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Jonathan Williams, left, a registration assistant at the Darmstadt Vehicle Registration office, helps Spc. Chet Weichelt, of the 92nd Military Police Company, register his vehicle coming in from the States.

Jonathan Williams, left, a registration assistant at the Darmstadt Vehicle Registration office, helps Spc. Chet Weichelt, of the 92nd Military Police Company, register his vehicle coming in from the States. (Jessica Inigo / S&S)

MANNHEIM, Germany — Troops returning from deployment and planning to hit the open road may have their dreams come to a screeching halt.

The biggest “roadblock” many servicemembers face before getting behind the wheel is showing proof of insurance, say vehicle registration officials.

For those who do it right, hitting the open highway could be just a phone call away.

Others may have a little legwork, but military officials say they’re “bending over backward” to get troops on the road.

In all cases, servicemembers must show proof of insurance before re-registering their car and getting it out of storage.

Vehicle Registration officials suggest troops call their insurance company prior to coming home. That way, double white insurance cards or activation paperwork is ready.

For troops who did not place their vehicle in storage or had problems during the storage process, they should take their deployment orders or proof of storage paperwork to the vehicle registration office.

Problems some troops face include storage custodians not reporting vehicles to Vehicle Registration, which could lead to registration running out or insurance suspension, according to Lawrence Seager, customer service supervisor and trainer in Mannheim.

These issues are dealt with case by case, he said, and should typically be resolved within days of return. Seager said the majority of issues could be fixed with little to no cost to the servicemember.

Some vehicles may have to be registered all over again, if not properly stored, with troops having to show a U.S. Army Europe driver’s license and military ID card in order to receive temporary plates.

Vehicles not stored must have maintained all USAREUR requirements. This means giving power of attorney to allow family members or friends to renew the vehicle at the proper time, according to Seager.

Vehicles that were stored will be released under the status it was put in, said Seager. That is, if a vehicle had three months left prior to inspection renewal, the vehicle will be released with those same three months.

Units are responsible for opening installation storage facilities for troops or calling storage site coordinators to set up appointments for vehicle pick up.

All vehicles must be inspected prior to release, according to a statement issued by Headquarters U.S. Army Installation Management Agency, Europe. Claims for damage to a vehicle while in storage should be processed by the local claims office and must be filed prior to two years from the date the vehicle was retrieved from the storage lot.

For information about vehicle registration, call the local vehicle registration office or go online to rmv.hqusareur.army.mil

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