LAWS & REGULATIONS (New York State & Fort Drum Installation)
Laws and Regulations
In New York State it is a criminal offense, punishable by a year in jail and a $1000 fine, to possess a privately-owned handgun in your residence or on your person unless you have been issued a New York State pistol permit. The only exception is for unloaded antique and replica muzzle-loading pistols and cap-and-ball revolvers.
Handguns may be brought to Fort Drum from an overseas assignment if they are shipped with household goods or hold baggage shipment as authorized by Chapter 13, AR 55-71. However, upon arriving at Fort Drum, handgun owners must contact the Military Police at (315) 772-5156 or (315) 772-5157. Let them know handguns are coming. When the shipment arrives, notify the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department at (315) 786-2711. Advise them of your weapon information (i.e. type, caliber, serial number) and follow their instructions. Until they are properly registered, handguns must be stored in unit arms rooms.
While there is no requirement to register rifles and shotguns in New York, there is a requirement to register them, and other dangerous weapons (i.e. pellet and BB guns and any other weapon that fires a projectile) on Fort Drum, and if you live in off-post Army Community Housing.
New York State law requires that all individuals operating a motor vehicle in the state be properly licensed to drive a motor vehicle. However, if an individual has an expired driver's license, certain states do have military extensions for state residents.
Vehicle insurance is required by law for all motor vehicles operating in New York State.
Members of the military are not required to register cars in New York State, as long as they hold a valid registration from another state. New York State does not acknowledge USAREUR driver's licenses as being valid for motor vehicle operation. Also, drivers have 45 days to obtain New York registration if a car has Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) license plates from overseas.
It is Fort Drum policy that all vehicles of assigned and attached personnel must maintain a valid state inspection certificate, which may be from the state where the vehicle is registered, or New York State. If the state in which a car is registered does not have an inspection program, 15 days are allowed to get a New York State inspection sticker. These can be obtained at the Auto Craft Center or any other licensed inspection station.
Parking is prohibited that impedes the flow of traffic, especially within 20 feet of any entrance of a fire station, crosswalk or intersection. Parking is prohibited on the side of the road facing oncoming traffic.
As a general rule, there's no parking on grassy or seeded areas, unless specifically authorized by Public Works or the Garrison Commander. That may occur October through May, if overflow parking areas are not provided or are full.
There is no parking in fire lanes, within 15 feet of any building or fire hydrant, on sidewalks and railroad tracks and on roadways in any housing complex from November 1 through April 30, to allow for snow removal.
In New York and on all federal installations, it is illegal to operate cell phones while driving unless you are using a hand-free device. This law applies to cell phone use in POVs and military vehicles.
Fort Drum requires mandatory microchipping for all registered privately owned cats and dogs. Registration is mandatory; owners must register their four-legged friends, within 3 days of arrival.
The grain-of-rice sized microchip is inserted via needle and syringe just under the skin between the animal's shoulder blades. The procedure of inserting the microchip is similar to receiving a vaccination and causes minimal discomfort to the animal.
For more information about the microchip, call the Fort Drum Veterinary Clinic at (315) 772-4262.
New York State Law requires all children under the age of 14 years to wear a helmet when riding a bicycle. All personnel riding a bicycle on Fort Drum must wear a bike helmet.
New York Vehicle and Traffic laws do not have legislation regulating in-line skates, roller skates and skateboards. New York State Police use pedestrian guidelines. Skaters should skate facing traffic and should not interfere with the flow of traffic. Watertown City Police enforce a city code that restricts use of skates on sidewalks.
On Fort Drum, Military Police enforce Regulation 190-2 which restricts use of roller skates and skateboards to unoccupied sidewalks, pathways, outdoor tennis and basketball courts, parking lots and Main Street from Lewis Avenue to NYS Route 283, which is closed to motor vehicle traffic.
In-line skates are authorized on roadways with the use of proper safety equipment (protective helmet, knee pads and wrist pads, and a high-visibility garment with reflective material front and back).
Fort Drum Regulation 420-3, Fort Drum Hunting, Fishing, Trapping and Camping and Supplement to AR 210-9, outline the use of snowmobiles, trail bikes, and all-terrain vehicles (ATV's).
The use of ATVs are NOT ALLOWED on Fort Drum, except by trappers. Trappers are allowed to use recreational vehicles during the trapping season in training areas. However, trappers must follow check-in/check-out procedures, possess a valid New York State Trapping License and a valid Fort Drum trapping permit.
Snowmobiles are authorized for recreational riding in training areas 7E, 7F and 7G south of NYS Route 3-A. They will also follow all check-in/check-out procedures and possess a valid Fort Drum recreational permit.
All recreational vehicles must have valid liability insurance and New York State registration. Their use in cantonment area is prohibited.
Motorcycle safety training is mandatory prior to registering or operating a motorcycle on post. Military personnel must complete the Army Motorcycle Safety Course (AMSC) before operating a motorcycle or moped on or off post, on or off duty, regardless of whether the motorcyle/moped is registered. DoD and DA civilians must complete the AMSC prior to riding or registering a motorcycle or moped on a governement installation. This is mandatory.
Riders must wear the following equipment: Department of Transportation approved helmet properly fastened under the chin; eye protection (glasses, goggles or face shield); over-the-ankle shoes or boots; and a high visibility reflective garment or device (the yellow safety belt used for PT is acceptable).
Motorcycles must be registered and insured. Drivers must, at minimum, have a learner's permit or motorcycle license. All motorcycles must be able to pass a NYS inspection.
Contact the Command Safety Office for the latest information, 772-5352.
Permissive Temporary Duty (TDY) is authorized for house hunting purposes prior to departing your current duty station. Visit the Housing Section for more information on permissive TDY. The CHRRS Office also has information about housing on the economy, rentals and apartment sales.
Driving in CanadaPassport and current United States Visa, or a copy of naturalization certificate for foreign-born individuals who have become United States citizens, is required when crossing the United States and Canadian borders. NOTE: Soldiers assigned to Fort Drum need a signed DA Form 31 prior to going to Canada (ref: AFZS-CG, Policy Memo #48, Pass Policy, 25 Mar 03). Additionally, Soldiers need to have attended a Canadian Country Briefing prior to travel. The Installation Security Office provides country briefings monthly on the third Thursday of the month. Civilian employees and family members are encouraged to attend this briefing.
Travelers are required to have a "Non-Resident, Inter-Province Vehicle Liability Identification Card" when driving in Canada. These can be obtained through your insurance company. Anyone stopped by Canadian law enforcement must present a valid driver's license, vehicle registration, and proof of current liability insurance.
Remove any radar detectors from vehicles before crossing the border. They are strictly illegal in Canada and, if found during a check of a vehicle, will be confiscated and destroyed and drivers will be subject to a stiff fine. A DOD Directive also makes radar detectors illegal on Fort Drum.
Remember that speed limits and distances in Canada are posted in kilometers (1 km = 6/10 of a mile).
Vehicles without decals must apply for a temporary pass as the welcome center located in Bldg. 11008. Hours of Operation for passes are 6:30 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. After hours, passes must be obtained at the North Gate security building.