Moving 101

Your moving experience begins when you receive your Permanent Change of Station (PCS) orders. The information below will give you a head start on what to expect and who to contact when you receive your first set of PCS orders.

Relocation Office

Your Relocation Office should be your first stop when you are considering a move or when you actually receive orders. This office is staffed by trained professionals who will help manage your move. Their goal is to connect you to the right resources at the right time so that you can execute an efficient and cost effective move within the military system.

Your Installation Relocation Office can help you:

  • determine your PCS allowances
  • connect with your new installation’s relocation office
  • create and customize a moving calendar with Plan My Move
  • connect with important installations agencies
  • create a customized booklet of resources from MilitaryINSTALLATIONS
  • access a loan closet
  • understand out-processing requirements
  • obtain a sponsor

Permanent Change of Station (PCS) Allowances

There are various allowances associated with most moves within the continental United States (CONUS) and outside the continental United States (OCONUS). DO NOT ASSUME that you will receive any of these allowances. Allowances change periodically. Check with the finance office on your installation to determine the exact amount of your allowances. For additional information, you can visit the Per Diem, Travel and Transportation Allowance Committee website, the official source for the most up-to-date changes to benefits and allowances.

Housing Office

Your Installation Housing Office can help you with:

  • determining your housing allowances
  • determining availability of government housing at your new location
  • understanding your housing privatization options at your new location
  • finding local community housing at your new location
  • arranging for temporary lodging

Household Goods

Household goods (HHG) include items associated with the home and all personal effects belonging to a member and dependents on the effective date of the member's PCS or temporary duty (TDY) order that legally may be accepted and transported by an authorized commercial transporter. HHG also include professional books, papers, and equipment (PBP&E); spare privately owned vehicle (POV) parts and a pickup tailgate when removed; integral or attached vehicle parts that must be removed due to their high vulnerability to pilferage or damage (e.g., seats, tops, winch, spare tires, portable auxiliary gasoline can(s), and miscellaneous associated hardware); vehicles other than POVs (such as golf carts, motorcycles, mopeds, jet skis, hang gliders, snowmobiles) and their associated trailers; boats and single occupant ultralight vehicles for recreation or sport purposes (weighing less than 155 pounds if uncovered or less than 254 pounds if powered; having a fuel capacity not to exceed (NTE) 5 gallons; airspeed NTE 55 knots; and power-off stall speed NTE 24 knots).

HHG do not include:

  • personal baggage when carried free on an airplane, bus, or train
  • automobiles, trucks, vans, and similar motor vehicles
  • airplanes, mobile homes, camper trailers, and farming vehicles
  • live animals including birds, fish, and reptiles
  • cordwood and building materials
  • items for resale, disposal, or commercial use rather than for use by the member and dependents
  • privately owned live ammunition
  • articles that otherwise would qualify as HHG but are acquired after the effective date of PCS orders except bona fide replacements for articles that have become inadequate, worn out, broken, or unserviceable on/after the effective date of orders

Personally Owned Vehicle (POV)

One POV belonging to you or your family member may be shipped at government expense overseas. It must, however, be for you or your family member's personal use only. If you desire to make your own arrangements and ship an additional POV, consult your Transportation Office for any restrictions which may apply. You may be required to pay an import duty on a second POV. At the option of the member shipping a vehicle overseas, a motorcycle or moped may be considered a POV if the member does not ship a vehicle with four or more wheels under the same set of military orders. A vehicle under a long-term lease (twelve months or longer) may be shipped if you obtain written permission from the leasing company.

The POV should be delivered to the port prior to the departure of the member on whose orders the shipment is to be made. This includes dependent travel authorizations when no POV has been previously shipped on the sponsor's orders. The member must have a minimum of twelve months remaining on overseas tour at the time the vehicle is delivered to the loading port. If a military spouse delivers the vehicle to the loading port, he or she must have a Special Power of Attorney.

Personally Procured Transportation Moves (DITY Moves) allows you to personally move household goods and collect an incentive payment up to 95% of the government’s estimate to move your household goods. You can do a personally procured move (PPM) when you have PCS orders, temporary duty assignment, separation or retirement, or assignment to, from, or between Government quarters.. You can use certain vehicles to move your household goods instead of having the government ship them. You may use this option to move all or a portion of their authorized JFTR weight allowance. All of the details can be found at http://www.move.mil/.

Transportation Office (TO)

Move.mil is DoD’s worldwide moving website. All moving transactions are to be handled through this website. The first thing you should do is to log on and create an account. You will then be prompted to research your allowances and to send a message to your Transportation Office. Move.mil is the system that you will use to manage your move. On Move.mil, you will work through your allowances, you can book your shipment, track your shipment and file claims if necessary for your move. You will also be prompted at the end of the move to fill in a customer satisfaction survey. It is a one-stop, self-help program designed to put you in charge of the shipment and storage process for your personal property.

Alternatively, you can set up an appointment with your Transportation Office as soon as you have a copy of your PCS orders. The earlier you call or visit your Transportation Office, the greater your chances of moving on your desired date. The counselor will explain your PCS move allowances in detail. He or she will also walk you through the pros and cons of having the government move you or managing the move yourself. If you choose a government move, the counselor will book your shipment and let you know the exact dates the movers will come. If you choose to move yourself, the counselor will give you recommendations and tips for making that personal move as smooth as possible. The Transportation Office can also give you information about HHG allowances, shipping a pet, and shipping your POV.

Unaccompanied Baggage (UAB)

If you are moving overseas, your shipment allowance for personal property will probably include a surface shipment and an unaccompanied baggage shipment which will be sent by air. The air shipment is coordinated so that it is available to you when you arrive in your destination. The unaccompanied baggage shipment should include items that you need upon arrival such as clothes, linens, and baby or medical equipment. You will arrange for the unaccompanied baggage shipment when you arrange for your move either through www.move.mil (DoD’s self counseling and shipment management system) or with your local transportation office. Your installation will also have a loan closet available to borrow items you might need when you arrive. This is especially important if you were not authorized an unaccompanied baggage shipment.

--Military Homefront