Showing 1 - 1 OF 1
US Community Services Center
Rue du Potomac, Bldg. 253
SHAPE Belgium 7010
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 laws differ from the United States: Personnel should be aware of hazardous driving conditions. In addition, you should be 18 years old to drive and you must possess a valid driver's license.
One of the major differences in rules is the priority of right. Drivers entering the road from the right have the right of way. Right turn on red is forbidden,unless there is a special arrow allowing for such maneuver.
Driving test is mandatory for all new Personnel arriving in Belgium.
All personnel assigned to SHAPE/Chievres and their family members are governed not only by DoD regulatory guidance but also by the Belgian Government. Americans often find the procedures hampered by the fact that the guidance is written in French.
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 need to understand their state’s laws on registration and licensing before moving to a new state.
You will need to visit the Vehicle Processing Center to retrieve your vehicle, and you can only register your vehicle when it is physically present in Belgium.The sponsor must be the one to register the vehicle unless the spouse has been granted the power of attorney.
The SHAPE driver's license is only valid in Belgium. When driving in other European countries, you will need a current US driver's license and an international driver's license. It is highly recommended to apply for a Belgian national driver's license, which is valid throughout Europe.
SHAPE Vehicle Registration - Phone: 011-32-65/44-5462/5147, DSN 314-423-5462/5147
SHAPE/Chievres personnel report to the Registration Office located in building 210, Room 110, SHAPE. The following documents are needed:
Upon completion of your application, the Registration Office will obtain your certificate of registration and give you a set of two license plates. The complete date appears on the registration certificate. To renew your registration, report to the Registration Office at least ten working days prior to the expiration date.
If you want to register a second vehicle you will have to pay the road tax. The fee depends on the engine size. If a SHAPE/Chievres-sponsored spouse accepts employment, a letter of assignment must be issued by the personnel office. This will authorize the Family member to register a car in his/her own name, which will result in an exemption of the road tax and an increase of gas rations.
State and local laws regulate the operation of motor vehicles, and these laws can vary by location. Many states regulate the following:
Don't forget the Priority Right rule here.. This is very different from the U.S. road rules.
Individuals must pass their driver's test, which is taken after your arrival in Belgium. In addition, a rear fog light installed in your car is required before vehicle registration.
Vehicles four years and older have to pass a safety inspection to be registered.
There is an annual road tax on cars in Belgium based on vehicle engine size. You are exempt from this tax for one car. If you intend to bring two vehicles, the second will be taxed unless your spouse is also a service member or employed by the government. A statement of work will be needed for the exemption.
Gas cards are available at the PX in Chièvres using US dollars and in the Headquarters Building on SHAPE (using Euros). The cards may be used at all TOTAL/FINA gas stations in Belgium. You must have your SHAPE ID card before purchasing the TOTAL/ gas cards. You can purchase gas at any time on the local economy, but this will be much more costly than purchasing the gas cards.
Four-year-old and older vehicles must pass an inspection (Controle Technique) prior to registration. The CT inspection must be renewed each year.
Persons under the age of 18 are not allowed to operate a POV or motorcycle in Belgium. Before obtaining a SHAPE license, all personnel must attend a driver orientation class and pass a test composed of Belgian traffic laws and road signs. Driver manuals may be checked out upon arrival but not before. Anyone not in possession of a US driver's license upon arrival and who wishes to drive, must obtain a Belgian driver's license. It is strongly recommended that you obtain an international license as well. You can get it from the town halls (since 1 Oct 98).
It is essential that all personnel and dependents over 18 bring a valid US driver's license. Check the expiration date on your US driver's license and if it is ready to expire, get a new one before you leave the States. For personnel transferring to Belgium from outside the United States, you too must have a valid US driver's license. Even if your state automatically extends the driver's license for members of the military, Belgium does not recognize US licenses with an expired date. Military members may obtain an international driver's license or a Belgian driver's license, but in order to do so you must have a valid US driver's license. You can obtain an international driver's license before you leave the US. Call your local AAA office for more information. Good auto maintenance for all US specification vehicles is much harder to find than it is in the US. Many service stations are unfamiliar with cars not sold locally. A few stations do a thriving repair business on non-standard cars. All repairs are expensive by US standards. The Exchange can order parts for typical US vehicles. Delivery usually takes no more than 2-3 weeks if the item is stocked at the AAFES warehouse in Germany. All other parts must be specially ordered from the US with at least a 45-day delay.
All vehicles must be insured. Insurance in Europe is expensive and is based on many standards to include your driving record and engine size.There are several options for insurance such as GEICO, USAA, and local insurance companies.