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Department of the Air Force
Military Personnel Section
GAFB, TX 76908-4402
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.
Texas 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.
Permanent party members, students and other authorized personnel no longer register their vehicles on base, but must be put into the Defense Biometric Identification Systems (DBids) and carry the following documentation for entry onto the installation:
Motorcycles -- Motorcycle Registration requires the above documents, plus a motorcycle endorsement on the driver's license and proof of completion of an approved motorcycle safety course.
Texas state laws apply on Goodfellow AFB. The law requires that children under 5 years old or less than 36 inches tall must be secured in a safety seat and children 5-16 years of age must be secured in a safety belt. On base, all vehicle occupants must be properly restrained.
Cell Phones -- Vehicle operators on a DoD Installation and operators of Government owned vehicles shall not use cell phones unless the vehicle is safely parked or unless they are using a hands-free device. The wearing of any other portable headphones, earphones, or other listening devices (except hand-free cellular phones) while operating a motor vehicle is prohibited.
Use of those devices impairs driving and masks or prevents recognition of emergency signals, alarms, announcements, the approach of vehicles, and human speech. DoD Component safety guidance should note the potential for driver distractions such as eating and drinking, operating radios, CD players, global positioning equipment, etc. Whenever possible this should only be done when the vehicle is safely parked.
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 and 36" in height be properly restrained in child seats. Some states also require younger, smaller children to sit in the back seat.
State law also requires infants, birth - 35 pounds ride in a rear-facing infant or rear-facing convertible safety seat as long as possible, up to the rear-facing height or weight limit of the seat. It must be properly installed rear-facing in the back seat. When children outgrow the rear-facing safety seat, they should ride in a forward-facing safety seat as long as possible, up to the upper height or weight limit (40 - 80 pounds) of the harnesses. Usually 4+ years old. Properly installed forward-facing in the back seat. NEVER turn forward-facing before 1 year old AND 20-22 pounds. Click here for more information about car seats.
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.