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Department of the Air Force
Military Personnel Flight
Liberty Center-1st Floor
Brandon Suffolk United Kingdom IP279PN
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.
It is mandatory that you attend the 3rd Air Force Driver's Training class within 30 days of your arrival, you can schedule this with your SQ Command Support Staff via Base Level In-Processing. To prepare in advance for your written exam it is advisable that you study. The British Highway Code book can be reviewed online.
You will need to have a valid US/Foreign license to obtain your UK Drivers' Permit. If you are planning to drive in mainland Europe, obtain an International Drivers' permit before leaving the US (additional information can be found online).
If you or your family members hold a British License, they still need to attend a briefing but are exempt from the test. Be advised that you must be 17 years old to drive in the UK.
Questions call 48 FW Safety at DSN 314-226-3737 or Comm 011-44-1638-523737.
State and International 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 the laws on registration and licensing before moving to a new state or country. Visit the USA.gov Motor Vehicle Services page for links to state-specific websites or contact your insurance carrier for more information on international insurance policies.
RAF Lakenheath instillation concerns or questions can be directed to the Pass and Registration section at DSN 314-226-1853 or commercially at +44 01638-52-5990.
Imported vehicles and those purchased in the UK must be registered with the British authorities at Pass and Registration within three working days after arrival or purchase. You may only drive on your US or Foreign plates for a maximum of 30 days. However, UK registration is required to be completed in the same calendar month your POV arrives.
Your American spec vehicle will require a light conversion, which can cost from £100 to several hundred pounds depending on the make/model of your vehicle. If your vehicle is three years or older, you must obtain a Ministry of Transport (MOT) test and certificate. Vehicles less than three years old require a Single Vehicle Approval (SVA).
The MOT and SVA are similar safety inspections. The MOT is an annual requirement for all vehicles over three years old. The SVA is a one-time requirement on concession vehicles less than three years old. An MOT must then be obtained once your vehicle becomes three years old
Your first year's road tax on your imported tax-free vehicle is free.
You must have proof of a current UK-specific insurance policy to register your vehicle in the UK.
Pass and Registration can be reached at DSN 314-226-1853 or commercially at +44 01638-52-1853.
AF Instruction 31-204 sets forth the rules on POV driving privileges and the requirements for obtaining a USAF Driving/Fuel Permit to drive on USAF installations in the UK and on the public roads in the UK.
For more information, please contact DSN 314-226-5990 Comm 01638-52-5990
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.
For Host Nation (UK) guidance please visit www.gov.uk and search driving and transport.
U.S visiting forces and family members operate both US and UK spec vehicles. However, there are things to consider before deciding to ship your US spec vehicle to the UK. Please select the link for your situational awareness.
All vehicles imported into the United Kingdom, including motorcycles shipped in household goods, are considered to be concession (tax-free) vehicles. Concession vehicles are any vehicles imported or purchased free of VAT (value added tax and duty/excise tax).
Only military members and DOD civilians are authorized to own a concession vehicle with a limit on how many a person may own. Individuals serving an accompanied tour may own two concession vehicles, single or unaccompanied members one vehicle, mil to mil couples — one vehicle each. If you need to import more than your allocation, please be prepared to carry with you and produce a copy of your US/Foreign registration which shows you have owned the vehicle for more than 6 months and proof that you resided outside the EU for 1 year or pay UK taxes in British pounds for 22.5% of the vehicle value. If traveling from mainland Europe, please provide proof of US registration/ownership when driving from the continent because European titles are not acceptable for over the limit registration in the UK. There are other options that may be specific to your circumstances, which need to be confirmed before shipping your vehicle.
If your family precedes you to the UK, make sure your spouse has a Special Power of Attorney (SPOA) for the specific vehicle and their details included on ALL shipping documentation. Without an SPOA, your spouse will not be able to collect the vehicle when it arrives in the UK.
Customs Forms can only be issued to the military member. However, an SPOA can be issued in an emergency circumstance. You must complete four copies of Customs and Excise Form 941 at the Pass and Registration office before your vehicle will be cleared into the United Kingdom by Her Majesty's Customs and Excise.
Privately Owned Weapons
Weapons in Public and UK Law
All sponsors arriving in the country will sign a memorandum at Pass and Registration indicating their understanding and compliance with laws and regulations regarding weapons, weapon storage and weapon accountability.
Personnel may store their firearms and weapons in their government military family housing quarters provided the method complies with British law and they register all items at 48 SFS Pass and Registration.
Unusually dangerous weapons other than firearms are defined as any item carried by or concealed on — a person that could be used to cause bodily harm, — or likely to make reasonable persons fear for their safety. These weapons must be registered with Pass and Registration. Examples of these weapons include but are not limited to:
48 SFS Pass and Registration are responsible for maintaining a current list of all personnel who register any weapon on RAF Lakenheath.
Your imported tax-free vehicle can only be driven by members of your immediate family whilst in the UK, i.e. you, your spouse and dependent children. If you require others to operate your POV, then an SPOA must be accomplished for HM Customs approval.
You can only sell your imported vehicle in the UK when it has UK plates and has been registered to you for more than six months. If you sell your vehicle in the first 12 months, you will have to hand back the free road tax disc and your purchaser will need to buy another disc.
Your tax-free vehicle can only be sold to another military member or a US civilian holding Componency status.
If you purchase a vehicle from another military/component member, both of you will need to visit Pass & Registration to change the Customs/Vehicle registration requirements.
If you sell/give a tax-free vehicle to a British national/Scrap (junk) yard you must see Pass & Registration first. You may have to pay taxes at 22.5% of the vehicle value.
All vehicles will need to be de-registered from Pass & Registration before you are able to PCS, so deregister as you go — much safer.
Your fuel allocation is directly linked to registering your vehicle and with UK fuel prices at being very expensive, make sure you follow the rules. It is illegal to fuel a vehicle that is not displayed on your fuel card.
Whenever conducting or participating in a transaction involving any vehicle, call Pass and Registration at DSN: 314-226-1853 or COMM: +44 01638-38-1853