Facts About Registration of Former Military Vehicles
California law prohibits the registration of any vehicle not originally intended by its manufacturer for use on public highways, This includes a wide range of vehicles, but typically includes vehicles made for foreign markets, vehicles made exclusively for off-highway use, or former tactical military vehicles sold as surplus by the United States or other foreign governments.
Because they are made to meet the unique needs of the armed forces, and harsh battlefield or disaster conditions, former military vehicles do not meet minimum environmental or safety standards required for use on public highways or for registration by civilians.
When these vehicle are sold for surplus, usually under the authority of the US Federal government, strict notice requirements are in place to ensure that purchasers do not represent hostile or unauthorized agents, and to ensure they are aware of the limited future use for such vehicles. Authorized sellers not following these requirements may be liable for refunds, especially for transactions taking place in California.
In some limited cases, very heavy-duty vehicles (rated 14,000 lbs gross or more), that are also fully compliant with on-highway safety standards, may be eligible for registration if the entire drivetrain is replaced. Depending on the intended use, this normally requires a fully documented new engine and transmission, certified to the most recent model year emissions standards. However we do not recommend any purchase based on this option due to the high costs and technical difficulty in the successful conversion to a modern, on-highway emissions controlledt drivetrain.
The California Air Resources Board is unable to provide any assistance in the documentation or registration of former military vehicles. We recommend you contact the vehicles manufacturer for further information or documentation of its compliance status.