Civilian Tank Ownership Primer

If you have ever wanted to own a military spec battle tank, or plan on buying one, you may wish to read this.
(It’s one very long jpeg image).
For better or for worse, as mentioned in below,
a privately owned tank must legally have the firing mechanism deactivated.
According to one internet search, the ATF classifies it as an exotic weapon when considering it in the hands of a private owner. has a classifieds section with military tanks and other vehicles for private sale.
eBay has a category for military vehicles, but at the time this article was written, there were no actual tanks listed.

A reply to the question of “Is it legal for a civilian to own a tank?” on reads:

“Of course you can own a tank if you want to, but you may not be able to license it for the road because of several factors. One being size. If it is over 102 inches wide then you need a special permit. The other being weight. If it weighs more than 26000 pounds you will need to secure a special license in order to drive it (Class B), as well as securing special registration which is fairly expensive. In addition most states and municipalities will not allow tracked vehicles on the road without special permits which are expensive, and also require that the vehicles follow pre-designated routes, and are only able to acquire registration and insurance for “single” planned movements.

The only exceptions to these rules are usually tracked vehicles that are commissioned for police use, and even they have to be retrofitted with rubber lined tracks. Tank treads do significant damage to pavement. You may be able to register such a vehicle in some rural areas of Alaska, or perhaps Wyoming or Montana, but you would quickly find that the regulations and the costs associated with operating such a vehicle legally are so overbearing that it would end up not worth the trouble. Also, of course, you would never actually be able to “arm” the tank, and it is highly unlikely that the vehicle would be permitted on the roads if it were even capable of loading a round at all.

Also it doesn’t matter if you are in the military or not as civilian law is separate from the U.C.M.J. Military personnel are required to follow local statutes AS WELL as the U.C.M.J. I am not aware of any law that prohibits “ownership” of a tank, only regulations governing how and where they are operated, by whom, and whether they are “live load” capable. Really it wouldn’t be much different than owning a piece of heavy equipment like a grader, backhoe, front end loader, or dozer. Because once you take all the guns off, that’s really all you are left with is a heavy backhoe or dozer base without the hydraulics.”

Tom Clancy, when he is not busy being part-owner of the Baltimore Orioles, also owns a tank.
Lucky guy.
Richard James of Aphex Twin also has one.
The image states that Bruce Dickinson owns a Russian Soviet T-34, but I was unable to verify this from any other internet sources.  The best I was able to find is that he drove one on a Military Channel program titled The Greatest Ever.

All about owning a military battle tank

All about owning a military battle tank

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