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Aircraft Registration Laws and Regulations

Sec. 4RCW 47.68.250 and 1999 c 302 s 2 are each amended to read as follows: Every aircraft shall be registered with the department for each calendar year in which the aircraft is operated or is based within this state. A fee of fifteen dollars shall be charged for each such registration and each annual renewal thereof. Possession of the appropriate effective federal certificate, permit, rating, or license relating to ownership and airworthiness of the aircraft, and payment of the excise tax imposed by Title 82 RCW for the privilege of using the aircraft within this state during the year for which the registration is sought, and payment of the registration fee required by this section shall be the only requisites for registration of an aircraft under this section. The registration fee imposed by this section shall be payable to and collected by the secretary. The fee for any calendar year must be paid during the month of January, and shall be collected by the secretary at the time of the collection by him or her of the said excise tax. If the secretary is satisfied that the requirements for registration of the aircraft have been met, he or she shall thereupon issue to the owner of the aircraft a certificate of registration therefor. The secretary shall pay to the state treasurer the registration fees collected under this section, which registration fees shall be credited to the aeronautics account in the transportation fund. It shall not be necessary for the registrant to provide the secretary with originals or copies of federal certificates, permits, ratings, or licenses. The secretary shall issue certificates of registration, or such other evidences of registration or payment of fees as he or she may deem proper; and in connection therewith may prescribe requirements for the possession and exhibition of such certificates or other evidences. The provisions of this section shall not apply to:

  1. An aircraft owned by and used exclusively in the service of any government or any political subdivision thereof, including the government of the United States, any state, territory, or possession of the United States, or the District of Columbia, which is not engaged in carrying persons or property for commercial purposes;
  2. An aircraft registered under the laws of a foreign country;
  3. An aircraft which is owned by a nonresident and registered in another state: PROVIDED, That if said aircraft shall remain in and/or be based in this state for a period of ninety days or longer it shall not be exempt under this section;
  4. An aircraft engaged principally in commercial flying constituting an act of interstate or foreign commerce;
  5. An aircraft owned by the commercial manufacturer thereof while being operated for test or experimental purposes, or for the purpose of training crews for purchasers of the aircraft;
  6. An aircraft being held for sale, exchange, delivery, test, or demonstration purposes solely as stock in trade of an aircraft dealer licensed under Title 14 RCW;
  7. An aircraft based within the state that is in an unairworthy condition, is not operated within the registration period, and has obtained a written exemption issued by the secretary.

The secretary shall be notified within thirty days of any change in ownership of a registered aircraft. The notification shall contain the N, NC, NR, NL, or NX number of the aircraft, the full name and address of the former owner, and the full name and address of the new owner. For failure to so notify the secretary, the registration of that aircraft may be canceled by the secretary, subject to reinstatement upon application and payment of a reinstatement fee of ten dollars by the new owner. A municipality or port district that owns, operates, or leases an airport, as defined in RCW 47.68.020, with the intent to operate, shall require from an aircraft owner proof of aircraft registration as a condition of leasing or selling tiedown or hanger space for an aircraft. It is the responsibility of the lessee or purchaser to register the aircraft. The airport shall work with WSDOT Aviation to assist in its efforts to register aircraft by providing information about based aircraft on an annual basis as requested by the division.

Late Aircraft Registration Penalties
RCW 47.68.240
Penalties for violations.

(1) Except as provided in subsection (2) of this section, any person violating any of the provisions of this chapter, or any of the rules, regulations, or orders issued pursuant thereto, is guilty of a misdemeanor.

(2)(a) Any person violating any of the provisions of RCW 47.68.220, 47.68.230, or 47.68.255 is guilty of a gross misdemeanor.

(b) In addition to, or in lieu of, the penalties provided in this section, or as a condition to the suspension of a sentence which may be imposed pursuant thereto, for violations of RCW 47.68.220 and 47.68.230, the court in its discretion may prohibit the violator from operating an aircraft within the state for such period as it may determine but not to exceed one year. Violation of the duly imposed prohibition of the court may be treated as a separate offense under this section or as a contempt of court.

(3) In addition to the provisions of subsections (1) and (2) of this section, failure to register an aircraft, as required by this chapter is subject to the following civil penalties:
(a) If the aircraft registration is sixty days to one hundred nineteen days past due, the civil penalty is one hundred dollars.

(b) If the aircraft registration is one hundred twenty days to one hundred eighty days past due, the civil penalty is two hundred dollars.

(c) If the aircraft registration is over one hundred eighty days past due, the civil penalty is four hundred dollars.

(4) The revenue from penalties prescribed in subsection (3) of this section must be deposited into the aeronautics account under RCW 82.42.090.