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ID/CAC Card Processing
Northants United Kingdom NN135XP
Contact information for key programs and services at this installation.
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.
Driving in the United Kingdom
It is mandatory for the sponsor and any dependents intending to drive in the UK, attend the RAF Croughton Local Conditions Brief, and UK Theory Testing within 30 days of your UK arrival. The briefing and testing are held every 1st and 3rd Wednesday in the RAF Croughton Education Classroom, Building 202. The briefing starts at 8:30 a.m. and a proctored theory testing begins at 9:50 a.m. For any questions, please contact 501CSW Wing Safety on DSN- 314-236-8580, Commercial +44 (0) 1280 708580. It is a requirement that all members and dependents intending to drive attend the briefing and pass the UK theory test (pass mark 43/50 - 86%). To help prepare for the test, review the UK Highway Code and Theory Test for Cars located on the GOV.UK websites - these are free to access.
The Highway Code
Car insurance is very high in Great Britain, especially if you are under age 25. If you do not have any vehicle violations or accidents on your license while in the United States, have your insurance company in the US write a letter stating such and you will be eligible for a considerable (up to 60%) discount on your insurance. All Civilians, Active Duty, and their dependents must acquire U.K. insurance to operate a motor vehicle in the U.K. There is a local Geico office located on RAF Lakenheath and also a local USAA insurance branch located in London. The contact number for the USAA International Auto Insurance is (Toll-Free) 1-8 00-531-8722/0800 289 192 (local). Geico overseas insurance can be reached at (Toll-Free) 800-248-4998/01638 533400.
If you are shipping a vehicle that is still covered by a manufacturer’s warranty or other third-party warranty, ensure you contact the manufacturer or third-party provider to verify whether the vehicle's warranty is voided if shipping the vehicle overseas. Many vehicle warranties are not valid in overseas locations and in the case of mechanical issues; vehicle parts can be unavailable or very expensive in overseas locations.
Any motorized vehicle being imported into the United Kingdom, including motorcycles shipped in household goods, are considered to be Custom Concession (tax-free) vehicles. Customs Concession vehicles are any vehicles imported or purchased free of VAT (value added tax, car tax, and duty/excise tax), which include vehicles purchased from AAFES car sales or any military tax-free dealerships. Only active duty military members and DOD civilian components are authorized to own a concession vehicle and there's a limit on how many concession vehicles a person may own. Single, unaccompanied personnel without dependent spouse are authorized to own and operate one concession vehicle. Personnel who are married and accompanied by their dependent spouse, irrespective of command sponsorship may own and operate two concession vehicles. (The government will only pay to ship one vehicle.) Dependents are not entitled to concession vehicles and are therefore not authorized to be issued or sign for 941 customs forms to pick up your vehicle from the port. Any member shipping more than their given amount of Concessions Vehicles should contact the Pass & Registration Office as soon as possible. You must complete 3 pink copies of Customs and Excise Form 941 at Pass and Registration before your vehicle will be cleared into the United Kingdom by Her Majesty's Customs and Excise. Once the Vehicle Processing Center (VPC) (shipping unit) receives the customs forms, they will hold your vehicle for 24 hrs prior to being released.
Vehicles imported into the country must be registered with the British authorities through the Pass and Registration office within 72 hours of being driven into the U.K or after being picked up from the port. A minimum of one stateside license plate must be attached to the vehicle when picking it up at the port. (Don't forget to hand carry your front and rear license plates with you) all cars in Britain have front and rear plates. Upon arrival of your POV your plates will be put back on your car until your vehicle is fully registered in the U.K System and the British license plates can be made. U.K. light conversions are mandatory for every vehicle imported into the U.K. There is no exception to this regulation. Members are only permitted two legal drives, the first from the Vehicle Processing Center to your home and the second to a pre-booked MOT and light conversion. If a member picks a vehicle up without US plates they have 1 drive to a Pre-Booked MOT then they must park it and wait till they have their UK plates. There are no exceptions to this policy.
Vehicles three years or older must have a Ministry of Transport (MOT) certificate completed. A new requirement for vehicles less than three years old is the Single Vehicle Approval (SVA). The MOT and SVA are similar safety inspections. However, the MOT is an annual requirement for all vehicles over three years old being operated in the United Kingdom; and the SVA is a one-time requirement on concession vehicles imported into the United Kingdom less than three years old.
Ministry of Transport (MOT) Inspection
The Ministry of Transport requires all imported vehicles that are less than three years old to be inspected before registration and vehicles over three years of age must be inspected yearly, this is called a Ministry of Transport (MOT) Certificate. The MOT is a bumper to bumper safety test. It is very involved and complex and is not an easy test to pass. The MOT test itself takes about 45 minutes and the cost is currently £40-£50 or its dollar equivalent at the going rate. The MOT applies to all vehicles more than 3 years old. The MOT certificate is good for 12 months and then must be retested. You must have a valid MOT test certificate in order to drive on British roads. You may incur additional costs if the vehicle does not meet or pass MOT requirements and requires maintenance.
What should the guidelines be when deciding whether or not to bring an older vehicle to the UK?
The general rule is if you don't think your car will pass this test, it might be a good idea to consider the cost and length of time it would take to get the parts to repair it (generally from the States). A good rule of thumb is any car 10 years or older, unless a classic, would be best left in the States.
UK Law Concerning Vehicles with Tinted Windows
Under UK law, the windshields and front side windows of vehicles first used before to 1 Apr 1985 must allow at least 70% of light to pass through the glass. Vehicles first used on or after 1 April 1985 must have windshields that allow 75% of light to pass through the glass and front side windows that allow 70% of light to pass through the glass. There are no rules for tinting the rear windscreen or rear passenger windows.
Requirements for the MOT testing include:
POV Inbound Shipments
You must show the U.S. port or vehicle processing center your Title (if you own your car) or a letter from the Lien Holder (Bank Credit Union, etc.) authorizing you to ship the POV Overseas. If you don't have one of those documents, the port or vehicle processing center will not accept your car for shipment overseas.
Please take the following documents when picking up your POV: (Customs Forms should be delivered to the Port no less than 24hrs prior to pick-up.)
**Note, dependents are not authorized to sign for the required 941 Customs forms needed to pick up your vehicle. Please contact Pass & Registration for questions**
Please note any damages to your POV while still at the port, on form DD788 during inspection and take to the legal office-claims section. All inquiries on inbound POV's should be routed through TMO Inbound Section (email@example.com).
Driving while using a hand-held phone or similar device is illegal in the UK; fines are £100 with three points added to your driving license. You can use hands-free phones, sat navs and 2-way radios when you’re driving or riding. But if the police think you’re distracted and not in control of your vehicle you could still get stopped and penalized.
You must meet all AFI 91-207 training requirements to receive a motorcycle endorsement on your 3AF driver's license before you can legally ride a motorcycle in the UK. The frequency and availability of student slots for MSF courses are limited and only offered at RAF Feltwell (2.5 hours away). You are highly encouraged to attend one of the MSF safety courses offered at your stateside location prior to PCSing to the UK to avoid any unnecessary delays in licensing. See your local base safety office for details. Members are also required to have a motorcycle endorsement on their current U.S. driver's license. If you do not have this endorsement you will not be allowed to operate a motorcycle in the UK. A British Driver’s License may be obtained on your own, however, please know this is a very lengthy and very costly process and is not recommended. Some U.S. states will allow adding the endorsement via mail, however, you will have to contact your applicable DMV for specific requirements. All military personnel who operate a motorcycle on or off base are required to adhere to AFI 91-207 PPE requirements and the local Installation Traffic Code: Contact the RAF Croughton Installation Safety Office or Security Forces Squadron for more information on these requirements.