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United States Army
ID Card Office
5450 Strom Thurmond Boulevard
Room 200 (PIN-reset only)
Fort Jackson, SC 29207
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.
South Carolina State law requires you to have sufficient liability insurance and a valid driver’s license in order to operate a vehicle. The term “vehicle” generally includes automobiles, motorcycles, vans, trailers and boats regularly parked or garaged overnight. 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.
South Carolina law requires all vehicles remaining in the state for over thirty days to be registered and licensed by the state. While you're an active duty military personnel, your vehicle must still be properly registered if it is driven in South Carolina.
Vehicle Requirements During Active Duty
If you own a vehicle and you're on active duty military orders in South Carolina, you must have the Statement of Vehicle Operation in South Carolina (SCDMW Form TI-006) with your valid out-of-state identification and at least one of the following:
Normally, persons registering a vehicle in South Carolina must first pay any personal property tax due on the vehicle. Nonresident soldiers ( a soldier who is a legal resident of another state but who is placed in South Carolina pursuant to a military order) who wish to register their vehicles in South Carolina may avoid these taxes by taking a recent LES (showing the soldier's home state) and a copy of orders stationing that soldier in South Carolina to the local County Auditors office.
The local tax office will then provide the soldier a tax exemption form to take to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) office to allow registration. There is also a DMV Registration form which the vehicle owner must complete prior to registration in South Carolina. You may pick up this form at any local DMV office.
If a nonresident soldier elects to register his vehicle in South Carolina, the county auditor will send a bill for the personal property tax due on the vehicle each year the soldier remains in the state. In order to re-qualify for exemption from this tax, a soldier must again follow the procedures outlined in the preceding paragraph.
If a nonresident soldier purchases a car in South Carolina, he/she may avoid paying sales taxes (maximum $300) by completing a Nonresident Military Tax Exemption Certificate. These forms are available from the car dealer, the South Carolina Tax Commission or the Client Services Division of the Office of the Staff Judge Advocate.
A commissioned officer of higher rank in the soldier's chain-of-command (not an officer of JAG) must sign the form acknowledging that he has reviewed the soldier's records to verify that the soldier is not a resident of South Carolina and is stationed in South Carolina pursuant to military orders.
South Carolina requires that an automobile operating on its streets and highways be duly insured. This means that each vehicle must carry at least the minimum level of liability insurance: $25,000 bodily injury to each person $50,000 bodily injury for each accident $ 25,000 property damage for each accident.
South Carolina also requires that motorist carry Uninsured Motorist Coverage. The minimum levels of uninsured motorist coverage are the same as above.
The South Carolina Highway Department issues a fine in the amount of $400 to any motorist caught driving after his automobile insurance has lapsed for five consecutive days. In order for the motorist's driving privileges to be reinstated, he must pay the $400 fine, and also pay a penalty of $5 per day for each day he is uninsured.
All motorcycles owned by soldiers or family members that are driven on post must be registered at the Safety Office, Bldg 3420 Sumter Ave, on Beauregard Street. Motorcyclists must also meet state and installation requirements and attend a free, day-long course administered by the Safety Office.
Installation requirements for motorcyclists include:
Traffic violations are handled through the U.S. Magistrate Court. An offender may either pay the fine or go before a magistrate for resolution of the violation. Both within the city of Columbia and on Fort Jackson, the speed limit is 30 mph unless otherwise posted. Right turns on red are permitted, and speed limits on interstate and other highways are strictly enforced. Additionally, state law mandates that when windshield wipers are in use, headlights must also be turned on.
Ft. Jackson military police enforce all traffic and on-post violations. Parking is not allowed on grass areas and in reserved parking lots on the installation. Citations are given for vehicles playing loud music on post. Music should not be heard for a distance of more than 125 feet (42 yards). Fort Jackson Regulation 385-10 requires all personnel riding bicycles on the installation to wear an approved bicycle safety helmet.
Seatbelts and Child Restraints -- South Carolina has a compulsory seatbelt law which also applies when driving on Fort Jackson. Additionally, children ages 4 and under traveling in a vehicle's front seat must be secured in restraining devices approved by the National Safety Products Council. Children ages 5 and under traveling in the back seat must also be in a restraint. Children 6 years and older traveling in the back seat must wear seatbelts.
Fort Jackson is a hands-free installation; violators will be cited.
Military personnel and their family members are not required to obtain South Carolina driver's licenses or license plates as long as they have valid ones from other states. Expiration of a service member's driving license is different depending upon its state of origin.
If you do not have a valid driver's license, you must pass a written examination and a road test within 90 days of your arrival. A learner's permit may be issued at the age of 15 and an unrestricted license at age 16.
The Department of Highways and Public Transportation is located at 1630 Shop Road. For more information, you may contact them at 803-737-8350 or general information at 803-737-1767. The toll free number is 800-442-1368. Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. until 5 p.m., Mon, Tue, Thur and Fri. Wed 9:30 a.m. until 5 p.m.
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 Distraction.gov State Laws 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 5 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.