair on entry into the state.
The owner of an aircraft registered and taxed based on storage or under repair status will immediately notify the Motor Vehicle Division when the aircraft is returned to use. Upon return to use, the owner must pay the appropriate license tax for active aircraft, which will be prorated, based on the number of months remaining in the year.
Registration Certificate and Decal
A registration certificate and license decal will be issued upon full payment of the initial registration fee, appropriate license tax and any penalty due. A renewal registration certificate billing is sent to each owner in December. The owner signs and returns all copies of the certificate, with address change if necessary. Upon receipt of the certificate with payment of registration fee and tax, we will validate the certificate and return it to the owner. The validated certificate is to be kept in the aircraft at all times. If the certificate is lost, a duplicate may be obtained at the minimal fee by writing the Motor Vehicle Division.
A license decal valid for the calendar year is issued with registration certificate. A duplicate decal may be issued to the owner upon payment of a $4.00 fee and satisfactory proof of the loss destruction of original decal.
The decal is required to be displayed on the aircrafts at all times. The location of the decal depends on the type of aircraft.
- Conventional fixed wing aircraft with a single vertical stabilizer and low horizontal stabilizer, display the decal on the right side of the vertical stabilizer just above the horizontal stabilizer.
- Aircraft without a vertical stabilizer, such a V-tail Bonanza, display the decal on the right side of the fuselage immediately forward of the empennage.
- Aircraft with a high vertical stabilizer (T-tail) display the decal on the lower half of the right side of the vertical stabilizer.
- Aircraft with two or more vertical stabilizers display the decal on the right vertical stabilizer.
- Rotorcraft display the decal on the lower half of the right side of the vertical stabilizer.
- Balloons display the decal on a plaque affixed to the basket assembly.
Aircraft Valuation and Tax Determination
We annually determine the value of aircraft for tax purposes using industry sources and guides. The value assessed is based on the average low wholesale bluebook value for the make, model and year of the aircraft. No consideration is given to condition, equipment or purchase price.
The tax rate is one-half of one per cent (.005) of the assessed value of the aircraft, but not less than $20.00. For aircraft entering the state, purchased from a dealer or returned to service from storage or repair status, the tax is prorated based on the number of months the aircraft is in service in Arizona, including the month during which the aircraft is placed in service. There is no provision for refund of tax if the aircraft leaves the state or is placed in storage during the year.
Aircraft in storage during the entire year are subject to a flat tax of $20.00. Upon receipt of the registration application, we will assess the value of the aircraft, calculate the taxes due and mail an aircraft registration billing to the owner.
|Low Wholesale Bluebook||$19,200.00
|Tax Rate (one-half per cent)||0.005
|Annual License Tax||$96.00
|Per Month Prorate (1/12)||$8.00
|Aircraft entered in April||x 9
|License Tax Payable||$72.00
Aircraft license tax for nonresidents is based on the total number of days the aircraft is in the state during the calendar year
|A1-90 days||No charge
|91-209 days||0.1% (.001) of aircraft value
|210-365 days||0.5% (.005) of aircraft value
An aircraft may qualify for exemption from registration and/or license tax if one of the following conditions exists.
Aircraft Exemption Affidavit
- Aircraft is operated by regular scheduled airline.
- Aircraft is owned by a government agency.
- Aircraft is owned and held by Arizona license aircraft dealer for resale and is operated only for demonstration purposes.
- Aircraft is owned by a person on active military duty, with a home of record other than Arizona (requires a copy of active duty assignment papers).
- Aircraft is owned by a Native American, is based on a reservation, and stays within the reservation boundaries.
To claim exempt, nonresident or stored aircraft tax status, an owner must complete an Aircraft Exemption Affidavit and file it with the Motor Vehicle Division on or before the last day of February, or if it is new registration in the state, within 60 days or purchase or entry into Arizona.
Failure to file by the deadline requires payment of the registration fee and license tax plus a $25.00 penalty fee will be added with an additional $5.00 penalty for each subsequent month of delinquency.
Verifying Exempt Status
Upon our request, an owner claiming an exemption must make available the aircraft log book for inspection and the names of any pilot who has flown the aircraft during the period for which the exemption is claimed.
If an aircraft that is registered in Arizona is lost or destroyed, the owner, the owner’s legal representative, or the insurer of the aircraft will inform MVD by filing a completed Aircraft Exemption Affidavit within 30 days of the loss or destruction. The lost or destroyed aircraft’s registration expires when MVD receives notification.
Upon written request of the owner of a lost or destroyed aircraft, one-twelfth of previously paid registration fees and license tax will be credited to the owner for each full month of the registration period that has not yet expired. The tax credit may be used on subsequent aircraft registration fees or license taxes owed by the owner. No refund will be issued for the credited fees and taxes.
For further information, see ARS 28-8334 and 28-8343.
Hearing and Appeal; Procedure
Requests for hearings on a decision must be made in writing within 30 days of the decision. Hearings will be scheduled and held in accordance with Title 41, Chapter 6, Article 6. Parties may appeal hearing decisions pursuant to Title 12, Chapter 7, Article 6.
Late Registration; Late Exemption Claim
An owner who fails to register an aircraft by the time limit specified, is subject to a penalty of $25.00 with an additional $5.00 penalty for each subsequent month of delinquency.
An aircraft owner who fails to claim the appropriate exemption by the time limit specified must pay the assessed license tax, plus a penalty of $25.00 with an additional $5.00 penalty for each subsequent month of delinquency.
Unpaid registration fees, taxes, interest and penalties constitute a lien on the aircraft. We may request collection by seizure and sale of the aircraft.
We may impose civil penalties up to $500 against any person who willfully provides false information relating to aircraft registration.
It is the responsibility of aircraft owner to complete an Application for Aircraft Registration and to register the aircraft with the Motor Vehicle Division.
- All general aviation aircraft based in the state are required be registered with the Motor Vehicle Division with in 60 days after bringing an aircraft into the state or after the transfer of ownership of an aircraft that has been registered in Arizona.
- All aircraft registrations must be renewed annually for the calendar year before the last day of February.
- An Aircraft Exemption Affidavit must be completed by the aircraft owner to exempt an aircraft from the license tax and/or registration fee, or to make a stored aircraft eligible for the stored aircraft tax fee.
- License tax for an aircraft in storage is $20.00 plus a $5.00 registration fee.
- Owners of aircraft which are not properly registered or exempted within the established time limits will be liable for the full registration fee, license tax and a $5 penalty for each subsequent month of delinquency.
- For initial registration, the license tax is prorated based on the date of entry into the state or the date of purchase.
- The license tax is based on the average low wholesale market value for the make, model and year of aircraft. Actual purchase price, condition and equipment are not considered in making the valuation.
- There are no tax refunds. If an aircraft is sold, transferred to another owner, or leaves the state during the year for which tax has all ready been paid, the tax stays with the aircraft. In these cases, the aircraft registration expires and the new owner must register the aircraft within 60 days if the aircraft remains based in Arizona. Failure to register within 60 days, will result in registration penalties being assessed in the amount of $25.00 for the first delinquent month and $5.00 for each subsequent delinquent month.
- The Arizona Department of Transportation and the FAA do not notify each other of new aircraft in the state.
It is the responsibility of the owner to notify the Motor Vehicle Division in writing:
- Within 10 days of an address change
- Within 60 days of when an aircraft is transferred or sold by filling out the back of aircraft registration certificate and returning it.
- Within 60 days of when an aircraft is placed in storage in order to claim eligibility for the $20 stored aircraft tax (sworn affidavit required).
- Immediately when a stored aircraft is returned to use.
- Within 30 days of when an aircraft is lost or destroyed.
For additional information concerning your specific aircraft registration, call us at 602-712-6995.
Federal Aviation Administration Registration
The Federal Aviation Act of 1958 requires registration of all civil aircraft with the FAA. Registration is covered by part 47 of the Federal Aviation Regulations.
The applicant for federal registration must submit the following to the FAA aircraft Registry.
- Aircraft Registration Application, AC Form 8050-1
- Proof of ownership such as AC Form 8050-2, Aircraft Bill of Sale or other evidence of ownership authorized by Part 47
- The required registration fee.
The required forms are available from the flight standards district office or the FAA aircraft registry in Oklahoma City. Addresses and phone numbers are listed below.
FAA Aircraft Registry – Registration of aircraft with the FAA
Mike Monroney Aeronautical Center
6500 S MacArthur Blvd
PO Box 25082
Oklahoma City OK 73125-0082
Flight Standards District Office (FSDO) – Regulation, procedures, pilot licenses, written test information, list of medical examiners
Flight Standards District Office
17777 N Perimeter Dr, Ste 101
Scottsdale AZ 85255-5453