Gift Icon
Get a 20% discount from our partners! Discount code will get added automatically when you submit the form.
Auto Transport Truck on Highway
4.7 Star Rating4.7 (67,926 reviews)
96.3% positive
No Surprises, Just Savings: Verified Carriers, Instant Quotes, and Best Price Guarantee!
You save 20% compared to other companies
Get quotes from trusted carriers, thoroughly vetted and fully insured. Enjoy trackable deliveries, fair pricing, and hassle-free transport from start to finish. Transport any type of vehicle and drive away worry-free.
Customer Images
7790 people shipped using A-1 Auto Transport last week
Scratch-Free Guarantee
Vetted Carriers
Transparent Costs
Customer Ratings By Feature
Value for Money ★★★★★ 4.9
Vehicle Care ★★★★★ 4.9
Fast Delivery ★★★★★ 4.9
Friendly Staff ★★★★★ 4.9
Globe
190+
Countries
Served
Car
2M+
Delivered
Services
Car
97%
Customer
Recommended
Dave loved the fast deliveryDave C.
★★★★★
Dave loved the fast delivery
My relocation to Chicago was fast, smooth and without any delay thanks to A1 Auto.
Courtney enjoyed the honest guidanceCourtney J.
★★★★★
Courtney enjoyed the honest guidance
Just what you need when trusting someone with your wheels! Kudos to this company!
Jeff enjoyed the fair priceJeff D.
★★★★★
Jeff enjoyed the fair price
Moved my ride hassle-free with these folks.Fair pricing, no surprises. Definitely recommend them!
Maria enjoyed the special care and safetyMaria L.
★★★★★
Maria enjoyed the special care and safety
Huge thanks to the movers – they were meticulous with my car. Love these guys.
Recently featured on USA Today

“A1 Auto Transport became synonymous with top-notch service delivery, unfailing punctuality and constantly preoccupied with customer satisfaction.

See Article— USA Today

Can You Make a Tank Street Legal in the US?

Published by Tamar Hela.

Can You Make a Tank Street Legal in the US?

Picture this, you drop your kids off at school and then make a stop at Walmart on your way home - in your latest family vehicle - the trusty military tank! With their immense size and military history, these armored vehicles are extremely interesting and could be an ideal option for you. It may seem like something you would only see in an action movie. While you may be able to drive these on private property - the question remains: Can you make a tank street legal in the United States?

Making an armored vehicle, like a tank, into a street-legal vehicle in the United States is complicated but it can be done whether you are ex-military or the average person. But first, you have to navigate a multitude of federal, state, and local regulations. These regulations make sure that any vehicle driven on public roads is safe to use and won't be a hazard to other road users or pedestrians. Keep reading to find out the key considerations and steps you would need to follow to make a tank street legal in the US.

military-tank-in-street-2.png

Is It Legal?

With special licenses in place, battle tank ownership by the average person is legal in the United States. But owning a tank to drive on private land and making that tank street-legal are two entirely different things. Whether you are modifying a historic vehicle or a modern tank to make a street-legal tank you are required to follow multiple federal, state, and local regulations.

Federal Regulations

At the federal level, commercial vehicles are primarily regulated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). The FMCSA is the federal body in charge of safety requirements for commercial motor vehicles. Being military vehicles, however, tanks don’t come under the categories typically managed by the FMCSA. So who would need to regulate the safety considerations?

Typically, a tank would be classified as a motor vehicle by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and therefore must meet the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) to be driven on public roads.

These standards include a variety of different safety requirements. To be considered road safe, tanks must be fitted with necessary safety equipment they may not have in their original condition. This includes:

  1. Brake systems: Tanks must have a functional brake system.
  2. Lights and Indicators: Tanks must be fitted with working and standard headlights, tail lights, indicators for turn signals, and brake lights. These lights must be up to FMVSS standards so that you are visible to other drivers and can communicate your maneuvers to them.
  3. Mirrors: So that you have a clear view of drivers behind you, rear-view mirrors must be installed in the tank.
  4. Seat Belts: Seat belts are mandatory for all vehicles and must be fitted to ensure the safety of drivers and passengers.

In addition to the safety requirements from the FMVSS, the tank also needs to comply with Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) emissions standards. This could mean you need to make changes to the engine before it can be a street-legal tank.

a-military-tank-shipping.webp
Pinned
New Deals are now available for shipping all types vehicles using our vetted reliable shippers. Compare price estimates & Unlock up 25% off.

State Regulations

Now you have addressed any federal requirements for your tank, you must make sure state regulations are being followed. The laws around motor vehicles may be different depending on which state you are in. The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has specific rules regarding vehicle modifications and safety requirements for each state.

You must obtain a title and registration for the tank from the DMV and the vehicle must pass a safety inspection. These inspection checks are similar to federal requirements including:

  • Complying with lighting and mirror regulations
  • Ensuring brakes and steering systems are functional
  • Roadworthy tires in place

Local Regulations

After following the federal and state requirements, you should now have a road legal tank - but don’t forget there could be local regulations that might get you in trouble if not followed. Be aware of local noise ordinances, restrictions on the size and weight of vehicles, and limits on the type of roads that can accommodate such heavy vehicles in your local area before taking to the public roads in your tank.

Getting Your Tank Ready for the Road

Looking beyond the regulatory compliance other practical challenges must be looked at before a tank can be driven on public roads.

Although a legal tank could be just a motor vehicle like any other, these overweight vehicles are not designed for use on conventional roads, require special skills to drive, and can be tricky to maneuver in urban areas.

a-civilian-learning-to-drive-a-street-legal-tank-under-the-supervision-of-a-professional-instructor.webp

Essential Modifications and Considerations

To transition a tank from a militarized vehicle to a street-legal one the following modifications would be required.

  1. Safety Features: As required by federal and state regulations any tank must be fitted with the safety features of a motor vehicle explored in the previous section. Lights (headlights, brake lights, tail lights, indicator lights), seat belts, mirrors, and brakes should all be up to code.
  2. Tires: A tank’s tracks are perfect for off-road driving, but they can cause damage to standard roads. Converting the tracks to rubber or fitting tires should prevent road damage.
  3. Decommissioned Weapons: You must deactivate any weapons fitted in the tank as they can cause mass destruction. This is a vital step since these military-grade weapons are not legal on public roads. Typically the main gun, or other individual weapons, like machine guns would be removed before this ex-military vehicle is driven on roads.
  4. Emissions and Noise Control: Being emission-heavy, typically a tank would need modifications to meet state emissions standards. This is crucial to avoid excess environmental impact. Tanks are also LOUD - so noise-dampening modifications may be required to meet state and local laws.

In addition to making modifications to the tank - you should also consider the following steps before taking your tank on public roads:

  1. Driver training: Operating a tank on public streets can be daunting due to its size, weight, and limited maneuverability. Therefore, as a private tank owner, you may need training to drive this ex-military vehicle
  2. Registration and Licensing: The tank must be registered with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and fitted with a license plate, and the owner must have a special driving license. To drive a tank you often require a special endorsement on a commercial driver’s license (CDL), especially when the vehicle exceeds certain weight thresholds.
  3. Insurance: As with any other motor vehicle, a street-legal tank requires insurance. Given the nature of the vehicle, you may need liability cover or additional cover for property damage and personal injury.
  4. Shipping: Before your tank is road-legal, you will require transport for your tank. You will need to make sure you can transportheavy loads safely to your home or where modifications are taking place. Shipping services are available for military vehicles and overweight vehicles, but transit time and average costs could depend on vehicle sizes and customs requirements
a-large-military-tank-being-loaded-onto-a-specialized-us-transport-truck.webp

Street-Legal Tanks - Will We See More in the Future?

While it is challenging, it is not impossible for those with the will, dedication, and necessary resources to do what it takes to navigate the regulations and transform a real tank to meet all necessary safety and operational standards.

Street-legal tanks have been made possible in the United States, with enthusiasts and collectors navigating the many hurdles required for a road-safe tank.

These tanks could be used in military reenactments, historical parades, or exhibitions. But perhaps with advances in technology, the legal tank industry could see a boom, and modifying tanks to be safe for use on public roads could see drivers in tanks becoming more common.

Final Thoughts About Making a Tank Street-Legal

Although it is a formidable task to convert this extraordinary vehicle into a street-legal vehicle, with careful planning, an understanding of federal, state, and local regulations, major modifications, a special driving license, and the necessary funds - you could do it!

For further information on converting a tank to a street-legal vehicle, you can refer to the FMCSA guidelines on vehicle safety standards and the specific requirements of your state’s DMV.

Check out the FMCSA website and state-specific guidelines from your local DMV office.

Are you a military personnel? Whether you are looking to ship a tank, your Land Rover, or just your family car - you can find out how much it costs to ship a car or other road vehicle for the military. A-1 Auto Transport has the answer with great prices and military discounts for you!

A-1 Auto Transport prioritizes safety and reliability when transporting your vehicle - whatever the size. Get a free quote today and start planning your shipping.

Share this content on social media for a chance to get up to 20% off your next shipment.
Copy link

Tamar Hela is one of our featured writers at A-1 Auto Transport, researching everything from AI auto shipments out of China to what paperwork is required to move long distance. We can safely say she's become well versed in all things shipping and logistics while making the information easy to digest and understandable. 

Tamar has been a copywriter for over 16 years and was trained in the 7-Figure Copywriting Accelerator course through American Writers & Artists, Inc. (AWAI). She's also an incredibly seasoned copyeditor, having previously been the Chief Editor and Publishing Director for Cosby Media Productions, based in Atlanta, Georgia. 

Email Me


Testimonial
Mylene Rutllant
It’s my number one pick in auto shipping to this day.
★★★★★

...my choice in terms of auto transport has to be A1 Auto Transport. It’s in the name, but also in the quality with which they do their jobs. I’ve never had a problem with this company.

Testimonial
Luis Rodriguez
You have my full support and recommendation!
★★★★★

A1 Auto Transport... From the get go, they were very different from my past options. Their website was very professional and up to date, full of useful information. I requested a quote using their online form, and I got an email response within an hour. Surprisingly fast!

Testimonial by Cristine Benoit
Cristine Benoit
I can safely say this is a legit company that will get the job done.
★★★★★

There are a lot of options for auto transport these days, which surprisingly makes it harder to find a good company. I received more than 10 offers to ship my car, but I couldn’t decide on any of them... Fortunately, I made the right choice with A1 Auto Transport.

Testimonial
David Osallo
We give A1 Auto Transport a big 10 out of 10!
★★★★★

We give A1 Auto Transport a big 10 out of 10! We chose them to move our car from California to Vermont, since we needed professionals.

Visit our social, and see what our clients are saying about us:

Ship Your Vehicle With A-1 Auto Today
Customer Images
7790 people shipped using A-1 Auto Transport last week
Scratch-Free Guarantee
Vetted Carriers
Transparent Costs

Our Partners:

Better Business Bureau Accredited
FMCSA Member
INC. 500 Member
VeriSign Secured
AMSA Member

A-1 Auto Transport is a disclosed agent for the following shipping companies:

CSI Logistics
435 Division Street
Elizabeth, NJ 07201
FMC 22206
Intl Cargo
45 Campus Drive
Edison, NJ 08837
NO. 17858N
Trans Global Auto Logistics, Inc.
3401 E Randol Mill Rd,
Arlington, TX 76011
NO. 018191NF
CFR Rinkens
15501 Texaco Avenue
Paramount, CA 90723
NO. 013055NF
ABC Worldwide LLC
2840 NW 2nd Ave #105
Boca Raton, FL 33431
NO. 025472F
ShipYourCarNow LLC
1160 South Rogers Circle Suite 1
Boca Raton, FL 33487
NO. 025646
Merco Air & Ocean Cargo, Inc.
6 Fir Way
Cooper City, FL 33026
NO. 021869F
Copyright © 1988-2024, A-1 Auto Transport - All Rights Reserved.