Military Families

not baby related question

We are new to the Navy and I am wondering what the rules are when it comes to your vehicle when you move.  Things such as registration, inspection, drivers license, plates.  What are the requirements?  Where is a good place to find out this information.  Thanks in advance  :)
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Re: not baby related question

  • As far as I can understand as long as you maintain an HOR in your "home state" you can keep all of these things up there. We currently use my IL's residence as our HOR. So, our licenses, registration, income taxes, and insurance rates are all based out of that state. I do believe, however, if you purchase a car in another state you will have to initially have the registration in that state then get it transferred. Due to the expense and complexities of that DH has always just gone home to buy cars but that's not exactly convenient. I keep up my license when I go home to visit but DH has worked with people that still have the same license they had when they were 16. Supposedly SM's aren't required to keep it up to date? Someone can correct me if his coworkers had me fooled.

    ETA: As far as inspection, I know with PA, you aren't required to keep it up when living out of state and have 30 days to get it inspected when you return as I've had to deal with moving back in the past.
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  • PP is right that you can keep everything in your home state.  We just bought a new car and paid Florida state tax and have it registered in FL straight from the Texas dealership.  It was a pain in the butt but it is definitely possible (and we saved money by paying the FL tax vs. TX tax).  We also saved on registration by transferring our tag from the old car we traded in.  As for licenses I think both SM and dependents need to keep their license current but I only know FL law.  It's super easy as a FL resident though because we can get everything done online.  If not, the state usually has the papers needed for mil to renew licenses etc on their website so you can do it through the mail.  
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  • Like others said you can keep the car registered in your home state.  We live in VA now, but my Jeep is registered in NY still and H's car is registered in WA.  We both have WA drivers licenses.  While we lived in WA my inspection had been expired for over a year, but I had no problems with it.  When I drove back to NY in May I finally got the inspection done.  

    As for your license it will depend on the state in which you are stationed in and where your license is from.  I know WA will put "Military" in the expiration box so that it never expires.  Unfortunately they screwed up when I was getting it and had to start over so I don't have that on mine.  

    H and I made our decisions based on taxes for states.  NY and VA both have high taxes so we kept his car registered in WA.  We will never register our cars here in VA, even though we bought a house here and are hopefully staying for a while, because then you have to pay a personal property tax on it each year for the dependent's vehicle.  Once you know where you are stationed I would look into their costs and fees and then decide what you would want to do.   

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  • As PP said you can chose to maintain your home state as your state of record, but the laws and such for registration, inspection and license differ based on state.  

    I know in Virginia you have to renew your state inspection at a Virginia authorized state inspection do-er (can't think of a better word than that sorry), they don't accept out of state inspections (according to the DMV) and you cannot renew your registration if you haven't redone your state inspection.  You license, on the other hand, can be renewed via mail, internet or phone, and they will list you as the spouse of an out of state worker (I guess they don't have a special military category).  It will expire like usual, but renewing it isn't an issue.  

    Long story short, when our tags expire again, DH and I are re-registering cars in Kansas since Virginia is such a PITA about it.  The DMV for your specific state will know all the requirements and such, I'd recommend calling them and talking to them about, in my experience, the customer service line was much better than trying to use the website (but VA's DMV website sucks). 

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  • As far as requirements, each state is different, so check the DMV website for your state.

    You ARE allowed to keep everything in your home of record state (assuming you have the same state as your HOR). I think it was the Spouses Relief Act in 2009 that set/clarified the rules for spouses.

    As far as inspection, some states require that you get it inspected, even if you leave it registered in your HOR. In California, you have to get a smog inspection before you can get a base sticker. In Hawaii, there is an extra sticker you have to get to put on the bumper for an out of state vehicle, but I don't think there's an inspection required. Being Navy, you could very well end up in either of those two states, which is why I mention them specifically.

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  • Whether or not you have to get a new drivers license is not dictated by the MSRRA but rather State law in which you reside.  Check with your state. Please do not use the word of us on a website who are working much off hearsay but rather do some research with the DMV or government website in which it is a question.  

    Paragraph 7.f. of the  .pdf about MRSSA found on the MilitaryOneSource website. 

  • Some states offer discounted Registration rates to non-resident military families.  For instance we are stationed in Nebraska, but are residents of Iowa.  As long as we provide an EOM LES proving that we are not Nebraska residents we are able to register our cars for only $23 here. I realize that Iowa is just across the river, but it so much more convenient to register our vehicles where we live (not to mention much cheaper), than going over to Iowa to register them.  I would check at the local DMV where you are stationed when it is time to renew the registration on your vehicles to see if they offer discounts for non-resident military families.
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