All military personnel are advised on the importance of having a power of attorney (POA). This document allows you to appoint someone to act on your behalf while deployed overseas. The designated person can then make financial and legal decisions on your behalf – including vehicle matters with your home state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).
How to Obtain Power of Attorney
Regardless of US military branch – Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force – you can obtain a POA through your post’s Judge Advocate General (JAG) office. In most instances this is free of charge; otherwise, check with your local DMV. Many state DMV offices provide power of attorney applications.
You must choose from one of two POA options:
- General POA: This allows your appointed proxy to represent you in most situations (vehicle transactions, writing checks, withdrawing money, etc.). The only situation a POA does not cover is the ability to stand in for you in a court of law.
- Special POA: This allows your proxy to represent you for a specifically defined situation. Many companies and organizations are apt to recognizing this type of POA since your intentions are explicitly expressed in the document.
Power of Attorney DMV Situations for Servicemen
As a member of the armed forces, you can designate your POA proxy to handle the following DMV transactions:
- Buy, sell, or register a vehicle.
- Record liens.
- Apply for a duplicate car title certificate.
In most situations, the DMV accepts General POAs. Be sure, when completing the POA application, that it meets all DMV standards.
Each state governs differently, but in general your POA will need to include all or some of the following requirements:
- Your name, address, and signature.
- The name and address of your proxy.
- The date the POA was issued.
When conducting business with the DMV, your proxy must notify the agent if the POA will be used for more than one DMV transaction. This way the agent will know to return the POA after the transaction has been completed.