Moving allowances, also known as entitlements, are largely based on the service member or civilians rank and dependency status. However, special circumstances like moving overseas (OCONUS), a retirement move, or a separation move may have extra entitlements and/or limitations than the standard Permanent Change of Station (PCS) move within the continental United States.
The information below is designed to help you understand these allowances and provide information that will help you through the moving process. While considerable effort was taken to ensure this information is accurate, ultimately, the Joint Travel Regulation (JTR) is the authority of entitlements for all service members and each branch of the services has supplemental regulations or guidance in addition to the JTR. If you run into a situation where you need clarification of any of these points, or just want to make sure you understand the official rules, you should reach out to your local Personal Property Office (PPPO) for advice and guidance.
Important: Certain overseas locations have additional restrictions due to customs restrictions or base policy. If you are traveling overseas (OCONUS), please contact your local personal property office to double check this guidance.
Pets & Live Animals
- Pets or animals are only allowed if they are travelling with you at your expense. Your Transportation Service Provider (TSP) cannot ship any live animals as part of your move.
- Check out your new duty station website to learn about any vaccines and special quarantines your pet may have to undergo.
- For OCONUS: Some host countries/international bases may limit the animal species and dog breeds allowed and may have specific quarantine requirements for some animals. In some cases, quarantine fees may be reimbursable. Make sure you contact your new duty station before making plans to travel with your pets.
- You can transport firearms as part of your total household goods shipment, assuming that it complies with all local and state laws. If you intend to self-transport firearms in your vehicle, make sure you do not carry your weapon on your person and check all the laws of every state you intend to drive through to your new duty station.
- For OCONUS: You can transport firearms as part of your total household goods shipment, assuming that it abides by all the laws of your host country and your new country. When returning to the United States, you must identify firearms on your individual customs forms and obtain an ATF Form 6. You can access the ATF Form 6 for military personnel here and civilians here. Allow up to 6 weeks for processing. It is recommended you contact your local personal property office for assistance.
Make the firearm inoperable by removing the bolt, firing pin, trigger assembly, and other arming parts.
- Remove all ammunition from the firearm.
- Ensure the firearm information is written on the inventory including make, model, serial number, unique characteristics, and caliber or gauge. Carry a copy of this information physically with you.
- You can ship alcohol as part of your total household goods shipment, assuming that the alcohol you are shipping doesn’t violate any international customs or state-specific import laws. Check out federal US alcohol-related customs laws and state-specific importation laws for more details.
- For OCONUS: It is your responsibility to verify any alcohol restrictions associated with your new duty station.
- If you are assigned to a permanent duty station in a remote location listed in the JTR, Appendix F, Part I you can ship up to 1,250 pounds of suitable consumable goods per a tour year assignment (i.e. 12-month tour - 1,250 lbs; 18-month tour - 1,875 lbs).
- Consumable goods must be packed, marked and weight separately.
- Contact your local Personal Property Office (PPPO) for more details.
- You are responsible for any costs associated with disconnecting appliances.
- If you have a front-loading washing machine you should have the original shipping/stabilizer bolts, spacers, and wrenches which are used to secure the machine for transport. If you don’t have the original bolts, make sure you let your TSP (Transportation Service Provider) know during your pre-move inspection.
Flat-Panel TVs & Monitors
- You are responsible for any pre- or post-move expenses related to your TV such as disconnection/dismounting and reconnection/remounting.
- Subject to Personal Property Shipping Office (PPSO) approval, crating charges may only apply to flat screen televisions in excess of a 75 inch diagonal screen size. contact your PPSO for more information.
- The Transportation Service Provider (TSP) is responsible for wrapping and packing your TV.
- Make sure you inform your TSP if your TV is a plasma display type, because it must be shipped upright.
- For OCONUS: No additional compensation for flat screen televisions. Subject to PPSO approval, crating charges may only apply to flat screen televisions equal to or greater than 75 inch diagonal screen size.
- If you are moving from a gypsy moth quarantined area to a non-quarantine area, you must inspect your outdoor household items for the gypsy moth before you move.
- If you find the Gypsy Moth on any of your belongings, you must treat it before your move. You can use the USDA’s Gypsy Moth Guide to help you know what to look for.
- For OCONUS: If travelling to an international PDS, make sure you check with your host base relating to any other agriculture-related procedures that might affect your shipment.
POV (Primary vehicles)
The cost of transporting your privately-owned vehicles to your new PCS is largely your responsibility.
- The military will reimburse you for the mileage associated with driving your POV according to the DOD PCS Mileage Reimbursement rate.
- If you decide not to drive your POV to your next duty station, you are 100% responsible for any cost relating to shipment of your vehicle. (In some cases, a POV shipment can be requested and authorized if the service member physically cannot drive their car because of geographical or medical limitations.)
Only 1 vehicle (owned or leased) for personal use may be shipped at government expense.
- The vehicle cannot exceed 20 measurement tons (MT). To calculate your POV’s measurement tonnage, multiply its length by its width by its height (in inches), divide by 1728 (this gives you the cubic feet of your POV), and then divide by 40 to obtain your POV’s measurement tonnage (
((L × W × H) / 1728) / 40).
- If you have a unique situation or if you want to make your own arrangements to ship an additional vehicle, please consult with your local transportation office.
Motorcycles & Dirtbikes
- For CONUS: Motorcycles and dirt bikes can be shipped as household goods. That weight is deducted from your total household goods weight.
- For OCONUS: One motorcycle can be transported as a POV. If you ship your motorcycle or dirt bike as household goods, the weight is included in your total household goods weight.
- Check the country requirements before you ship your motorcycle or dirt bike overseas! There may be import restrictions or prohibitions for bringing your specific motorcycle or dirt bike into the country you’re moving to. Contact your local personal property office if you have questions.
Drain the bike of fuel (Carbureted models must be drained down to reserve.)
- Properly inflate tires and repair any fluid leaks (oil, transmission, fuel) as applicable.
- Disconnect battery and tape ends with electrical tape.
- Empty saddlebacks. (Helmets, saddlebags and windshields can stay on the bike provided it is securely strapped to the bike.)
- Unlock bike so that it can be rolled on and off of the moving truck.
Spare POV Parts
- The weight of any spare POV parts will be deducted from the total allowed weight of household goods.
- Examples of spare POV parts might include a car engine, transmission, seats, tops, winch, spare tires, portable gas cans, GPS devices, CD players, and other items that could be misplaced or stolen.
- The weight of any utility trailer will be deducted from the total allowed weight of household goods.
- Trailers must have a single axle, overall length no more than 12ft and less than 8ft wide (outside tire to outside tire). The side rails/body must be less than 28 inches (or less detachable) and the ramp/gate for the trailer can be no higher than 4 ft (unless detachable).
Misc. Sporting Vehicles, Equipment, and Single Occupant Ultra Vehicles
- The weight of any misc sporting vehicles will be deducted from the total allowed weight of household goods.
- These items may ship with their associated trailer if applicable.
- If applicable, the vehicles should be drained of fuel prior to shipment.
- Single-occupant ultra vehicles must weigh less under 155 lbs (unpowered) or 254 lbs (powered); and have a fuel capacity not to exceed (NTE) 5 gallons, airspeed NTE 55 knots, and/or a power-off stall speed NTE 24 knots.
Boat or Personal Watercraft (Not primary residence)
- Boats 14 feet or less will be shipped as part of your household goods. Boats over 14 feet long are shipped using the Boat One Time Only process. To schedule a shipment for boats over 14 feet, it is recommended you visit your local Personal Property Office (PPPO).
- You will also be 100% responsible for any accessorial service charges (special packing, crating, handling, and boat transportation fees) incurred as well as any excess cost that comes from exceeding your maximum weight allowance.
- It is highly suggested, that you consider doing a Personally Procured Move (PPM) for your boat. In this option, the government will either pay you to move your boat or you have the ability to select your own commercial boat hauler. How much money will the government pay me to move my boat?
Make sure your trailer has a valid license, if the origin state does not require a license; a transit permit may be required at your expense in order for the boat hauler to transport the boat trailer.
- The trailer must have good tires, working lights, wiring and brakes.
- The trailer frame cannot be bent, twisted, or broken.
- Remove any valuable items from the boat before shipment (i.e. clothing, TVs, skis, and similar items).
- Lower or remove all antennas, masts, fishing/trolling poles, and outriggers.
Any boat and/or trailer that fits into a standard overseas container (canoes, kayaks, rowboats, jet skis, etc) can be shipped with your household goods.
- For larger boats, you will need to visit your Personal Property Office (PPPO)so that they can schedule a price a separate shipment with a commercial boat hauler. You will be responsible for excess cost - See above.
- Personally-procured boat moves are allowed for OCONUS destinations. How much money will the government pay me to move my boat?
Mobile Homes and Tiny Houses
Boat or Personal Watercraft (Primary residence)
- Residential boat moves are complicated, it is recommended that you visit your Personal Property Office (PPPO) before scheduling anything online.
- In general, you can move your boat yourself, and receive reimbursement for the ACTUAL transportation cost (with no household goods shipment) OR you can have the government arrange to move your boat and have the government pay up to what it would cost to ship the boat’s weight as household goods up to your entitlement level.
- See the “Moving your Mobile Home” handout for more information regarding what to expect. (Boats are considered Mobile Homes by the military.)