SASEBO NAVAL BASE, Japan — Base personnel who haven’t sold or junked vehicles they own before their PCS or transfer date better be prepared to hang around a while. Having dealt with the consequences of abandoned vehicles, the command announced last week that enough is enough.

Vehicle owners must transfer their registration or legally dispose of and deregister their vehicles to get the proper stamped paperwork, enabling them to receive plane tickets to their next destination, Lt. Vanessa Hopgood, Sasebo’s staff judge advocate, said from her office on Friday.

Vehicle owners must provide proof their vehicles were “sold and registered to another SOFA member, or the vehicle has been junked to receive a stamped and signed check-out sheet from the Vehicle Registration Office. Without the sheet, transfer of plane tickets will be withheld until the process is completed,” Hopgood wrote in a memorandum.

Abandoned vehicles have become problematic, she said. “Several local Japanese companies were willing to take them off our hands. But now, with the economy not doing so well, they are not as ready to take them,” Hopgood wrote.

Abandoned vehicles often don’t have insurance and are illegally parked on or off base. If the vehicles were involved in pending legal cases such as DUIs or accidents involving serious injuries, there is no clear ownership. Other Pacific bases already enforce such programs, Hopgood added.

In some instances, owners assign power of attorney to a designated representative on base, and that individual is charged with selling or disposing the vehicle.

“Power of Attorney’s will only be allowed in unusual and emergency cases …,” Hopgood said in her written directive.

The POA form is available to unit legal officers from Hopgood’s office, or can be completed at the SJA’s Office or the Naval Legal Services Office. A signed request chit or memorandum must be provided before the document will be notarized.

The SJA said both the vehicle owner and prospective designee must fill out paperwork, although they can complete it at different times, she said.

To finish the checkout process, the owner and designee must appear at the VRO together and bring the POA, signed request chit and designee’s proof of insurance.

The designated representative must maintain insurance on the vehicle and visit the Security Detachment to produce proof that the vehicle is sold and registered, or junked within 75 days of getting the POA.

Questions about the policy should be submitted through a single unit representative when possible. Hopgood’s office can be reached at DSN 252-2103 or 252-3385.

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