To register an aircraft on the UK Register, you will need to complete online form CA1 and provide evidence that the aircraft is insured. There are additional specific requirements for different types of aircraft.
A fee is charged to register an aircraft and you will need to provide credit or debit card details on the application form.
Please note that the registration process is separate from the requirements to gain a Certificate of Airworthiness (C of A) or Permit to Fly (P to F).
New owners are reminded that once they become the owner of a UK Registered aircraft that they are responsible for ensuring that the aircraft is fully maintained and operated in line with the requirements of the C of A or P to F.
In particular, new owners are reminded that once they enter or re-enter an aircraft on the UK Register of Civil aircraft that in order to fly the aircraft legally they are responsible for making an application to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) for the issue of a certificate of airworthiness or permit to fly. All issues surrounding the airworthiness of UK Registered aircraft are dealt with by the Shared Service Centre of the CAA or the appropriate recommending organisation for your aircraft.
For imported aircraft an application for a C of A cannot usually be accepted without appropriate transfer documents. Registration does not guarantee that the aircraft will qualify for a C of A or P to F, if the applicable requirements for qualifying for such a certificate or permit are not met and the CAA reserves the right to reject C of A or P to F applications that do not meet the applicable requirements.
Important: In most cases, for a C of A the transfer document referenced above is an Export Certificate of Airworthiness (EC of A) which should declare compliance with UK airworthiness requirements. Unless otherwise agreed, the EC of A must be issued no more than 60 days before the application for the C of A.
Information is provided below on how to register the following types of aircraft:
- New foreign manufactured aircraft
- Used foreign manufactured aircraft
- New UK manufactured aircraft
- New Homebuilt aircraft
- Former registered aircraft never registered elsewhere
Registration in the UK can only take place once ownership has passed to the applicant. If the prospective owner applies to register the aircraft before they have actually become the owner, we will send them a form to complete and return to the CAA when they actually become the owner.
An aircraft can be entered on the UK Register of Civil Aircraft either under the name of the aircraft owner or the charterer by demise. For full details of the legislation around registration of aircraft in the UK, please see Articles 24 to 32 of the Air Navigation Order 2016.
To be eligible to be entered on the UK Register of Civil Aircraft, the aircraft must be owned or chartered by:
- British citizens;
- Nationals of any European Economic Area state;
- Undertakings formed in accordance with the law of an EEA State which have their registered office, central administration or principal place of business within the EEA, including companies or undertakings incorporated in the UK;
- Firms carrying out business in Scotland;
- The Crown in right of Her Majesty's Government in the UK, and the Crown in right of the Scottish Administration;
- Bodies incorporated in some part of the Commonwealth and having their principal place of business in any part of the Commonwealth;
- British protected persons.
An aircraft can be owned or chartered by:
- Commonwealth citizens,
- Bodies incorporated in and who have their principal place of business in any part of the Commonwealth.
But, this applies only if the aircraft could not be more suitably registered in another part of the Commonwealth. Examples of when an aircraft can be entered on the UK Register include when the aircraft is based and maintained in the United Kingdom or the aircraft is in storage.
An aircraft can also be owned by an 'unqualified' owner:
- Nationals of any state not specified above,
- Companies incorporated in a state not specified above.
But, this also applies only if the aircraft is not used for commercial air transport whilst registered in the UK, and if it could not be more suitably registered in another ICAO contracting state. Examples of when an aircraft can be entered on the UK Register include when the aircraft is based and maintained in the United Kingdom or the aircraft is in storage.
You can apply to register the aircraft up to six months in advance of expected delivery/ownership transfer and actual registration in the UK. The prospective ICAO 24-bit aircraft address will be allocated at this stage.
The application form for registering aircraft is form CA1. The form should be completed online including payment by debit or credit card.
Please note we do not insist that you use your private residential address, but do recommend that you use the most appropriate address for the distribution of safety related material. For example, a PO Box, business or club address would be acceptable.
Balloon, unpowered glider, microlight or any other aircraft having a maximum weight not exceeding 15,000kg
Aircraft with a maximum weight exceeding 15,000kg
Out of sequence registration (in addition to registration fee) for any aircraft
Same day processing service (in addition to the above fees) - Aircraft weighing 15,000kg or more
Same day processing service – (in addition to the above fees) Aircraft weighing less than 15,000kg
There is further cost information available in the CAA's Scheme of Charges.
You will need to send the following information with your application:
Please attach a copy of your driving license or passport page with the CA1 form.
Evidence of insurance, or a declaration that the aircraft will not fly until evidence of insurance has been supplied to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), must also be supplied with your application to register. Details of insurance requirements are included on the CA1 application form. The Mandatory Insurance Requirements offers further information.
Confirmation that an aircraft is not registered abroad
To be registered in the UK an aircraft must not be registered in another country. An aircraft registered in a foreign country will need to be de-registered in that country and a statement of de-registration issued before it can be registered in the UK.
If the aircraft is new and not been registered then the exporting country should issue a statement of non-registration. The applicable confirmation should be included in your application, or at a later date to enable UK Registration.
Airworthiness transfer documentation (if applicable)
If the aircraft being transferred from another country requires a Certificate of Airworthiness (as opposed to a Permit to Fly) you must ensure that the appropriate airworthiness transfer documentation is obtained prior to requesting the confirmation of non-registration from the exporting country. There is further information available on transfer documentation.
If registering a new UK manufactured aircraft
We require written confirmation from the manufacturer that ownership of the aircraft has been transferred to the customer. If the customer applies to register the aircraft before they have become the owner, we will send a form to the customer and the manufacturer to complete and return to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) once transfer of ownership has taken place. If the aircraft needs to be registered prior to transfer of ownership to the initial customer then the aircraft may need to be registered to the manufacturer themselves.
If registering a homebuilt aircraft
For a homebuilt aircraft, the ‘constructor’ for the purposes of the form, CA1 is the individual(s) who built the aircraft or who assembled the kit, rather than the kit manufacturer. If a Light Aircraft Association (LAA) project number has been issued this should be quoted as the aircraft serial number rather than a kit number. There is no requirement to register a homebuilt while it is still at the plans stage or at an early stage of construction. You do not need to register a homebuilt until you actually need to apply registration marks to the aircraft. However, you can apply to register up to six months in advance of this.
Please note that you may require a radio licence to be issued for your aircraft. All issues surrounding Radio Licensing are now dealt with by Ofcom, please contact them for further details.
Registration marks for gliders
By default, a glider's three-letter BGA trigraph will be used as the last three letters of its UK registration mark.
The British Gliding Association (BGA) is the recommending organisation for gliding in the UK and they maintain a record of gliders in the UK. The BGA issues a three-letter code for each glider, known as a trigraph.
For example, if the BGA trigraph is PXL the aircraft will be allocated the next available UK registration mark that contains PXL as the last three letters, so if G-CPXL is not available the aircraft will be allocated G-DPXL and so on. Out of sequence registration marks can also be used on gliders in place of trigraph related marks.
New Aircraft, Registrations and Changes of Marks will usually take up to three working days.
By prior arrangement with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), aircraft can be registered outside of normal office hours. This is usually required when aircraft are being delivered from abroad.
Please note that we will need to be provided with all relevant information in order to register your aircraft. This service is subject to the Same Day service fee and should be requested using the SRG1750 form.
Upon receipt of an application, we shall either complete UK registration or contact the applicant to advise which other documents are required in line with our service standards.
Once UK registration has been completed a Certificate of Registration will be issued.
Once an aircraft is entered onto the UK Register it must display its UK registration markings. There are further details available of the requirements and guidance on what registration marks are available.
If an aircraft has previously been registered in the UK, it can be restored to any of its previous UK registration marks.