Military personnel on active duty in California may declare their personal property's legal situs to be outside of the state and, therefore, the property is deemed to be tax-exempt. This exemption from property taxes does not apply to a person legally a resident of California, nor does it include vehicle registration fees (U.S. v. Shelby County, 385 F. Supp. 1187; California v. Buzard (1966) 392 U.S. 386). A mobile home must be registered with the Department of Housing and Community Development within 20 days after its owner leaves military service.
What is the Soldiers' & Sailors' Civil Relief Act?
The act (50 USCS appx. §501 et. seq.) took effect October 17, 1940. The act's purpose, as stated in §510, is to "... suspend enforcement of civil liabilities, in certain cases, of persons in the military service of the United States in order to enable such to devote their entire energy to the defense needs of the Nation...."
The act provides that "A member of the Armed Service need not show that his military service prejudiced his ability to redeem title to property before he can qualify for the statutory suspension of time. The statutory command in §525 is unambiguous, unequivocal, and unlimited" (Conroy v. Aniskoff, 507 U. S 511 (1993)). The Supreme Court further opined, "The statute's complete legislative history confirms a congressional intent to protect all military personnel on active duty, not just those whose lives have been temporarily disrupted by the service."
Application for Property Tax Relief for Military Personnel (PDF)