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Shipping a Car When You Move Overseas


When you move to certain overseas installations, the government will pay to ship one privately owned vehicle. However, at many overseas destinations, local government restrictions do not allow POVs. If you are allowed to ship a car, the shipment is complex and requires a lot of paperwork. The following information will help you understand the restrictions when shipping your car overseas.

  • Limitations - The government will ship a typical family car, but may not ship your recreational vehicle or a large truck with a heavy camper shell. There are weight restrictions as well as restrictions on certain types of vehicles.
  • Modified vehicles - Low riders, lift kits, upgraded speakers and other non-factory modifications must meet special requirements to be shipped. The regulations vary by country, so be sure to check with your relocation office for information specific to your new duty station.
  • Time limits - There are strict time limits governing how late after your departure or before your return your car can be shipped. These limits vary by service branch.
  • Weight - Don't plan on moving extra household goods in your car. There are strict regulations on what may be placed in the car, as well as weight limits on the vehicle.
  • Licensing - Depending on the country or state of your new home, you may have only a short time to license your vehicle after you arrive. Be aware of the regulations. You can find information about licensing your vehicle from the relocation office.
  • Buying a car at your destination - If you are a two-car family, you may choose to buy a car after you arrive at your new installation. Be aware that some vehicles in foreign countries - even those made by American companies - may not be legal to drive when you return to the United States.

The best resource for more information on shipping your vehicle is the Defense Personal Property System Privately Owned Vehicle page. Because the regulations and contact information change frequently, this page has the most up-to-date information. 


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