printerprint friendly view (pdf)    Bookmark and Share    text size decrease increase

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

Registration & Licensing Requirements

Alabama State law requires you to have sufficient liability insurance and a valid driver’s license in order to operate a vehicle. The term “vehicle” generally includes automobiles, motorcycles, vans, trailers and boats regularly parked or garaged overnight. Further, your vehicle must be properly registered. Even though you are in the Military, you may be required to register your vehicle in-state and obtain an in-state license within a few months of moving. Access complete information on insurance, driver’s licensing, and where and how to register your vehicle by visiting the State Department of Motor Vehicles website.

State Laws

You and your passengers must always wear seatbelts while driving; you will be ticketed and issued heavy fines if seatbelts are not secured. State law requires that all children under 6 years of age be properly restrained in child seats. Some states also require younger, smaller children to sit in the back seat.

Motorcycles and their operators are subject to special laws. If you own and operate a motorcycle, you must comply with those laws. Visit the State Department of Motor Vehicles website for more information.

Many States and local jurisdictions have strict laws about the use of cell phones and other digital devices while driving. Research these laws on the State Department of Motor Vehicles website. Tickets will be issued and fines assessed for violating these laws. Play it safe and always use a “hands free” device if you must use a cell phone or other PDA while driving. Hands-free devices must be used while operating a motor vehicle on ALL military installations worldwide.

Registering Vehicles on Base

Privately Owned Vehicles (POVs) are no longer registered on Fort Rucker. Personnel entering Fort Rucker must present a current Department of Defense identification card (DoD civilians and contractors, military personnel and family members etc.). Passengers riding with the DoD Identification Card holder must also have some form of identification. Personnel who do not possess a DoD Identification Card will be considered "visitors" for entry control purposes and must access the installation using the visitor lane at each installation gate. All visitors must have in their possession their driver's license, proof of insurance and state registration or rental agreement for the vehicle they are driving as required by Alabama law and DoD regulations to drive on Fort Rucker.

Automobile Insurance

Any person who operates a POV on Fort Rucker is responsible for carrying and producing proof of current motor vehicle insurance for he entire period during which the vehicle is to be operated on Fort Rucker, regardless which state the vehicle is registered in. Operators of motorcycles whose state of registration does not require insurance on motorcycles must obtain at least the minimum required insurance for the state of Alabama. 

For minimum insurance requirements, check with the Alabama DMV office and the requirements can change.  Alabama State law requires automobile insurance to operate a vehicle. The policy must be issued by an insurance company qualified to issue motor vehicle liability insurance in Alabama.

Bicycles/Nonmotorized Scooters/Skateboards/Roller Blades

General. Every person riding a bicycle on the roadways of Fort Rucker shall be granted the same rights of the road given to drivers of vehicles. However, persons riding bicycles shall comply with the provisions of this regulation where applicable and barring special exceptions.  A person riding a bicycle shall ride on a permanent and regular seat attached to the bicycle.  No bicycle shall carry more persons than the number for which it was designed and equipped.

No person operating a bicycle on Fort Rucker shall carry any packages, bundles, bags, or any other articles which prevent the operator from keeping at least one hand on the handlebars. No person riding on any bicycle, coaster, roller skates, roller blades, skateboard, sled, or toy vehicle shall attach the same or himself/herself to any other vehicle.

Minimum safety requirements are as follows: 

Persons on bicycles, nonmotorized scooters, skateboards, and roller blades will wear approved bicycle helmets. In addition, persons

Motorcycle Operation

Personnel operating a motorcycle on Fort Rucker must comply with AR 190-5 and Fort Rucker Regulation 190-5 and AR 385-10. Motorcycle operators must have a certificate which shows they have completed an Army approved motorcycle safety course prior to operating a motorcycle on or off post. Soldiers will wear an approved helmet. The helmet will be properly fastened (under the chin) and certified to meet DOT standards as described in appendix D, Ft Rucker Reg 190-5. Civilians will comply with the same helmet requirement specified for Soldiers when operating or riding a motorcycle on Fort Rucker or while on government business off Fort Rucker. Personnel are highly encouraged to purchase a full-face helmet with face shield. A fullface helmet offers much better protection than any other type of helmet and protects the entire head of the rider.  Besides protecting a rider's face during an accident, the face shield reduces wind noise and wind blast to the face, deflects road debris; i.e. rocks, metal, bugs, etc., contributes to overall rider comfort from changing weather conditions, and helps reduce rider fatigue.  Full-fingered gloves or mittens designed for use on a motorcycle, long trousers, and a long-sleeved shirt or jacket. Riders are highly encouraged to purchase leather riding apparel, as it provides much more protection to the rider's skin than normal clothing if the rider is involved in an accident. Motorcycle operators and passengers are highly encourage to wear a brightly-colored reflective-type belt (as normally used by Soldiers during PT), or a full-size reflective vest, as it makes them much more visible to other vehicle operators, as well as leather boots or over-the-ankle leather hard-sole shoes during either daytime or nighttime driving.

Base Regulations

Traffic laws are strictly enforced.  All vehicles operated on Fort Rucker may be inspected at any time by law enforcement personnel or by security guard personnel at access control points. Drivers may be stopped by law enforcement personnel when reasonable cause exists to believe that a vehicle is unsafe or not equipped as required by law or that the vehicle's equipment is not in proper repair or adjustment.

Vehicle Inspections -- Alabama does not have a vehicle inspection program; however, individual military organizations conduct pre-holiday/travel safety checks.

Accidents -- All vehicle accidents must be reported to the Military Police. Animal strikes (such as deer) must also be reported.

Child Restraints --Infant only seats and convertible seats used in the rear facing position for infants under one year of age or 20 pounds.  Convertible seats in the forward position or forward facing seats until the child is at least 5 years of age or 40 pounds.  Booster seats until the child is six years of age.  Car seats or seat belts are mandatory for children ages 6 years and over on Fort Rucker.

Seat Belts -- Wearing seat belts is mandatory for all occupants of vehicles when driving on Fort Rucker. This includes the driver and all passengers in the front and back seats.

Helmets -- All bicycle riders are required to wear approved bicycle helmets when operating their bicycles. All motorcycle and moped riders are required to wear a DOT approved helmet.

Criminal Offenses -- Military regulations and laws are strictly enforced. Service Members are responsible for any offenses incurred by dependents.

Motor Vehicles Tinted Windows -- Only the upper six inches of the front windshield may be tinted. All other windows may have tinting that allows as least 32 percent light transmission, with a 3 percent tolerance for error. Reflective material may not reflect more than 20 percent of light.

Alabama Vehicle Laws prohibit motor vehicle drivers to operate a vehicle registered in the state of Alabama under any of the following conditions--please refer to the Alabama Code website for specific regulations.

Privately Owned Weapons (POWs) -- All POWs brought to Fort Rucker must be registered with the Military Police. Registration must be updated every four years. A properly registered POW may be transported to an authorized event when the weapon and ammunition is physically separated, for example, the POW is carried in the trunk and the ammunition in the glove box.

Restricted Areas -- Ranges and impact areas, airfields, the Ammunitions Supply Point, arms rooms, the installation operations center, main power sources, POL points, perimeter fences, water storage facilities, the military police station, and communication facilities.

Community Police -- The Military Police routinely patrol the housing areas. Military Police is located in building 5001, Lucky Star Road, 334-255-2222.

Overseas Registration Plates -- Service members with overseas license plates have 30 days to register their vehicle stateside before it becomes invalid.

Cell Phones -- It is prohibited to drive a motor vehicle on Fort Rucker while using a cell phone or similar electronic device as described Fort Rucker Regulation 190-5 unless the operator is using a hands-free device. Soldiers, civilians, contractors, and family members should read FR 190-5 closely regarding driving and the use of cell phones on and off post to ensure they understand all requirements. On post cell phone violations are $55.00. AL passed a no texting while driving law in Aug of 2011, which prohibits drivers from texting while driving.

Access to the installation -- Personnel who possess a scannable form of ID (driver's license, CAC, military retired or family member ID) are normally authorized direct access onto the installation after processing, at installation gates. All other personnel are considered "visitors" for entry control purposes and must access the installation using the visitor lanes at each installation gate and sign into the installation. All visitors must have in their possession their driver's license, proof of insurance and state registration or a rental agreement for the vehicle they are driving as required by Alabama law and DoD regulations to drive on Fort Rucker. All persons entering Fort Rucker are always subject to inspection.

Associated Links

Army Home Page
Information and resources for Army soldiers and families worldwide.

United States Army Recruiting Command Soldier and Family Assistance Programs
Public web site for all Army recruiting command needs.

Need personal assistance?

Call your relocation manager »

Or, for 24/7 assistance, call Military OneSource. », No question is too big or too small 800-342-9647

Military OneSource Newsletter Subscriptions button

Plan My Move, Take control of your PCS move

Do you have orders?

Request a Sponsor »

Additional Resources

  • Expand Housing TreeHousing
  • Expand Household Goods TreeHousehold Goods
  • Expand Local Community TreeLocal Community
  • Expand Financial Planning TreeFinancial Planning
  • Expand Employment TreeEmployment
  • Expand Child Care TreeChild Care
  • Expand Education TreeEducation
  • Expand MWR TreeMWR
  • Expand Special Circumstances TreeSpecial Circumstances

Military Crisis Line

Safe Helpline