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I'm looking at filing out an 8050-1 for a new airplane in the US and the FAA is asking me for my name, and address. My concern is that once I register these bits of information, specifically my home address, become publicly available. So I'm wondering is there anyway of registering an aircraft tag in a way that keeps that information private? Are there any proxy registration services that exist for this purpose?

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  • $\begingroup$ Don't you already have this problem of your address being publicly available with your pilots certificate? Assuming you have one. I share your concern, but I think it's impossible to avoid in the modern age. $\endgroup$ Dec 15 '15 at 12:21
  • $\begingroup$ what do you have to hide from the FAA that you don't want them to have your name and address? $\endgroup$
    – jwenting
    Dec 15 '15 at 13:34
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    $\begingroup$ The address info for your pilot certificate does NOT have to be available to the public... You can opt to have it not published. Your name & ratings still show up when searching the FAA records, but your address does not. Don't know if this option is available for other things, i.e. aircraft registration. $\endgroup$
    – Ralph J
    Dec 15 '15 at 14:42
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    $\begingroup$ @jwenting I think his point isn't about the FAA having his address, it's that aircraft owners' addresses are public information, so anyone can search the N number and find his home address. $\endgroup$
    – Pondlife
    Dec 15 '15 at 14:59
  • $\begingroup$ I was looking through this site and several just list a po box. Most of them are corporations, but the plane the link leads to is an individual with just a po box $\endgroup$
    – TomMcW
    Dec 15 '15 at 19:05
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The 'usual' alternative is to have the aircraft owned by a legal entity like an LLC or trust of some kind (trusts are also used by foreigners who own N-reg aircraft). But that only adds a layer of obfuscation: if someone really wants to know who owns the aircraft then they can dig into the LLC or trust ownership details. That information is usually also public although it's at the state level not federal level.

The best thing here is to talk to an attorney in your state, preferably one with aviation experience. He can tell you what legal entities might fit your needs, as well as the pros, cons and costs of each one.

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    $\begingroup$ Talking to an attorney, thanks for the initial idea! $\endgroup$
    – Robert1972
    Dec 15 '15 at 23:24
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    $\begingroup$ Some states do not publish or share LLC owner info. Wyoming and Nevada come to mind. $\endgroup$ May 25 '19 at 16:32
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There are several ways to have an address that isn't your house.

Private mail box

"Arizona" Joe Flyer
24 W Camelback Road #9999
Phoenix AZ 85013

This is a privately managed version of the PO Box with a number of enhancements. The address looks like a street address, so most askers who won't accept a mailbox will accept a PMB. The PMB staff can forward your mail to you anytime or at intervals, tell you if you have mail if you call, and even call you if something comes in. They can also accept from any carrier (even Amazon) and forward via any carrier. It is maybe twice the cost of a PO box.

You must give it a real address. It is state licensed so it will answer any subpoena.

LLC

Delaware-Chesapeake Bay Flyers LLC
905 Broadway St. #9999
Sheridan Wyoming 82801

Having an LLC own a plane makes so much sense for other reasons - not least, reducing the considerable liability of your plane crashing into something valuable. With individual ownership that liability is bottomless. With LLC or corporate structure, the LLC goes bankrupt and you're in the clear. This arrests your liability as the plane's owner, but not your liability as its pilot.

Taxwise, if you're the only member, the IRS calls it a "disregarded entity" and counts it as if it's part of you (e.g. a proprietorship).

LLCs have members and managers. Members own, managers control. There are some useful liability-containment tricks possible with this.

States register LLCs. Most states will cheerfully hand owner the addresses of the LLC members, though most will allow PO boxes and PMBs. Some states shield/conceal the LLC member addresses from casual inquiry, notably Wyoming and Nevada. My undertanding is they also put up roadblocks to legal inquiry, refusing to answer subpoenas from other states, forcing the suer to re-sue in their state or Federal court.

Annual cost is

  • typically 20 dollar annual registration in your home state (lots more in CA or MA)
  • if you don't staff a physical location 9-5, then a Registered Agent in your home state ($50-300/year) - his duty is to accept service of lawsuits, hence the need to be open during business hours. If you already have a lawyer with an office, he'll do.
  • if registered out of state, business license there
  • if registered out of state, a Registered Agent in that state
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  • $\begingroup$ This answer doesn't show relevant research. You cannot use a PO Box without providing a physical address. This is made clear on the form. Additionally, there is the requirement to provide the physical address of flight records for non-citizen corporations, due to limitations on foreign flight times that incurs. $\endgroup$
    – user71659
    May 25 '19 at 22:59
  • $\begingroup$ No, the issue is the FAA requires a street address. My objection is that it appears you gave a generic "how do I hide my street address" answer that does not address the specific FAA requirements. $\endgroup$
    – user71659
    May 25 '19 at 23:35
  • $\begingroup$ @user71659 okay then... That's not an uncommon issue, and a big selling point for PMBs... $\endgroup$ May 25 '19 at 23:37
  • $\begingroup$ "With individual ownership that liability is bottomless. With LLC or corporate structure, the LLC goes bankrupt and you're in the clear." Check with a lawyer on that. In some locales, an LLC that is wholly owned by a single owner does not provide liability protection. I.e. it is as if the LLC did not exist. Look under Single Member LLCs and Asset Protection for example. More generally, the owner is still liable for the owner's personal actions. In a sham LLC, only the owner can act. $\endgroup$
    – Brythan
    May 26 '19 at 4:25
  • $\begingroup$ LLCs are 500 dollars in MA, plus 20 dollar expediting fee, which you can't avoid, there are no paper forms you can send in that I can find; annual reports must be done online. $\endgroup$
    – CrossRoads
    May 26 '19 at 4:41

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