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Life at the 'Lik: Where's the Lemon Lot?

A vehicle sits in a parking lot with a ‘for sale’ sign on the windshield July 11, 2014, Incirlik Air Base, Turkey. Transferring a Privately Owned Vehicle from one U.S. member to another is a process that requires special documentation with command approval and coordination through the Turkish Customs Liaison Office. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Veronica Pierce)

A vehicle sits in a parking lot with a ‘for sale’ sign on the windshield July 11, 2014, Incirlik Air Base, Turkey. Transferring a Privately Owned Vehicle from one U.S. member to another is a process that requires special documentation with command approval and coordination through the Turkish Customs Liaison Office. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Veronica Pierce)

INCIRLIK AIR BASE, Turkey -- Editor's note: This article is part of a series designed to provide in-depth information to both current and future members of Team Incirlik about topics specific to Incirlik and Turkey. The goal is to assist Airmen and families in making informed decisions about their move to the area and to provide guidance about local policies, procedures and quality of life matters.

When military members are stationed overseas and need a quick and cheap ride, most turn to the 'Lemon Lot'. A Lemon Lot has cars that might not be in the best of shape, but they are affordable and will get a person from point A to B.

Here at Incirlik Air Base having a Lemon Lot isn't as feasible due to local laws and customs requirements. Service members stationed in Turkey are required to add high priced items such as televisions, computers and vehicles on a Turkish customs form known as a Beyanname.

For members stationed in Turkey who are purchasing a vehicle from another person, whether they be military or civilian, a request of Privately Owned Vehicle transfer must be initiated at the Turkish Customs Liaison Office, explained Mehmet Polatoz, 39th Logistics Readiness Squadron Turkish CLO specialist.

"To start the transfer process, both the buyer and seller of the vehicle need to stop by CLO with a U.S. Forces in Europe form 540 'Request for POV Transfer'," said Polatoz. "The transfer goes through many different agencies both U.S. and Turkish, so the Beyanname can take up to eight weeks after the required forms are turned into Turkish CLO."

According to the Turkish CLO here on Incirlik AB, the USAFE form 540 must have commander approval. All forms must be returned to the CLO no later than 15 weeks prior to a Permanent Change of Station. A PCS may be delayed if Beyanname transfer paperwork is not complete. There are no mechanisms to expedite this process as it involves multiple levels of U.S. and Turkish government. The process can take up to 12 weeks before an approval notification will be given.

The CLO also states if a commander approves the sale of a POV within 15 weeks of a member's PCS it is likely a $600 fee will be incurred for services from a Turkish Customs Broker if the transfer is not complete before the member's departure.

"Unaccompanied members can't have more than one vehicle on their Beyanname unless they turn their existing Beyanname vehicles into Turkish Customs," said Polatoz. "Accompanied members can have two vehicles, but no more than two unless they turn one of their existing vehicles into Turkish Customs."

Polatoz went on to explain the additional steps when registering a POV.

"The vehicle requested to be transferred has to be registered through Turkish Traffic Office in the Beyanname owner's name. Traffic de-registration and re-registration is required for each POV transfer," said Polatoz. "Sellers can't clear their POV Beyanname until the approval of transfer and execution of Turkish Customs POV transfer paperwork is completed."

When transferring a POV, members are encouraged to stop by the 39th Security Forces Squadron Pass and Registration office as soon as possible to start the registration process. This can cut down the wait time after the Beyanname is transferred, explained Staff Sgt. Jose Moran, assistance NCO in-charge of Pass and Registration.

"Several transferred vehicles have failed inspections lately," said Moran. "This is a serious issue, because it's next to impossible to have the vehicle fixed without it being registered."

"Members should be very attentive when checking out an older car for a possible sale or POV transfer," said Moran. "Take a very detailed test drive and check the brakes, steering, condition of tires, and headlights."

Although the transfer of a POV is a long and extensive process, it is possible. For newcomers who decided not to ship their car, there are other options for transportation here such as bicycles, motorized scooters, taxies and even rental cars.

For more information POV transfers, contact the Turkish CLO at DSN: 676-6180.