Renewing Vehicle Registration for Drivers in the Military

By: Staff Writer July 20, 2012
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If you're a US military member – Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force – serving out of state or overseas, your state's Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) makes it easy for you to keep your vehicle registration current from anywhere on the planet.

The exact specifics will depend on your state motor vehicle agency, of course, but in most instances you can renew via some or all of the following ways. For more on how your state handles registration renewal, check out our page for drivers in the military.

Renew Car Registration Online

You can find, if offered, an online registration renewal application on either your DMV's or county clerk's website. Detailed instructions will guide you through the process. Start your search on our page titled Registration Renewal. Have car insurance information and a valid credit card at the ready.

Renew Vehicle Registration By Mail

Send check and other required info to the provided address on your renewal notice. If you did not receive a renewal notice, you can find the appropriate mailing address on your DMV's or county clerk's website. You can also consult our list of DMV office locations, and drop your local branch a line.

Renew Car Registration By Phone

If this option is offered, you can find the number to call on your DMV's or county clerk's website. Before calling have all pertinent information on hand such as your license plate number, car insurance information, credit card number.

Designating a Representative to Car Register for You

If this option is offered, you will, in most cases, need to provide your designated representative with:

  • A Power of Attorney form.
  • A copy of your car insurance verification card.
  • A copy of your driver license.

Your representative can then renew in person or by mail.

Military Servicemen Car Registration in States Requiring Emissions

If you own a vehicle that's out of state during registration renewal and is in need of an emissions test, you may, depending on your DMV, apply for an emissions exemption. Check with your DMV if this option exists.

Other Car Registration Options for Military Personnel

If you know you're going to be stationed out of state, or overseas, check with your DMV if:

  • You can renew your vehicle in advance. Many DMV offices allow for drivers in the armed forces to renew several months prior to the vehicle's registration expiration date.
  • You can renew the vehicle's registration for two years. Florida, for example, offers military servicemen the option to renew biennially.
  • An exemption on vehicle registration late fees is offered. Nevada, for instance, offers this exemption to any military member deployed in combat, provided he or she provides a combat affidavit.

Are you a member of the armed forces who's had to renew your vehicle registration while away on duty? How was the process for you?

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