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Aircraft Registration and Responsibilities

Aircraft Registration

All aircraft that are owned by residents of the Commonwealth, or owned by nonresidents, if they are based in Virginia more than 60 days in a 12-month period, are required to be registered. The registration requirement includes aircraft which are based at both public use and private use airports, heliports and landing areas.

It is a Class 1 misdemeanor to operate an aircraft that is not registered in Virginia.

Private, Noncommercial Aircraft Registration

The annual aircraft registration fee for a private, noncommercial aircraft is $5.00 and the fee for a private aircraft which is used for commercial purposes is $10.00.

Contract Carrier Permits:

Aircraft owners who use their aircraft to provide flight instruction for a fee, or who operate under 14 CFR Part 135 to provide on-demand passenger, freight, or combination service, are required to first obtain a Contract Carrier Permit from the Department. 

Commercial Aircraft Registration - Single or Fleet:

A Commercial Aircraft Registration, Single or Fleet, is required for any aircraft which is used to carry passengers or freight "for hire," whether for compensation or not. 

Agricultural Applicators:

Aircraft operated by agricultural applicators, including those owned by nonresidents of Virginia, which are used to apply agricultural chemicals and pesticides are required to have a Commercial License and should also contact the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services for specific information related to agricultural spraying at 804-786-3798. 

Non-Commercial and Commercial Aircraft Dealers:

Aircraft owners and aircraft dealers who market or sell either their own aircraft or aircraft owned by a manufacturer to the public may be licensed as Commercial Dealers or Noncommercial Dealers in lieu of having a Commercial Registration to cover each aircraft.