Privately owned motor vehicles operated on base must be registered within five days of arrival. All personnel reporting aboard are required to present an identification card, driver’s license, vehicle registration and proof of insurance to come aboard the base.
Base decals are available for a maximum period of three years for all military personnel. To register vehicles aboard Camp Pendleton, the following criteria must be met:
- Have a certificate of registration or possess written, notarized permission from the registered owner to operate the vehicle.
- Drivers 18 or older must possess a driver’s license from their home state or California. Drivers under 18 must possess a California driver’s license or obtain a certificate of compliance (SR22) along with a driver’s license issued in their home state.
- Applications for SR22s are available through insurance companies.
- Have an insurance policy with a minimum of $15,000 bodily injury or death of one person, $30,000 bodily injury or death of two or more persons and $5,000 property damage.
- Family members must show Department of Defense ID card.
- All vehicles registered out of the state of California are required to possess proof of passing a California smog test (excluding diesel engines and vehicles 20 years or older).
- Service members under the age of 26 must possess a Driver Improvement Card (DIC).
The registered owner of the vehicle is responsible for compliance with base regulations pertaining to the registration of the vehicle, safety inspection, etc. However, the person operating the vehicle is responsible for observance of all traffic regulations.
- Under California law, a driver must not drive faster than what is safe for road and weather conditions. All areas on Camp Pendleton have posted speed limits, with a maximum speed limit in certain areas of the base of 55 mph.
- Seat belts are required by California law and must be used while driving. Child safety restraints are required for all children until they are either 6 years old or weigh 60 pounds.
- It is against the law in California to talk or text on a cellphone while operating a vehicle.
- Vehicles less than 30 years old require a smog-control device as certified by the state of California. Vehicles will not be equipped with any bypass or modification to increase motor noise.
- It is unlawful to drive under the influence of or transport an open container of alcohol in a motor vehicle except in a trunk or out of the immediate vicinity of the occupants. Both California and Camp Pendleton have strict regulations regarding alcohol. Infractions can weigh heavily with civilian records, and legal implications may affect military careers or legal status.
- Service members must have a valid driver’s license to drive in California. Out-of-state licenses are acceptable for those over 18 who are not residents of California, but if cited, a driver must be able to prove he or she is not a California resident. Service members under 18 must possess a valid driver’s license from their home state and obtain, within 60 days of entering California, a nonresident minor’s certificate issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles or a California driver’s license.
- Family members must meet the same aforementioned requirements, except those under 18 must obtain a nonresident minor’s certificate or California driver’s license within 10 days. Those over 18 may operate a motor vehicle with a valid out-of-state driver’s license, if nonresident status is maintained.
- All vehicles driven or moved on California highways must be registered and have the appropriate fees paid.
- Upon registering a vehicle, owners will receive a registration certificate that must be kept in the vehicle at all times and be presented to a police officer upon request.
- Members of the armed forces are permitted to drive in California with license plates issued to them by any state, territory or country where they were last assigned for military duty.
- Service members may or may not be allowed to drive in California with expired out-of-state licenses, depending on their state of residence.
To find out the law for a particular state, call the Military Police traffic desk at 760-725-5991 or go to Building 1531.
To register a motorcycle aboard the base, personnel must complete the Motorcycle Rider Course (MRC) conducted by the Base Safety Office or have proof of Motorcycle Safety Foundation certified Basic Rider Course (BRC) training provided by nongovernment sources, driver’s license, insurance, registration and a motorcycle endorsement. Following the completion of the MRC, a motorcycle rider’s card (yellow card) will be issued. This card must remain on all personnel anytime they drive their motorcycle. Requirements necessary for automobile registration apply to motorcycles as well.
The following motorcycle safety gear is required on base: safety helmet (DOT-approved minimum); shatter-proof eye protection, goggles or safety shield; full-length, abrasion-resistant trousers; long-sleeve shirt; full-finger gloves; and footwear covering the ankles. The Base Safety Office also offers pamphlets listing current motorcycle safety regulations and laws for the state of California and the base. For more information on the courses, call the Safety Office at 760-725-2897.