Minnesota Department of Transportation

511 Travel Info

Aeronautics and Aviation

Fly Minnesota!

Picture of an airplane.

Aircraft Registration Information

General Information
When you acquire all or part of an aircraft, or when you first bring an aircraft into the State of Minnesota, you must register the aircraft with the Department of Transportation, Office of Aeronautics. The registration procedure consists of four (4) easy steps: fill out an application for registration, pay any applicable registration fees, provide proof of insurance (if required), and show proof of sales tax payment or exemption. To obtain an application for registration click here: Aircraft Registration Application (PDF, 70 KB) or contact the Aircraft Registration Unit either by phone, 651-234-7201, or by e-mail jana.thompson@state.mn.us.

Once the application for registration is completed you may mail or fax it (651-296-9089) to the Unit. Your fees will be computed based on the information on the form. A billing will be sent to you which will include a section for certifying your insurance information. This section must be completed to issue your registration certificate.

If your aircraft is not airworthy or not subject to registration fees for any other reason, the form still must be completed and forwarded to this office. We will make a determination of your tax status and either issue you a non-use registration or put your file in an inactive status.

To complete the registration process, you must comply with the MN Department of Revenue's requirements for payment of sales and use tax. Any questions regarding this topic should be directed the Aircraft Registration Unit at 651-234-7201.

If you have any questions regarding registration or sales and use tax that are not dealt with on this web page, you may contact any of our office personnel either by phone or e-mail. For a complete list of phone numbers and e-mail addresses go to our contacts page.

Aircraft Registration
The aircraft registration tax is "in lieu" of all other taxes on aircraft. Except the "sales and use" tax. The aircraft registration tax is on a fiscal year basis from July 1 through June 30 of the following year. Aircraft registration tax is computed on the original list price and the age of the aircraft. The first year's tax on a new (current model) aircraft is 1% of the manufacturer's list price. The tax is reduced each year over a six year period until it is 25% of the original tax or $50, whichever is higher or $25 if the aircraft qualifies as a recreational vehicle (see Recreational Aircraft).

Recreational Aircraft
Any aircraft that has a base price (for tax purposes) of $10,000 or less, and that is owned and operated solely for recreational purposes, may be listed for registration as a recreational aircraft and assessed at an annual fee of $25.00. To qualify for recreational status, the owner must execute a sworn affidavit, which shall be provided by the commissioner, stating that the aircraft is operated solely for recreational purposes and file the affidavit with the commissioner along with an annual $25.00 fee. The base price for tax purposes is the original manufacturer's list price--not the purchase price of the aircraft.

Antique/Classic Aircraft
Definitions: "antique" aircraft means an aircraft constructed by the original manufacturer on or before December 31, 1945; "classic" aircraft means an aircraft constructed by the original manufacturer on or after January 1, 1946, with a first year of life equal to or greater than 50 years at the time of registration.

If an antique or classic aircraft is owned and operated solely as a collector's item, it may be listed for taxation as follows: a sworn affidavit (supplied by the Department) will be submitted to the Aircraft Registration Unit along with a fee of $25. The applicant will be issued a registration certificate with an "Anitque" or "Classic" number respectively, which will be valid without renewal for as long as the owner operates the aircraft as a collector's item or upon sale or transfer. Upon sale or transfer, the new owner must again list the aircraft for taxation in accordance with the provisions of the law. The affidavit must be filed with the first application for antique/classic status and must be notarized.

Agricultural Aircraft
Aircraft which are used for agricultural purposes only and are assessed fees in excess of $500, may apply for an exemption which will limit the annual fee to a maximum of $500 by filing an affidavit (supplied by the Department) with the Aircraft Registration Unit. The affidavit must be filed with the first application for exemption and must be notarized.

Air Ambulance
Aircraft licensed under section 144E.12 and used exclusively to provide air ambulance service, may apply for an exemption from the registration tax by filing an affidavit (supplied by the Department) with the Aircraft Registration Unit. The aircraft must be licensed by the Emergency Medical Services Regulatory Board (EMSRB). The affidavit must be filed every year upon renewal and must include the EMSRB inspection sticker # and issuance date, the signature of the owner or corporate officer and must be notarized.

Nonuse/Unairworthy Registration
Aircraft may be registered as nonuse and not subject to tax if they meet the following two conditions: (1) The aircraft has become damaged, is unairworthy and not in flying condition, and (2) the aircraft has not used Minnesota airspace or airports during the registration period stated on the Registration Notice.

Mandatory Insurance Coverage
You are required to have liability insurance only during the period of contemplated use or operation of your aircraft. Minnesota Law requires you to state the period of contemplated use or operation of your aircraft. The minimum amount required by the act is as follows: $100,000 per passenger seat liability for passenger bodily injury or death and for property damage; $100,000 for bodily injury or death to each non-passenger in any one accident; and $300,000 per occurrence for bodily injury or death to non-passengers in any one accident. The minimum insurance amounts for passenger liability shall be upon the number of type certificated seats for each aircraft. Insurance Form (PDF, 23 KB)

First Registration Due Date
The tax to be paid upon an aircraft is due as soon as the aircraft first uses Minnesota airspace or airports and shall become delinquent upon the expiration of twenty days thereafter, unless paid.

Renewal Registration Due Date
Renewal registration for each fiscal year is due and payable July 1 and shall become delinquent upon the expiration of ten days thereafter, unless paid.

Penalties
For failure to register an aircraft as required, there is a penalty of $2.50 for the first calendar month, or portion thereof. For each additional month or portion thereof, until the tax is paid, the penalty is an additional 5% of the tax payable, not to exceed $200 for the year in which the penalty is charged.

Sales Tax
If this is a first registration, you must comply with the applicable sales and use tax requirements before your registration can be completed.

In case of aircraft purchased from a dealer holding a valid sales and use tax permit, the applicant shall present proof that the sales tax has been paid to such dealer.

Sales Tax Contact Information

Violations
Every aircraft owner who fails to register their aircraft as required shall be guilty of a misdemeanor. It is a misdemeanor for an aircraft owner to operate or permit to be operated an aircraft registered or based in the State of Minnesota without liability insurance protecting passengers and third persons for both personal injury and property damage resulting from the operation of the aircraft.

Refund of Tax
If an aircraft is destroyed or permanently removed from the state, the owner is entitled to a refund of the unused portion of the tax. The amount of refund shall be equal to 1/12 of the annual tax for each month of the period remaining; applications for refund must be made on the form furnished by the Department of Transportation. Application must be made within 12 months after the date the aircraft is sold out of state or destroyed. Refund Form (PDF, 19 KB)

Transfer of Ownership
The purchaser and the seller must execute the reverse side of the registration certificate and mail it to the Department of Transportation within seven days after transfer of ownership.