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Motor Vehicles

Registration and licensing requirements

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 Motor Vehicle Services page for links to state-specific websites.

Motor vehicle laws

State and local laws regulate the operation of motor vehicles, and these laws can vary by location. Many states regulate the following:

  • Seatbelt use
  • Child safety seats
  • Motorcycle operation
  • The use of cellphones and other digital devices while driving

Learn more about motor vehicle laws in your state at the State Laws page.

Installation Specific Information

POVs are shipped to Guantanamo Bay on barges, which arrive once every two weeks. When your vehicle arrives, the Personal Property Office will contact you. Upon your arrival, please stop by the Personal Property Office to inform them that you are on island.

Before claiming the vehicle, owners must obtain proper insurance and temporary registration. The Vehicle Registration Office will issue a ten-day temporary tag when shown proof of ownership and insurance so you can pick up your car from Personal Property. Within that ten-day period, your vehicle must then be inspected at Vehicle Registration (Hobby Shop) at which time you will receive a permanent license plate.

All motor vehicles driven on the Naval Base must be registered with Base Police. Those individuals buying a used vehicle at Guantanamo Bay must first obtain a bill of sale from the Naval Legal Services Office Detachment before purchasing insurance.

Auto/Motorcycle Insurance

Many CONUS insurance companies will not insure vehicles shipped to Guantanamo Bay. It would be a good idea to check with your current agent before you depart your present location. Currently Geico and USAA are the only car insurance companies providing coverage for vehicles/motorcycles on the installation. Once on board please check with vehicle registration office for referrals to off island auto insurance resources.

All cars, including those which financial institutions still hold the lien, can be insured with liability insurance or full coverage. Service members may opt to do some comparison shopping for affordable auto insurance rates.

Very Important: If you are shipping a 1999 vehicle, or newer, you will encounter difficulties if maintenance is required. Ask your sponsor for more specific information.

Hands-free devices must be used while operating a motor vehicle on ALL military installations worldwide.

Registering Vehicles on Base

Items needed to register your vehicle on base are:

  • Proof of ownership
  • vehicle insurance specific for GTMO
  • valid driver's license

Driver's License

Individuals operating automobiles or motorcycles must have a current and valid stateside or foreign driver's license. Student drivers may obtain a learners permit at age 15.5 and a driver's license at age 16 by contacting the PWD license office.

Motorcycles -- Motorcycle testing is scheduled through the Safety office by appointments only. Future motorcycle riders are encouraged to attend stateside motorcycling courses prior to their arrival to Guantanamo Bay.

Boat License

A skipper's card is required for personnel operating a recreational vessel. For those who successfully pass the boating exam, a license can be issued by MWR. Personnel must pass a written test on international rules of the road, and then demonstrate proficiency in vessel handling and bay familiarization. The card must be renewed before its expiration date.

Associated Links

Navy Official Home Page
Generally applicable service wide information.

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