MARINE CORPS AIR STATION IWAKUNI, Japan - Permanent Change of Station season is coming. Though there are many who PCS throughout the year, the summer months seem to be the busiest time for leaving.
Many may scramble to ensure they can leave the station in a smooth and timely manner. One aspect many servicemembers about to PCS will find themselves having to deal with is selling their vehicles.
Servicemembers who sell their car must complete a few basic but crucial steps to ensure the transition from base to base is smooth.
"The Pass and Registration department of the Provost Marshal's Office is here to aid those servicemembers," said Barry E. Harwell, PMO Pass and Registration supervisor. "They need to make sure they have a buyer for the vehicle or decide whether to junk the vehicle. If they have a buyer to purchase the vehicle, e.g., another Status of Forces Agreement member, they would need to make sure the other SOFA member doesn't exceed the vehicle requirements, two vehicles for those married and one for single individuals. They would also need to make sure their up on their Japanese Compulsory Insurance and secondary insurance."
Servicemembers who buy the vehicle must also attend the welcome-aboard brief and have a SOFA license. Servicemembers going through the PCS process but cannot or do not wish to find a buyer for the car have certain steps they must take to rid themselves of their vehicle.
"If they want to de-register(sic) the vehicle and not sell it to someone else, that means they're going to send it to the junk pile," said Harwell.
If that method of vehicle removal is not suitable, another route available is to sell their vehicles back to auto dealerships.
"If we use TNT automotive dealership as an example, if my car is not functional enough to sell to someone else, doesn't pass JCI inspection or time is too short here before they PCS, then servicemembers can go to a place like TNT and they will receive the vehicle, take the decal off the car, give the receipt to me which in turn they will (bring) back to Pass and Registration which shows TNT now has the vehicle in their possession and then receive paperwork to take back to the vehicle. This will allow them to deregister the vehicle properly through the Land Transportation Office," said Harwell.
Servicemembers must ensure their vehicular responsibilities are not a concern when they permanently leave the station, otherwise the process will be long, arduous and a headache. If servicemembers remember to follow these simple steps, they can avert those troubles.