How To Make Your Humvee (HMMWV) Street legal

These days it’s not hard to get your hands on a military Humvee. They sell cheap on government-affiliate auction sites all day, so your list of excuses just got a lot shorter. But making a military Hummer street legal is a difficult process in most states.

It’s pretty easy to see the appeal of driving a Humvee on the road. It’s a burly machine with proud military heritage, and even armor plating won’t stop the paparazzi from shooting you all over town. A military Hummer can make anyone look like someone and it’s a killer off-roader to boot.

The process of titling a Hummer is straightforward if you buy from an auction site, but far less so when buying from a private party. Let’s start from the top.

 

How Do I Get a Military Hummer?

People often resell used Humvees on the private market, and we’ll get to that in a second. First let’s talk about these auction sites you’ve heard of.

In this video, Rick from Chasing Profits details the process of buying a military Hummer from the popular auction site GovPlanet.com. They’re contracted with the US Military to sell surplus machinery, anything from six-wheeled troop transports to the occasional tank or fire truck.

But the process of buying a Humvee from GovPlanet is exhaustive.

  • Find and win the auction of your choosing (1 week)Receive and return paperwork asserting that you’re not a nefarious character (2 weeks)·      
  • Receive the necessary releases to remove the vehicle from the military base (5 months)Coordinate shipping. Two ways to do this:
  • Do it yourself. Schedule with the base’s GovPlanet contractor. Obtain security clearances. Arrive during predetermined hours set in the auction 5 months ago. Take off work. Pay daily storage penalties if you’re late (1 week)
  • Hire someone. If you can’t trailer a 7,500-pound truck yourself, pay someone else $1000+ to do it (4 weeks)

Total time to buy a Humvee from GovPlanet: over 6 months.

That 5-month wait for the release is mostly because the Government moves slowly, and partially because they sell an estimated 200 to 300 Hummers per week. The good news is that you’re not alone in wanting to title a military Humvee. You even have a few friends in high places.

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No problemo.

How Do I Make a Military Humvee Street Legal?

When you receive your HMMWV it’ll carry an Off-Road Title called an SF 97 which won’t allow you to drive to work looking like the Governator. But if Arnold made a military Humvee street legal, so can you.

Arnold Schwarzenegger didn’t hop through some custom loophole he created back when he was Governor of California. He didn’t waltz into a military base dressed as the Terminator and simply steal one, either, though it would be pretty badass if he did.

The timeline of making a Hummer street legal goes pretty quickly but the process itself is complex, and it varies depending on whether you bought your rig from an auction house or a private party.

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Titling a Humvee from an Auction House

When you purchase a military vehicle from an auction site like GovPlanet, you’ll be given the option to order U.S. Government Form SF97. It’s a document completed by the auction house which can be turned into a title at your local DMV. To obtain an SF97 you will need to complete an End-User Certificate which essentially tells the U.S. Government you’re not about to ship your new Hummer overseas to support rebel causes.

You’ll need a bill of sale as well; GovPlanet currently charges $25 for a bill of sale and $50 for an SF97. Take those forms to your local DMV, pay a few more fees, and receive a clean title about eight weeks later.

The problem is that some states (like Florida) won’t title a military Hummer for any reason. Even the most comprehensive lists of military Humvee title laws by state don’t give a lot of insight into the specifics for each state. That’s because on most states’ to-do lists, allowing people to title military Humvees probably falls somewhere between “make cat calling illegal” and “get rid of those damn bees in the city park.”

And in California it’s way down between “fill potholes” and “fix bridges.” Shots fired.

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Titling a Humvee from a Private Party

Here’s where this gets even harder.

Some guy in your corner of Missouri posts a used military Humvee on Craigslist. It runs and drives but he never titled it, so he offers to write you a bill of sale. He doesn’t have any of the old military documents and he definitely didn’t go through the proper channels when he bought this Hummer from Ma and Pa’s Auction House after old man Mertens died of a heart attack.

Your first order of business should be to make sure it’s not stolen. You laugh, but people have actually stolen Humvees from military bases within the last year. We can only hope they jumped the chain-link fence in a stolen SUV and made a daring getaway amid a hail of gunfire before shaking off that 5-star wanted level by dipping into a Pay-n-Spray. Our free VIN check will let you know the status right away.  Just give us a call.

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Somebody stole a tank once, too

So How Is It Done?

It’s possible to make a military Humvee street legal by yourself, but the process will take weeks and has many opportunities for you to make costly mistakes or get shot down by the DMV.

Time is money, and if you’re reading about making a military vehicle street legal it’s safe to assume you already know that. It would take hours to find the proper paperwork, determine the correct steps, and coordinate with a state that allows people to title military Hummers.

You might get lucky in approaching your local DMV with your situation. There might be some backdoor where vehicles over a certain age don’t need to be titled or it might be outright illegal to title one (Hawaii 1, 2). But most often the DMV assistant won’t have any idea what to do because your VIN isn’t the right length.

 

Dirt Legal has titled and plated thousands of strange vehicles. From ATVs to golf carts, if you can drive it we’ve been known to make it street legal. We’re 100% legitimate and far cheaper than the competition. As red-blooded Americans ourselves, we’d be proud to work with you to obtain a 50-state-legal title and license plate to operate your military vehicle on public roads.

You won’t find an option for this on our website, so call or email us to start the conversation today. No title necessary!