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Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton


Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton

"The West Coast's Premier Expeditionary Training Base"

Vehicle Registration

Vehicle Registration

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What documents are required to register my vehicle aboard Camp Pendleton?
A. You must present a valid state driver’s license, military ID, valid state registration and valid insurance. If your vehicle is registered out of state, you must also show proof of a smog test that meets the state of California’s requirements. Drivers who are 25 and younger must show proof of completion of the Driver’s Improvement Course.

Q. Why does my vehicle require a Smog Test?
A. Smog tests are required by MCO P5090.2A, BO 5090.1A, and applicable federal law which mandates compliance with a state’s Vehicle Inspection and Maintenance (I&M) Program. The I&M program in California is managed by the Bureau of Automotive Repair and NOT the Department of Motor Vehicles.

A Smog Test Is Not Required:
1.  For new vehicles purchased from a CA dealer.
2.  For vehicles with current and valid permanent CA registration.
3.  For 1975 and older vehicles.
4.  For vehicles that are registered out of state, are six (6) model years old or newer and were purchased from a CA dealer. The owner must show proof that the vehicle was purchased from a CA dealer.

A Smog Test Is Required:

1.  For all vehicles registered in a state other than California and have not passed an initial California smog test.  This includes all new vehicles that were either purchased outside of California. 

MCO P5090.2A - Chapter 6, Section 6104(5)(c) requires vehicles operated on a facility to comply with state requirements even if the vehicle is not registered in that state.

BO 5090.1A - Paragraphs 3, Section C identifies vehicles which are required to have a smog check. Paragraph 5, Section D requires the AC/S SES to obtain proof of a smog test as a condition of registering a vehicle on Camp Pendleton.

Note: The vehicle must pass ALL areas of the smog test to include emission, functional, and visual areas. The two most common reasons a vehicle will fail a smog test is for the “Check Engine” light being on, and for modifications to the engine/emissions system not approved by the California Air Resources Board (CARB), even though the modification may be legal in the registration state.

If you have more questions about the Smog Check required by the State of California, please visit:

Q. Are diesel vehicles required to have a smog test?
A. Yes. Effective 01Jan2010, California mandated smog emission inspection for diesel-powered vehicles manufactured in or after 1998, and who have a gross vehicle rating of (GVR) of 14,000 pounds or less. Biennial smog inspection requirements began on 20Apr2010.

Q. The vehicle I drive is registered in a relative or other person’s name. Can I register it on base?
A. Yes, provided that you have a notarized letter from the owner authorizing you to operate the vehicle, including the period of operation, and present
proof that you are insured for driving that vehicle for an extended period.

Q. How long are base vehicle registrations valid?
A. Vehicle registrations are valid until the expiration date of the registrant's ID Card.

Q. If my vehicle does not meet the requirements for registration, can I get a Temporary vehicle registration?
A. No, temporary registrations are not issued.

Q. What order regulates the issuance of vehicle registration aboard Camp Pendleton?

Q. How do I register my motorcycle aboard the base?
A. To register your motorcycle aboard the installation the following will apply to all categories of personnel (active duty, reserve, retired military,
dependents, DoD civilians, et. al.) unless otherwise specified:

To obtain vehicle registration:

1.  All military personnel under the age of 26 must show proof of Driver's Improvement Course (DIC) completion.
2.  Present valid state driver license with motorcycle endorsement (if the state requires the endorsement).
3.  Present valid military identification card.
4.  Present valid vehicle registration certificate.
5.  Provide valid proof of insurance as indicated in the vehicle code.
6.  Provide proof of MSF Riders Course completion.

Note:  Civilian visitors or contracted laborers who are properly licensed to ride a motorcycle shall not be required to receive service sponsored training,
or to prove that they have taken other motorcycle training in order to operate a motorcycle on a DoD installation.  DoDI 6055.04, 20Apr2009.