Aircraft Registration & Transactions

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Washington State Simplifies Aircraft Registration Exemptions, Late Fees

Nov. 22, 2016

Beginning Jan. 1, Washington state aircraft registrations that are 60 days or more past due will incur a $100 penalty. This replaces an earlier Washington Department of Transportation (WSDOT) policy that imposed escalating penalties of up to $400 for those who registered late.

Washington State Simplifies Aircraft Registration Exemptions, Late Fees

In addition, effective Jan. 1, the requirements for aircraft registration exemptions will change in Washington state. No longer will applicants be required to submit hard-copy documentation as part of the exemption process. Instead, all documentation to support a registration exemption will be accepted at the WSDOT website. View the WSDOT website.

Aircraft exempt from the state’s registration requirement include:

  • Those owned and used exclusively by any government or political entity not carrying passengers for commercial purposes
  • Aircraft registered in a foreign country
  • Aircraft owned by a non-resident, registered in another state and which has remained in Washington for fewer than 90 days
  • Aircraft owned and operated by a non-profit organization that is exempt from federal income taxation under 26 USC Sec. 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code and is exclusively used to provide emergency medical transportation services
  • Large, private, non-resident aircraft in Washington for repair, alteration or reconstruction
  • Aircraft engaged principally in commercial flying constituting an act of interstate or foreign commerce
  • Aircraft owned by a commercial manufacturer while being operated for test or experimental purposes, or to train crews for purchasers of the aircraft
  • Aircraft being held for sale, exchange, delivery, test or demonstration purposes, solely as stock in trade of an aircraft dealer licensed in Washington state

“The Pacific Northwest Business Aviation Association (PNBAA) supports the WSDOT’s efforts to simplify and streamline the aircraft registration program,” said Alan Burnett, who leads the PNBAA Legislative and Regulatory Affairs Committee.

Aircraft owners and operators in Washington must register every January, and the registrations are valid through the end of the year. Revenue from the registration program is used to support the agency’s airport preservation program. The money also helps fund airport maintenance and improvements, as well as the state’s air search and rescue efforts.

“We take great satisfaction that the registration fees are used to support aviation in Washington,” said NBAA Northwest Regional Representative Kristi Ivey.