§ 1-4-6 State registration of federal certificates.
(a) All owners and operators, or owners or operators, of all aircraft, and dealers in aircraft, based or primarily used in the state of Rhode Island shall register the federal certificates of their aircraft and dealer registration as the director may by regulation prescribe. An aircraft shall be deemed to be based or primarily used in the state when in the normal course of its use, according to airport records, it leaves from and returns to or remains at one or more points within the state more often or longer than at any other single location outside of the state. Nonresidents may operate noncommercially within this state as an owner and operator, or owner or operator, or as a dealer, without that registration for not more than ninety (90) days in any calendar year. To operate commercially intrastate, nonresidents shall register.
(b) Subject to the limitations of subsections (d) and (f), every person who operates an aircraft shall register the federal aircraft certificate of that aircraft with the chief aeronautics inspector during each period in which the aircraft is operated within this state in accordance with subsection (a). The annual fee for each registration, and for each registration renewal, is as follows: Aircraft weighing less than two thousand (2,000) pounds, thirty dollars ($30.00); two thousand and one (2,001) to three thousand (3,000) pounds, sixty dollars ($60.00); three thousand and one (3,001) to four thousand five hundred (4,500) pounds, one hundred ten dollars ($110); four thousand five hundred and one (4,501) to twelve thousand five hundred (12,500) pounds, one hundred sixty dollars ($160); over twelve thousand five hundred pounds (12,500), two hundred fifty dollars ($250). For the purpose of the annual fee, the weight considered will be the gross weight as published by the manufacturer. Every person who is a dealer in aircraft shall register his or her federal dealer's aircraft registration certificate with the chief aeronautics inspector. The annual fee for registration of each federal dealer's aircraft registration certificate is fifty dollars ($50.00) and for each aircraft in the possession operated solely for the purpose of sale or demonstration is twenty-five dollars ($25.00). Any person who engages in a business, a substantial portion of which consists of the manufacturing, selling, or exchanging of aircraft, and who does not have a federal dealer's certificate shall register all aircraft owned by the person and operated within the state with the chief aeronautics inspector and pay the annual fee for that aircraft provided for in this subsection and is not eligible to pay the limited fee of twenty-five dollars ($25.00) for all aircraft operated solely for the purpose of sale or demonstration.
(c) All fees are in lieu of all personal property taxes on aircraft authorized by any law or ordinance. Registration certificates issued after expiration of the first six (6) months of the annual registration period, as prescribed by the director, are issued at the rate of fifty percent (50%) of the annual fee.
(d) All fees are paid to the tax administrator of this state and delivery of the person's receipt to the chief aeronautics inspector is a prerequisite to registration under this section.
(e) Possession of the appropriate effective federal certificate, permit, rating or license relating to ownership and airworthiness of the aircraft, and the payment of the appropriate fee as set forth in this section are the only requisites for registration of an aircraft, or a dealer in aircraft.
(f) Aircraft registration fees shall be reimbursed to persons who surrender their certificates before the date of expiration in accordance with the following schedule:
(1) Before the first six (6) months of the period, fifty percent (50%) of the fee;
(2) Before the first nine (9) months of the period, twenty-five percent (25%).
(g) The provisions of this section shall not apply to:
(1) An aircraft owned by, and used exclusively in the service of, any government, including the government of the United States or of any state of the United States, or political subdivision thereof, 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 owned by a nonresident and based in another state; or
(4) An aircraft engaged principally in federally certified scheduled airline operation.
(P.L. 1940, ch. 851, § 7; G.L. 1956, § 1-4-6; P.L. 1958, ch. 124, § 1; P.L. 1966, ch. 242, § 2; P.L. 2000, ch. 371, § 3; P.L. 2004, ch. 62, § 1; P.L. 2004, ch. 82, § 1.)