Changes and Updates to the SCRA from Bill H.R. 7939

To bring in the year of 2023, the President signed many Bills into effect on January 5th. One of these Bills being H.R. 7939, more commonly known as the “Veterans Auto and Education Improvement Act of 2022”. This Bill partially affects some aspects of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act. These affected areas are discussed further below.

The first of these updates to the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act pertains to stop movement orders. Termination of certain consumer contracts is now allowed when a servicemember receives military orders for a change of station, then enters into a contract, and finally is issued a stop movement order that renders them unable to use the services discussed in the contract. The covered contracts include commercial mobile services, telephone exchange services, internet access services, multichannel video services, gym memberships, and home security services.

The next change to SCRA that has taken effect is relating to tax filings for military spouses. The updated act now allows the spouse of a service member, for tax purposes, to use the residence/domicile of the service member, the residence/domicile of the spouse, or the permanent duty station of the service member.

The final update to SCRA is relating to licenses that service members or spouses of service members have for a specific location. If a service member or spouse has a license valid only for a certain area, and they have to move to another area, the license can be used in a similar scope given a few requirements (i.e. copy of military orders, remaining in good standing, and abiding by licensing authority in new jurisdiction). Interstate licenses follow their own guidelines in this scenario.

If you are interested in learning more about the act or wish to clarify its language, the affected sections relating to SCRA are Sec. 17 through Sec. 19. The changes listed above do not directly affect our services, but are still helpful to know if engaging with matters related to the Act.

Attorney Roy Kaufmann serves as the Director of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act Centralized Verification Service, located in Washington, D.C. As a recognized authority on the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, Mr. Kaufmann has published hundreds of articles and hosted many webinars. His teachings help law firms and businesses to remain compliant with the SCRA rules and regulations so as to avoid costly fines.