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United States Army
Military Personnel Flight Customer Service - McChord Field
100 Col Joe Jackson Blvd
Joint Base-McChord, WA 98438
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.
Washington 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.
Members of the military stationed in Washington State can continue to operate their vehicle with the current registration until it expires. Once the current registration expires, the vehicle must be registered in Washington State or the service member's official home of record state.
If your vehicle is licensed in a foreign country, you must register your vehicle in Washington or your home of record state within 30 days of returning to the United States.
For more information about registering your vehicle in Washington State, please visit the Washington State Department of Licensing.
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 45 pounds 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.