An aircraft bill of sale is the legal document that records the transfer of ownership of an aircraft in a private sale or transfer between a buyer and seller.
The bill of sale must include information about the buyer, the seller, the manufacturer and model of the plane, registration and serial numbers, and the purchase price.
If you create your aircraft bill of sale, ensure it follows the FAA requirements exactly and is completed in duplicate — two originals — since one must go to the FAA with the registration.
How Do You Change Ownership of a Plane?
Before giving the buyer the keys and bill of sale, the seller must:
- Remove the original aircraft registration certificate
- Complete the sale information on the certificate and mail it to the FAA registry in Oklahoma City, OK
- Remove the FCC radio license with the seller’s name (if any)
- Provide any logbooks and records to the buyer, if agreed to
- If the buyer is a foreign national, the N-number must be removed (painted over or stripped) from the plane before the transfer
What Forms Do You Need to Sell an Aircraft?
The FAA requires buyers to submit several specific forms when registering an aircraft for the first time.
All these documents may be obtained by downloading them from the FAA website.
- Aircraft Registration Application (AC Form 8050-1)
- Aircraft Bill of Sale (AC Form 8050-2)
- The current owner should provide an airworthiness certificate, but the new buyer must submit an Application for U.S. Airworthiness Certificate before registering the plane.
In addition, you should have a purchase and sale agreement.
This is the sales contract, not a bill of sale. It should include the pre-purchase inspection, whether the aircraft is being sold “as-is” or if there are warranties of merchantability, and other terms and conditions.
Pilots’ associations caution private buyers and sellers against drafting their purchase and sale agreements. These contracts are complex and should be drafted, or at least reviewed, by a contract attorney.
Corporate or LLC purchases have a different set of documents and submission requirements to register a plane. Corporate buyers should contact their attorneys before making an aircraft purchase.
How to Write an Aircraft Bill of Sale
Step 1 – Date of Sale
Write the date of the aircraft (airplane) sale.
Step 2 – Buyer’s Name and Mailing Address
Type or print the buyer’s name and mailing address.
Step 3 – Seller’s Name and Mailing Address
Type or print the seller’s name and mailing address.
Step 4 – Aircraft Information
Write all the information about the aircraft you are selling, including:
- US registration number
- Serial number
Step 5 – Agreed Purchase Price
Document the price the seller and buyer agree to for this aircraft.
Step 6 – Signatures and Names
Include the signatures and printed names of all sellers. Note that the buyer, witness, and notary signatures are not required to sign, but their signatures are recommended.
These additional pieces of information can also be included in the aircraft bill of sale:
- Agreed date of delivery
- Deposit amount due at time of purchase (if any) and whether non-refundable or refundable
- Number of days for an inspection period
- State or US territory where the aircraft is being sold
How Do I File an Aircraft Bill of Sale?
Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Registration Requirements
The buyer must send the following documents to the FAA for registration:
- the Aircraft Registration Application (AC Form 8050-1)
- evidence of ownership (such as aircraft bill of sale)
- the $5 registration fee made payable to the Federal Aviation Administration
The aircraft registration application must include all new owners’ printed names and signatures. If the owners are part of a company or business, their signatures must include their titles or positions.
You can find more information on the FAA website about FAA requirements and transferring ownership of your aircraft.
If you need a template for creating your bill of sale, use our downloadable aircraft bill of sale. It contains all of the information the FAA requires in one easy-to-complete document.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Do I Transfer the Aircraft After the Buyer Signs the Bill of Sale?
The sale information (bill of sale and aircraft registration application) must be sent to the following:
FAA Aircraft Registration Branch
PO Box 25504
Oklahoma City, OK 73125-0504
If you have additional questions, contact the FAA Aircraft Registration Branch at (866) 762-9434, Monday through Friday, 7:30 AM to 4:00 PM Central Time.
The FAA has online registration available on a limited basis, but for now, this is only for the re-registration of particular aircraft.
How Do I Modify an Aircraft Bill of Sale Form?
The information on an aircraft bill of sale must match the information on the registration.
If you need to correct the aircraft bill of sale or other documentation related to your registration, fill out the Aircraft Re-Registration Application Form on the FAA website.
Where Can I Find More Information About the Aircraft Registration Application or Bill of Sale?
Contact the FAA Aircraft Registration Branch online or at (866) 762-9434. You can also contact the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), which has many resources for the general public.
Aircraft (Airplane) Bill of Sale Sample
Below is an example of an aircraft (airplane) bill of sale form.