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United States Marine Corps
Pass and ID Office North
Camp Pendleton, CA 92055
Figuring out the best way to get around is important when you’re in a new installation. It’s useful to understand the various regulations, local laws as well as license and registration requirements. Whether you need a driver’s license, transport a car overseas or want help buying a car, there are people to assist you at your new installation. Check out the topics below to find information and regulations on vehicles and registration at your base.
State laws vary when it comes to motor vehicle insurance requirements, licensing and registration. The term "vehicle" generally includes automobiles, motorcycles, vans, trailers and boats regularly parked or garaged overnight. Service members and their families will want to understand their state’s laws on registration and licensing before moving to a new state. Visit the USA.gov Motor Vehicle Services page for links to state-specific websites.
California State law requires you to have sufficient liability insurance and a valid driver’s license in order to operate a vehicle. Further, your vehicle must be properly registered. Even though you are in the military, you may be required to register your vehicle in-state and obtain an in-state license within a few months of moving. Access complete information on insurance, driver’s licensing, and where and how to register your vehicle by visiting the State Department of Motor Vehicles website.
To register your vehicle on base, you must present a valid state driver’s license, military ID, valid state registration and valid insurance. If your vehicle is registered out of state, you must also show proof of a smog test that meets the state of California’s requirements. Drivers who are 25 and younger must show proof of completion of the Driver’s Improvement Course.
Accidents -- All accidents should be reported to the Provost Marshals Office (PMO) immediately.
Camp Pendleton is a Federal National Defense Installation. All vehicles on this base are subject to search and inspection at any time by Military Police. Driving aboard Camp Pendleton is a privilege and not a right. Said privileges may be suspended or revoked for cause at any time. Any withdraw of consent to these conditions will result in the immediate loss of base driving privileges. Driving privileges and base access will also be revoked if soliciting door to door on base.
Traffic areas on Camp Pendleton have posted speed limits with a maximum of 55 mph.
Implied Consent Laws -- Base drivers must agree to a chemical test of blood, breath or urine whenever there is a reasonable cause to suspect that the driver is operating a vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Refusal to submit to such tests will result in immediate suspension of base driving privileges and the state in which driver's license is held may be notified of the suspension.
Drinking and Driving -- If base drivers under the age of 21 have a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .01% or greater, base driving privileges will be revoked. If base drivers are over the age of 21 and have a (BAC) of .08% or greater, base driving privileges will be revoked. This revocation policy applies to all military installations. Further, the state in which driver's license is held may be notified of the suspension.
Insurance -- The insurance of the vehicle must meet or exceed the California Liability insurance minimum of $15,000/$30,000/$5,000. You must maintain the minimum insurance requirements in order to retain base driving privileges.
Window Tinting -- Drivers with window tinting will conform to CA standards. These guidelines apply to vehicles regardless of state of registration.
Towing and Impounding -- A vehicle may be towed by a civilian towing agency at the owners expense if it is: illegally parked; interfering with military operations; creating a safety or environmental hazard; disabled by incident/accident; abandoned; driven/parked aboard the base with a state suspension or revocation; driven by a person on base/state suspension/revocation; used in the commission of a crime; driven without required insurance; failure to use seatbelts (2nd/subsequent violation); or any circumstance where towing/impoundment is authorized by law and/or regulation.
Radar Detectors -- Though legal in the state of California, it is illegal to possess a Radar Detection device aboard Camp Pendleton. Such a device may be confiscated by Military Police. In addition, Radar Jamming Devices are illegal throughout the U.S. and that possession of one is cause for apprehension.
Seatbelts -- Seatbelt use is mandatory for all persons in the vehicle. The first violation will result in a mandatory court appearance and Seatbelt Safety class. A second offence will result in removal of decal and suspension of base driving privileges for a minimum of 30 days. A subsequent violation may result in permanent loss of base driving privileges.
Child Safety Seats -- Children under 8 years of age OR have not reached 4’9” in height must be in a child safety seat.
Drivers Course -- If under the age of 26, the USMC Drivers Improvement Course must be completed and proof of its completion must be carried at all times.
State and local laws regulate the operation of motor vehicles, and these laws can vary by location. Many states regulate the following:
Learn more about motor vehicle laws in your state at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration page.
You and your passengers must always wear seatbelts while driving, you will be ticketed and issued heavy fines if seatbelts are not secured. State law requires that all children under 8 years of age be properly restrained in child seats. Some states also require younger, smaller children to sit in the back seat.
Motorcycles and their operators are subject to special laws. If you own and operate a motorcycle, you must comply with those laws. Visit the State Department of Motor Vehicles website for more information.
Many States and local jurisdictions have strict laws about the use of cell phones and other digital devices while driving. Research these laws on the State Department of Motor Vehicles website. Tickets will be issued and fines assessed for violating these laws. Play it safe and always use a “hands free” device if you must use a cell phone or other PDA while driving. Hands-free devices must be used while operating a motor vehicle on ALL military installations worldwide.