Airplane Registration expiration exceeds 3 years


Filing Flight Plan
Aug 29, 2020
Display Name

Display name:
Hi I'm a pilot in training and noticed one of the planes at my flight school clearly shows the registration is valid for 6 years. I asked my CFI and he was completely stumped; he said he will eventually come back with an answer. If he does.... I'll post his response. Registration should be valid 3 years and been told just remember that and ignore what I saw. Does anyone know how it is possible for airplane registration to exceed 3 years ?

If it matters the plane is located
New Jersey ; Cessna 172 (old plane don't know the year) ;
Here is the info attached screenshot. Feel it shows 6 years.


  • Capture.PNG
    22.3 KB · Views: 31
It was likely renewed in March 2021. The site doesn't show each renewal date.

Here's an example for a plane I fly occasionally:

Here is the info attached screenshot. Feel it shows 6 years.
Certificate issued March 2018
Renewal due March 2021(3yrs)
Renewal completed March 2021
Expiration Date/Next Renewal March 2024 (3yrs)
My Warrior's online issue date is in 2003, and expiration date is in 2023. I renewed in 2020.
The site doesn't show each renewal date.

Yes, that’s the case for my plane. The FAA N-lookup shows an expiration date in 2024 that is exactly 12 years after the certificate issue date. Nothing is indicated between, to reflect my renewals.
As the website shows the paper registration shows "Certificate issue date 03/16/2018" and "Expiration Date 03/31/2024". What I'm hearing is maybe that is not an accurate reflection of when the registration was actually renewed. Which is slightly confusing for me, but I guess that makes sense, maybe owner bought plane in 2018 and doesn't show any renewals. Hmm I just thought issue date would've been 2021, but seems to be when person bought or received registration for first time? I will double check the paper again next chance to look for other dates, my CFI did also take a peek; not so certain there was any other dates.
Renewing is not the same as getting a new cert. It's just pushing the expiration date out by three years. Think of the certificate issue date as the date the owner acquired the plane. It's good as long as it's being renewed. As long as the registration is renewed, the expiration date will continue to push out, but it's still the same certificate which was issued on the issue date. I don't know, but I suspect, that if the registration is allowed to expire and is then re-issued, the certificate issue date would update.

I purchased my plane May of 2012, and that is reflected by the issue date of May 10, 2012. I renewed it this year, so the new expiration date is 2024.