Basic Facts

Basic Facts


When to Make Arrangements

If on active duty, you may ship personal property anytime after receipt of permanent change of station orders. The earlier you call or visit your transportation office, the greater your chances of moving on the date you desire. Delaying the call or visit only creates hardships for everyone.

Who to See

The Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard operate transportation offices. Regardless of which branch of service arranges your move, you will get the entitlement and service authorized by your branch.

Your origin transportation office is your first point of contact when questions or problems about the movement of your personal property arise prior to shipment.

What You May Ship As Household Goods

You may ship all personal property associated with the home and all personal effects belonging to you and your dependents on the effective date of your permanent or temporary change of station orders. Also included are spare parts for a privately owned vehicle (extra tires and wheels, tire chains, tools, battery chargers, accessories) and a pickup tailgate when removed to install a camper. Snowmobiles, motorcycles, mopeds and golf carts may be shipped as household goods.

What You May Not Ship As Household Goods

Airplanes, automobiles, trucks, vans and similar motor vehicles, camper trailers, farm equipment. (You have a separate entitlement for your privately owned vehicle when moving to, from or between overseas duty stations. Contact your transportation office for a copy of (Shipping Your POV and more details.)

  • Live animals not required in the performance of official duties, including birds, fish and reptiles;
  • Articles of household goods acquired after the effective date of permanent change of station orders;
  • Cordwood and building materials;
  • Property for resale, disposal or commercial use rather than for use by the member and dependents;
  • Privately owned live ammunition, powder, primers or igniting devices.

Local laws or carrier regulations may prohibit commercial shipment of certain articles not listed above. Articles liable to impregnate or otherwise damage equipment or other property - for example, hazardous materials including explosives, flammable and corrosive materials and poisons are prohibited by laws and regulations.

Unaccompanied Baggage

Unaccompanied baggage consists of items you will need immediately on arrival at destination, pending receipt of your household goods. It is packed and shipped separately from your household goods. Items most often included are seasonal clothing, essential linens, cooking utensils and dishes, baby cribs and infant-care articles, a small radio, portable television and items required for health and comfort. You should also include professional books, papers and equipment needed immediately to perform your official duties. If included, the weight of professional items is not included in the weight charged toward your maximum authorization. Each branch of the armed services has rules regarding when and how much unaccompanied baggage may be shipped. After reviewing your orders, the counselor at the transportation office can determine your unaccompanied baggage entitlement.

Allowance Pounds
General Officers (0-8, 0-9, 0-1 0) 1,000
General Officers (0-7) and Colonels (0-6) 800
Other officers 600
Enlisted members 500
Dependents of military members:
Each adult and child 12 years and older 350
Each child under 1 2 years of age 175
If grade is and member is then allowance is
1) 0-1 to 0-5 PCS 600 lb. net weight (see notes 1 & 2)
2) 0-6 PCS 800 lb. net weight (see notes 1 & 2)
3) 0-7 to 0-10 PCS 1,000 lb. net weight (see notes 1 & 2)
4) E-1 to E-9 PCS serving unaccompanied tour overseas 500 lb. net weight (see notes 1 & 2)
5) E-1 to E-9 PCS serving accompanied tour overseas 400 lb. net weight (see note 1)
6) E-1 to E-9 PCS within CONUS 400 lb. net weight
7) E-1 to 0-10 PCS and authorized movement of dependents 350 lb. net weight for each dependent 12 yr. or older. 175 lb. net weight for dependents less than 12 yr. old.
1) Single and unaccompanied members assigned to duty stations outside the continental United States have two options. They may ship the normal allowance or 10 percent of their full weight allowance by surface (700 lb. for E-1 through E-4, with two years or less). This surface option is also authorized for the member of a military couple not authorized household goods allowance. When the member elects surface option, the shipment may include household goods. Split shipments (part by air, part by surface) are not authorized.
2) For unaccompanied members assigned to hardlift areas, shipment of the 10 percent option by air is authorized.
Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard members should contact their respective transportation offices for unaccompanied baggage allowances.



Boats may be shipped within the continental United States or overseas (subject to host country restrictions).

Boat entitlements do not apply to DOD civilian employees.

Shipping Your Boat

The definition of boats includes, but is not limited to, canoes, skiffs, sailboats, light rowboats, kayaks and dinghies or sculls.

  • Boats 14 feet or less without a trailer may be shipped in your household goods.
  • Boats in excess of 14 feet or any boat with a trailer must be shipped separately, which, in most cases, will result in excess cost to you.
  • In both methods the government pays for moving the weight of the boat at the normal household goods rate only.
  • You are responsible for paying all accessorial service charges, including special packing, crating and handling costs and the difference between special boat rates and normal household goods. Be aware these costs are expensive.
  • You are also responsible for removing pilferable gear, clothing, televisions, skis and similar items. All antennas, masts, fishing/trolling poles and outriggers must be lowered or removed.

Methods of Shipping Your Boat

There are four ways to ship a boat domestically:

  • Any boat less than 14 feet long without a trailer, and dinghies and sculls of any size can be shipped as regular household goods.
  • Boats 14 feet or longer, or under 14 feet with a trailer may be moved as household goods; such moves are normally arranged by the transportation office.
  • Do-it-yourself, or DITY, program.
  • Self-procured method. You may make your own arrangements and file for reimbursement.
  • There are two ways to ship a boat internationally:
  • Any boat and/or trailer that fits into a standard overseas container and is accepted by the carrier may be shipped with household goods.
  • Other boats may also be moved as household goods and are arranged by the transportation office.

If at all possible, consider making your own arrangements and filing for reimbursement.

Sailing Your Boat

You may sail your boat from the continental United States to an overseas destination instead of having the government arrange to ship it. However, you must arrange the payment of all fees and customs charges necessary for entry. At destination you may file for reimbursement. You will be reimbursed the actual expenses incurred - that is, fuel, oil, etc.

Movement of a Boat as a Principal Residence

When your boat is your principal residence, you have two movement options:

  • Within the continental United States and to or from Alaska you may sail it yourself and file for reimbursement of 30 cents a mile (not to exceed what it would cost for government travel).
  • Let the government arrange to move your boat. In this case the government will pay up to what it would cost to ship your maximum household goods weight allowance the maximum distance authorized by your orders.

If you live on your boat and move it as a principal residence, you are not authorized a separate shipment of household goods. Movement of a boat as a principal residence is governed by the same rules and regulations as shipping a mobile home. The rule restricting shipment to any place outside the continental United States except Alaska is the same as that for a mobile home. Ask the counselor at the transportation office for the Moving Your Mobile Home pamphlet. If after reading the pamphlet you decide to let the government arrange movement of your boat, the counselor will provide specific information.


When shipping firearms within or to the continental United States, you must comply with local and state laws. You must also comply with regulations of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, U.S. Department of the Treasury. For shipments to overseas countries you must abide by the laws of the host country. When returning firearms from overseas to the United States, you must identify your firearms on your individual customs declarations and obtain ATF Form 6A. ATF Form 6A may be required to bring newly acquired firearms into the United States. Some basic rules include:

  • 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 is completely described on the inventory to include the make, model, serial number, caliber or gauge.

To be safe you should not carry firearms on your person, except as authorized by local laws and regulations. When carrying a weapon, be sure to check the laws of all states or countries you will travel through on the way to your new duty station. Compliance with the law is your responsibility. The counselor at your transportation office will advise you only on limitations and requirements contained in military regulations and directives.

Remember: Local and state laws vary regarding possession and registration of firearms.


The government authorizes temporary (short-term) and non-temporary (long-term) storage depending on the type of orders issued (PCS, retirement, separation and TDY/TAD). Discuss your situation with the counselor to determine which type of storage applies.

Note: Temporary storage is not authorized in connection with a local move.

Arranging the Move

Your transportation office will make all arrangements necessary to schedule packing and pickup of your household goods. Be prepared when you go to your transportation office to have:

  • Six copies of your orders (and amendments/endorsements) for each type of shipment planned (household goods, non-temporary storage, unaccompanied baggage, etc.);
  • An idea of when you want to move. Be as flexible as possible. You will be asked to select a packing and pickup date. During some periods, especially the summer, the date(s) you prefer may not be available. If at all possible, do not schedule pickup, lease termination, or house sale closing on the same date. Leave some time in your schedule for the unforeseen.
  • The date you plan to arrive at your new duty station. The counselor uses this date to determine the required delivery date of your shipment(s). For example, if you know you can't accept a shipment for three months, don't ask for delivery in one month.
  • An idea of the types of shipments you expect to make and the estimated weight of each;
  • A list of large or unusual items (piano, pool table, china cabinet, wall unit, satellite dish, hot tub, boat, motorcycle, recreational vehicle, etc.). If you are unable to visit the transportation office, you may appoint your spouse or an agent to act on your behalf. A letter of authorization signed by you or a power of attorney is required. Be sure the person you choose knows what you want and has all the information to make the right arrangements. Remember, this person is acting for you, and you are responsible for that person's decisions.


The counselor will prepare an "Application for Shipment and/or Storage of Personal Property" (DD Form 1299) during your interview. Read the form carefully before you sign. Incorrect information can cost you money and delay your shipment. When you sign the form, you agree to pay any excess costs incurred with the movement and/or storage of your property. Never sign a blank form. Don't forget that an estimate of the weight of your professional books, papers and equipment must be on the form. This constitutes an official declaration of intent to ship professional materials.

You will receive a copy of all forms you sign. Keep them close at hand. These are important documents. Hand-carry them. Do not lose them. Do not pack them in any of your shipments.

Insurance Decision

Unfortunately, you may suffer loss or damage to your personal property when it is moved by a carrier or other third party. To protect against the possibility of such loss or damage, you must decide whether to purchase additional protection either from the government or through a private insurance carrier. If your property is lost or damaged during a move, you may file a claim against the government. The maximum statutory amount the government can pay on a single claim is $40,000. Despite this amount, there are maximum amounts allowable for specific types and categories of property. For example, if you lost a stereo system in a move, the maximum amount the government may pay is $1,000 per item and $3,500 per claim. See the Maximum Allowable Loss or Damage Payments table below for specific types and categories of property.

Now that you know there is a maximum amount ($40,000) for a claim and additional limitations on specific items and categories of property, you must decide whether you need additional protection. Private insurance is an option and is the only additional protection available for overseas shipments, to include Hawaii. You have to arrange for that coverage; the transportation counselor cannot do it for you.

For moves that begin and end in the continental United States or Alaska, the government provides basic coverage and offers two options. If you decide to select one of these options and file a claim with the government, your claim initially will be adjudicated applying depreciation and the maximum allowances. Then, if the amount paid to you does not fully pay you for your loss or damage but you had either of the two options, the government will try to recover money from the carrier that caused your loss or damage and pay you additional money for your lost or damaged property. Expect some delay as the government completes the recovery process. For example, you purchase Option 1 coverage prior to your move. During your move, the carrier damages your stereo beyond repair. You file a claim with the government. The local claims office adjudicates your claim and determines your stereo system to be worth $5,000. The claims office would pay you $3,500 - the maximum allowable for this type of property. Then the government would make a demand on the carrier for $5,000. If the government is successful in recovering $5,000 or any amount above $3,500, the government will pay you the amount that exceeds $3,500. Understanding how this procedure works will help you make a more informed decision on the need for additional protection.

Basic coverage, also referred to as increased release valuation, is free and provides for carrier liability of $1.25 multiplied by the net weight of the shipment. If a 10,000 pound shipment is moved from Alabama to Maryland, the maximum carrier's liability is $12,500. For example, if your shipment weighed 10,000 pounds and the carrier lost an Oriental rug worth $18,000, the government initially would pay you $2,000 (the maximum allowable for a single rug) and seek an additional $10,500 from the carrier ($12,500 maximum liability). If the government is successful in recovering that whole amount, you would receive $10,500, for a total of $12,500. For this reason, you might consider purchasing additional protection.

Option 1:

Your transportation office can arrange this increased protection upon your request, but you must make this request at the time of counseling. After-the-fact requests will not be accepted. Option 1 coverage must appear on your DD Form 1299 and on your Personal Property Government Bill of Lading. It is not available on overseas shipments, shipments to or from Hawaii, during non-temporary storage (it can be requested coming out of non-temporary storage) or for local moves. It provides additional depreciated value coverage.

If you buy this option and your property is lost or damaged, Army members may submit their claims to an Army claims office or to the carrier. Members of other services must submit their claim to the carrier first.

The charge for Option 1 coverage is 64 cents per $100 of the additional valuation. For example, if you place a valuation of $30,000 on your 10,000 pound shipment, the carrier's liability is $30,000 (not $12,500 under increased release valuation, discussed above). Cost to you would be $112. The government pays the first 64 cents per $100 for coverage of $12,500; you would pay 64 cents on the remaining $17,500 ($17,500 divided by $100 = $175; $175 x 64 cents = $112). In our preceding example of the Oriental rug, the claimant would ultimately receive the full $18,000 under Option 1 coverage if the government was successful in its recovery efforts against the carrier.

Option 2:

Full replacement protection also may be purchased from your transportation office. You must request this coverage at the time of your initial counseling. It provides full replacement value coverage (not depreciated) for lost or destroyed items. The minimum coverage available under Option 2 is $21,000 or $3.50 times the net weight of the shipment, whichever is greater. If you buy this option, you must submit a claim to the carrier first, and the carrier may choose to repair or replace items rather than pay money to you. The government will accept a claim only if the carrier denies the claim, if delay would cause hardship or if the carrier fails to settle the claim satisfactorily within 30 days. For example, for a 10,000 pound shipment, the full replacement protection must be at least $35,000 (10,000 lb. x $3.50 = $35,000). The charge is 85 cents per $100 of the stated valuation. Total insurance cost would be $297.50. The government would pay $80 of this cost, leaving $217.50 additional cost to you.

Note: Full replacement protection is not available for household goods/ unaccompanied baggage to/from overseas including Hawaii or during periods of non-temporary storage and local moves. The following estimated costs for full replacement protection for household goods are provided for information only.

5,000 $178.50 $40.00 $138.50
7,000 $208.25 $56.00 $152.25
9,000 $267.75 $72.00 $195.75
10,000 $297.50 $80.00 $217.50
12,000 $357.00 $96.00 $261.00
14,000 $416.50 $112.00 $304.50

Commercial Policy

For moves within the United States and overseas or stored shipments, you can obtain additional coverage from a commercial insurance company. Some private insurance companies and household goods carriers sell insurance to cover certain items of personal property during moves. Some homeowner policies may cover some items in shipment; check your policy or with your insurance company.

Carrier Liabilities

For international shipments (including Hawaii), the carrier's liability is $1.80 per pound per article.

For items placed in non-temporary (long-term) storage, the warehouseman's liability is $50 for each item listed on the inventory.

Army Pamphlet 55–2, DOD PA 13A, AFP 75-45, NAVMC 2668, COMDTPUB P4050.5, NAVSUP PUB 380