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We present an analytical method to estimate the absolute registration error bounds if two surfaces were to be aligned using the ICP (iterative closest point) algorithm. The estimation takes into account (1) the amount of overlap between the surfaces, (2) the noise in the surface points' positions, and (3) the geometric constraint on the 3D rigid-body transformation between the two surfaces. Given a required confidence level, the method of estimation enables us to predetermine the registration accuracy of two overlapping surfaces. This is very useful for automated range acquisition planning where it is important to ensure that the next scan to be acquired can be registered to the previous scans within the desired accuracy. We demonstrate a view-planning system that incorporates our estimation method in the selection of good candidate views for the range acquisition of indoor environments.