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Frequently Asked Questions for PCS and Military Moves

There is nothing more constant than change and moving can be a big one. The following FAQ sections can help you learn what you can expect before, during, and after moving and how you can prepare for a smooth transition.

Preparing for Your Move

Yes. Official orders or a Letter-In-Lieu of Orders have specific information the transportation office needs to book a move. Your orders or letter will have a funding line, your current and future duty stations, and show whether you have family members or other dependents authorized to move under those orders.

Letter-In-Lieu of Orders Note: You will be responsible for all PCS costs if your move is cancelled or destination changes prior to receipt of official orders. You need to provide a copy of your official orders to the transportation office upon receipt.

Yes. Since the entitlements and rules that govern these types of moves are a bit more complex, you must talk with your local transportation office to get this setup. This will ensure you know what to expect and can make a smooth move.

No, you don’t need to know your final delivery address to schedule a move, but you will need to enter a location to continue through scheduling a move. The safest bet is to add your destination city, state, and ZIP code in the Defense Personal Property System. Then you can go back and add the street address once you settle on a location. When you add your street address, remember to correct the city, state, and ZIP code if necessary.

If you are a military member or civilian employee (or a person acting on behalf of) who is making a permanent change of station move, separating, or retiring from federal service, you have to prepare an application in the Defense Personal Property System, or DPS. If you do not have a DPS account, you will need to register for one. DPS is where you will upload your orders and create a shipment(s) (e.g., household goods, unaccompanied baggage, non-temporary storage, personally procured move, etc.).

You can log in to DPS using a Common Access Card, or CAC, or by obtaining a user ID and password before accessing. Follow the instructions in the New User Registration tutorial located in DPS when setting up your account. After setting up your account, follow the instructions in the Create a Shipment or Create a PPM Shipment tutorial. Have a digital copy of your orders ready and be prepared to answer questions about your weight estimate, delivery address, and any special items that need to be moved.

Pro-Tip: Instead of using your work email address in the customer information section, use your personal email address so you can stay up to speed on your move at all times.

Note: First time movers, separating service members, and retirees must contact their local transportation office before scheduling a move in DPS.

Yes. Below are the only times when you cannot proceed with scheduling your move in DPS before first scheduling a counseling session with your local transportation office.


You cannot use DPS if…

  • This is your first personal property move.
  • This is your last personal property move (you are separating or retiring).
  • You are storing or moving personal property AND you have contingency or deployment orders.
  • You’re storing or moving personal property AND moving your family to an overseas location.
  • You are not the property owner AND you’re using a power of attorney.
  • You are moving personal property as “next of kin” or summary courts officer.
  • You’re still not sure or need more help, contact your local transportation office.

Marine Corps

You cannot use DPS if…

  • You are not the property owner AND you are using a power of attorney (with personal property shipping office/personal property processing office assistance).
  • You are moving personal property as “next of kin” or summary courts officer/command representative.
  • You are still not sure or need more help, contact your local transportation office.


You cannot use DPS if…

  • You are moving personal property as “next of kin” or summary courts officer.
  • You’re still not sure or need more help, contact your local transportation office.

Air Force

You cannot use DPS if…

  • This is your first personal property move.
  • This is your last personal property move (you are separating or retiring).
  • You are not the property owner AND you’re using a power of attorney.
  • You are moving personal property as “next of kin” or summary courts officer.
  • You’re still not sure or need more help, contact your local transportation office!

Coast Guard

You cannot use DPS if…

  • This is your first personal property move.
  • This is your last personal property move (you are separating or retiring).
  • You are not the property owner AND you’re using a power of attorney.
  • You are moving personal property as “next of kin” or summary courts officer.
  • You’re still not sure or need more help, contact your local transportation office.

A HHG move is when the government schedules a mover to pack/unpack and ship all of your items.

A full PPM (also known as a do-it-yourself move) is when you decide to move your household items instead of doing a HHG move. You will still need to book this type of move in DPS which will help calculate your estimated incentive payment.

Note: If your move costs go above this amount the government is not obligated to reimburse you for those expenses.

Alternatively, you can do a partial PPM with a HHG move. Typically, this occurs when you use your personal vehicle to ship household items as they move from one duty station to the next. This type of move will require full/empty weight tickets of the vehicle. Use this locator tool to find some weight scales close to you.

Note: Civilian employees will only be reimbursed for actual cost. Advance operating allowance is not authorized

It’s best to contact your local transportation office before you do a full or partial PPM to make sure you understand all of your entitlements.

A list of items you are allowed to move can be found by visiting PCS entitlements. Typically, you are allowed to bring the majority of your household goods but there are restrictions on certain items that include hazardous materials (most cleaning supplies, paint, gasoline, etc.) as well as perishables (frozen food, produce, etc.) that will not be able to travel with you. Additionally, some of your items, such as a lawn mower, will need all the fuel removed before the movers will pack it up. To find how much weight you are allowed, review these Joint Travel Regulations Authorized PCS Weight Allowances and Table 5-37.

You can find your authorized allotment in the Joint Travel Regulations Storage in Transit section, Table 5-91.

Note: DOD civilian CONUS to CONUS 60 days/to or from OCONUS 90 days – see JTR table 5-91.

Yes, but contact your local transportation office to ensure you will not incur excess costs.

Yes. You will need to contact your TSP if you want to make a change to your pickup date. If the TSP cannot support your request, you will need to contact your local transportation office for assistance.

This is part of your weight allowance that is separated from other household goods and is shipped via an expedited mode because it’s needed immediately or soon after your arrival at the destination, prior to the arrival of your household goods. This typically occurs with an OCONUS move.

Examples: May consist of personal clothing and equipment; essential pots, pans, and light housekeeping items; collapsible items such as cribs, playpens, and baby carriages; and other articles required for the care of dependents. If necessary, you can also ship a small amount of professional books, paper and equipment in your unaccompanied baggage, or UB, shipment.

Not Allowed: Furniture and major appliances (refrigerators, washing machines, etc.).

Reminder: Unaccompanied baggage counts against your total weight allowance.

Your shipment may be one of many Customs and Border Protection, or CBP, picks for an inspection. Many shipments moving back to the U.S. are inspected on the first day of packing. If you or your family are one of the chosen ones for a CBP inspection, please make sure all of your belongings are clean and have no signs of pest infestation. This is especially true for outdoor items such as lawn furniture, garden tools and other items that are exposed to dirt or insects (e.g., gypsy moths, spotted fly lantern, brown tree snakes, rodents, cockroaches, and other pests.)

Yes. As you navigate through the Defense Personal Property System, or DPS, you will be prompted with questions about these types of special items. Be sure to include as much information as possible and make sure during the pre-move survey you point out these items to the representative.

Yes, but you need to make sure you tell the delivering company to weigh the container empty before drop-off.

Note: You are required to submit full and empty weight tickets.

Check out these moving tips received from other customers and spouses as you prepare for your move.

7-Day Spread Window Policy

“Spread dates” refer to the window (seven calendar days) within which your moving company must pick up your shipment. We included the use of spread dates to provide more certainty for customers when scheduling their move.

Your pickup date is the day your moving company physically removes your belongings from your home. Your pack-out dates—the day(s) your moving company will be in your home to pack your belongings—will always come before your pickup date. This is an important point, and one to keep in mind while scheduling your move.

Your moving company must confirm the pickup date with you—in writing—within three calendar days of accepting your shipment. It’s important to note spread dates do not apply to all shipment types. Talk with your counselor to ensure you understand the rules associated with your shipments.

No, you don’t. The inclusion of spread dates does not change the long-standing rule that prevents moving companies from scheduling a move on a weekend or holiday without the customer’s consent.

Weekend and holiday pickups are atypical, and are approved on a case-by-case basis. While weekends and holiday requests may be accommodated in some instances, we recommend moving on a week day to ensure you have access to the full range of government and industry resources. Please discuss this with your transportation office when you schedule your shipment.

Dates should not change without your approval. If your moving company requests a date change and you do not agree with it, immediately contact your transportation office. If your moving company misses your pickup date, you may be eligible for an inconvenience claim.

Your spread date window is calculated from the preferred pickup date you list in DPS when scheduling your move. The 7-day spread is always AFTER your preferred pick-up date—not before. Example: If you list June 1 as your preferred pickup date, your moving company is required to schedule your pickup between June 1 and June 7.

No, this rule change does not address the program’s capacity constraints (which are particularly acute during the summer months). It does, though, provide more certainty over your moving dates once your shipment has been awarded to a moving company.

You can improve your chances of getting moving dates that work best for you by contacting your local transportation office to schedule your shipment as soon as you receive your PCS orders.

No. The use of spread dates is being incorporated into some elements of the Defense Personal Property Program. For the 2021 moving season, the rule will apply to most household goods and unaccompanied baggage shipments. The rule does not apply to “short fuse” shipments (shipments scheduled on very short noticed during peak season); shipments arranged under direct-procurement method, or DPM, contracts; or non-temporary storage shipments. Talk with your counselor to ensure you understand the rules associated with your shipment type.

Shipping Privately Owned Vehicles, or POVs

A POV, or privately owned vehicle, is any motor vehicle that provides personal transportation and is owned by, or on a long-term lease to (12 or more months), a customer or a customer’s dependents. A POV can have four or more wheels, like a car or truck. The POV must be:

  • Self-propelled
  • Licensed to travel on public highways
  • Designed to carry passengers or household goods

You may have an entitlement to ship or store one POV at government expense when you receive permanent change of station orders.


The cost of transporting your POV to your new duty station is largely your responsibility for a CONUS to CONUS move. There are exceptions, so if you’re unsure, contact your local transportation office (for military members) or human resource office (for civilian employees).

If you can’t drive from your previous CONUS duty station to the new CONUS location because of medical or personal reasons, or if the travel time exceeds your report-in date, contact your local transportation office for assistance.


Only one POV owned or leased for personal use may be shipped at government expense. To inquire about exceptions, or if you would like to make your own arrangements to ship more than one POV to your new duty station, please contact your local transportation office.

It depends. A motorcycle or moped can be considered a POV if you are not shipping a vehicle at government expense on the same authorization or travel orders. If you have questions, contact your local transportation office.

Please contact the Vehicle Processing Center nearest your present duty station.

Please consult your local transportation office or the Personal Property Consignment Instruction Guide, or PPCIG, for detailed information. Your local transportation office can help you locate the PPCIG, or you can log into the DPS to obtain the link.

U.S. Code of Federal Regulations (Title 49, Transportation, Carriage By Vessel, section 176.905, paragraph A (2) specifically states: “The fuel tank of a motor vehicle or mechanical equipment powered by liquid fuel may not be more than one-fourth full.”

The exterior of your POV must be washed and clean of all dirt. The interior of your vehicle must be vacuumed clean (dry vacuumed only).

You have 21 days from the day your POV is available to pick it up. The destination Vehicle Processing Center will notify you within 24 hours via email or postcard when your vehicle is ready for you. You can also track your vehicle’s progress to its final destination on PCSmyPOV.

Containerization – Crating

Damaged and missing items (which lead to claims) are the number one reason for customer dissatisfaction in the Defense Personal Property Program. Transporting your household goods inside crates can help reduce damage associated with handling and prevent loss—especially if your shipment goes into storage-in-transit, or SIT. Shipments may go into SIT because a customer does not have an address to enable a direct delivery at the time of booking, or because a customer requests SIT to accommodate other plans (such as leave or a planned TDY) that prevents a direct delivery at destination.

In addition to being planned for SIT, shipments are suitable candidates for crating when the shipment is:

  • Estimated at 10,000 lbs. or less in peak season (May 15 – Sept. 30) or 3,000 lbs. or less in non-peak season (Oct. 1 – May 14)
  • Moving farther than 800 miles
  • Does not contain extra-large items which will not fit in a standard lift van

Crating is an option that can be discussed and requested during a counseling session. If you request to have your domestic shipment crated and the cost to do so exceeds the cost of moving your shipment as an uncrated, loose load, you may be responsible for paying the difference. Your local transportation office can advise you on potential costs.

No. Current lumber shortages are limiting the use of crates for domestic shipments (which is an optional service), and moving companies are preserving these assets for international shipments (which require the use of crates).

These are seals the moving company will place on all international, unaccompanied baggage, and crated (Code 2) HHG containers. The seals can provide reasonable evidence that a container has been opened or tampered with during transportation.

You will not sign each seal but will sign the inventory. The seal number for each seal will be annotated by the moving company on the inventory and will cross-reference the container number. It is your responsibility to verify the seal information is correct prior to signing the inventory.

Yes, if your shipment was booked as a containerized shipment, the moving company is required to load and apply seals to your containerized shipment prior to leaving your residence unless you or your servicing transportation office authorizes crating at the warehouse.

In such cases, items removed from the residence without containerization must be noted on the inventory as “containerized at warehouse” or CW. However, if your shipment was not booked as a containerized shipment, the moving company may elect to containerize at their warehouse for their convenience.

If your HHG was booked as a containerized shipment, the moving company is required to load and apply seals to your containerized shipment prior to leaving your residence unless you or your servicing transportation office authorizes crating at the warehouse. In such cases, items removed from the residence without containerization must be annotated on the inventory as “containerized at warehouse” or CW. You are not permitted to go to the warehouse.

For a crated shipment, overflow items will be treated in the same manner as the rest of the shipment, crated. The moving company will use a smaller crate for the overflow. Moving companies are not restricted to using a standard lift van.

Yes, seals may be broken by customs or other government officials in performance of their official duties. On rare occasions, seals may be damaged as a result of normal transportation movement. Should this occur the containers will be resealed and the moving company must add a notation in DPS with the new seal numbers.

The moving company should not break the seals until the containers are at your residence for delivery.

You should note on the delivery documents that the seals were missing or broken when it was delivered. You should also use the inventory to account for all items. If any items are found missing or damaged, list these items on the Notification of Loss or Damage at Delivery form, which should be provided by your moving company.

The moving company is required to crate all items at your residence, unless the shipping office or you give the moving company the permission to crate at the warehouse. Your moving company should crate the item prior to departing your residence.

While there are no documented size limitations, crated items should be things that are needed immediately or soon after arrival at your destination. Example: Items that can be shipped in unaccompanied baggage include clothing and personal items, small kitchen essentials, and collapsible items such as cribs, playpens and strollers.

Customers must be provided the option to retain the new crate/container for their next move. If the customer elects not to retain the crate, they can do so without fear of being penalized by the transportation office denying a TSP’s request to construct another crate for same item in future moves, and the TSP shall remove the crate from the residence.

Moving Days – Packing, Pickup and Delivery

Your assigned moving company will contact you before your first pack or pickup day and give you an arrival window. If you haven’t heard from them at least three government business days before your scheduled move date, notify your local transportation office.

If you can’t reach your moving company, the easiest way to find out your shipment status is to log in to DPS. On the DPS landing page, to view the shipment status, locate your shipment either under Current Move or Past Moves. You can also contact your local transportation office for additional assistance.

Pickup and delivery must begin between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. No services should be started after 5 p.m. without your approval, and must be complete by 9 p.m.

If you cannot be present on move day, you will need to appoint someone (spouse, relative or friend) to sign off on anything on your behalf. This person must be listed as an agent on your moving application. If they’re not listed, they must have either a power of attorney or written authorization that’s been notarized or countersigned by a commissioned officer. The appointed person’s name must appear on the document as your representative. Remember, this person is acting for you, and you are responsible for that person’s decisions.

Check out these top moving tips received from service members and spouses.

The packers should arrive with plenty of boxes, tape and packing material to get everything loaded up in boxes. The pre-move survey is critical to make sure the packers show up with everything they need to properly pack your items. If there are multiple packers it can be hard to watch everything they pack, so if there are items you don’t want them to move, put them in your vehicle or a separate room/closet and let the packers know not to pack anything in that specific location.

The parts box is where the movers store hardware to re-assemble any furniture when they arrive at the destination. As a pro-tip, you may want to take that box with you as you travel to your new destination if possible. There have been limited incidents where the parts box has gone missing, which makes setting up beds, couches, cribs, etc. very difficult without all the proper hardware.

It’s your responsibility to take down anything from the walls that you want moved. This includes pictures, artwork, curtains, TVs, clocks, mirrors, etc. The movers are not required to remove anything from your walls.

Pro Tip: After you take that picture or clock off the wall, tape its hanging hardware to the back of the item. This will make hanging it up in your new home much easier and faster.

No. Supplying meals or refreshments is never required. Moreover, providing monetary tips is discouraged. If your TSP requests either, please notify your local transportation office.

If there’s a problem on site, you can try talking with the movers’ supervisor/lead who is on site, but you can always call your local transportation office or quality control inspector to help intervene.

During both pickup and delivery, the movers are required to put down some type of material (plastic, fabric, etc.) to protect your flooring, doorways and high traffic areas. If damage is done to your residence, you have the option to file a Real Property Damage claim.

You have a couple of options during the delivery phase about what items you want the delivery crew to unpack. Unloading at destination includes the one-time laying of rugs and the one-time placement of furniture and like items in a room or dwelling designated by you or your representative. Your mover can do a full unpack, where they empty all the items of the boxes in the specified rooms or you can have them do a partial unpack and only open boxes in select areas. You can also have them reassemble any furniture that they took apart at the origin (beds, couches, etc.).

Note: Before the movers start taking out or bringing property into your home, ask the movers to accompany you on a survey of the residence. This way you can point out and agree upon pre-existing property damage (if any). Once this has been noted, the movers can start to unpack the truck.

If you run into shipment issues while en route to your next duty station, you can call either the local transportation office from your origin or your destination to get some help quickly.

You will need to file a request in the Defense Personal Property System for the delivery of your storage items. This can take a few days or weeks depending on availability during various times of the year. As soon as you know your dates, contact your TSP or move manager to get this scheduled.

If the moving company arrives at your destination before you do, they will most likely put your shipment into storage because they need to get to their next scheduled move. It is recommended that you plan to arrive a day or more prior to your scheduled delivery date to avoid having your items go into storage.

Note: The moving company must provide a 24-hour notice for delivery. They will attempt to contact you twice, at least six hours apart. If they do not hear back from you within that 24-hour time frame, they may try to call the local transportation office and have your belongings placed in storage. Once your shipment is in storage, it can sometimes take up to a few weeks to get it delivered again.

Quality assurance, or QA, inspectors make sure your move is going as smoothly as possible. They can check in with you and your family by telephone or in person on scheduled pack, pickup, and/or delivery days. QA inspectors also help resolve disputes between you and your moving company. They make sure your items are being handled properly, and take corrective actions if your moving company doesn’t perform to government standards. If you have a problem and need a QA inspector’s help, contact your local transportation office for assistance.

Inconvenience claims

Inconvenience claims are different from claims for the loss and/or damage to personal property. To learn more, check out the Inconvenience Claim Factsheet.

An inconvenience claim is payment to a DOD customer to account for inconveniences associated with your mover’s inability to meet required pickup and delivery dates to include storage-in-transit, or SIT.

The payment is intended to offset expenses incurred by you because you are not able to use necessary items in your shipment to establish your household due to the moving company’s failure to adhere to the agreed-upon schedules.

The payment does not require you to keep receipts unless you incur actual out-of-pocket expenses (above the per diem rate for first 7 days) to obtain necessary items to establish your household. These include items such as: furniture or appliance rental; air mattresses; pots, pans, and dishes; paper goods; pillows, linens and towels; or laundry services.

If the moving company purchases or reimburses the customer for these tangible household items, they have the option to make arrangements to reclaim those items upon delivery of the customer’s shipment.

An inconvenience is authorized and payable when:

  • The TSP fails to pick up your shipment upon the agreed date. If your TSP decides they can’t service your shipment within 14 calendar days of the pickup date, you will be reimbursed for actual out-of-pocket expenses incurred from the original pickup date through the new pickup date. This only applies if the DOD is unable to rebook your shipment on the original pickup date.
  • The TSP fails to deliver on or before the required delivery date, provided you are in possession of a residence and are available to receive the delivery. If the TSP is unable to meet any of the above actions, they must advise you about inconvenience claim rules – prior to the missed pickup date, required delivery date, or agreed upon delivery date out of storage-in-transit, or SIT.
  • When the TSP places your shipment into SIT, you are eligible for an inconvenience claim if:
    • It was placed into SIT without notifying you.
    • The TSP cannot deliver your shipment within seven business days of the date you first contact the TSP requesting delivery. Example: You call your TSP on 6/1/2021 but TSP is unable to deliver by 6/10/2021.
    • You request a delivery date more than seven business days in advance and the TSP cannot deliver it within two business days after that requested delivery date. Example: You call your TSP on 6/1/2021 requesting delivery on 6/14/2021. If your TSP is unable to deliver your shipment by 6/16/2021, you are eligible for an inconvenience claim.
  1. Notify your TSP that you intend to file a claim.
  2. Request the inconvenience claim form from your TSP.
  3. Contact your local transportation office for assistance.
  • When actual expenses exceed the baseline payment; lodging, meals, and groceries are not covered unless the TSPs inability to pick-up or deliver your shipment is the cause. In rare exceptions, they may be required to pay lodging or meals cost that are reasonable and for short duration.
  • Exceptions will be considered on a case-by-case basis, as every situation is unique. DOD customers should talk with their TSP about the items that are reasonable, temporary, and necessary for the service member and family to use while waiting for delivery of their shipment.

Yes. Inconvenience claims are not authorized when:

  • A delay is caused by events that are not the fault of the TSP such as: acts of nature; strikes or other similar events; delays due to government transportation issues.
  • You or your designated representative cannot accept delivery of your shipment on the first date the TSP offers you, as long as the date offered is prior to the required delivery date, or RDD.
  • Your shipment is turned back due to the discovery of mold/infestation at time of pickup.
  • Alcoholic beverages are not eligible for reimbursement.

Moving companies will compensate you for all days that resulted from their failure to pick up on the agreed upon dates and/or deliver before the required delivery date.

  • The ‘baseline’ is the amount payable to you without receipts, without itemizing expenses, and without the need for any additional approval for up to seven days.
  • The baseline reimbursement rate will be calculated at 100% of meals and expenses for the DOD customer, based on the applicable pickup or delivery location, times the number of days that you are affected by the delay.
  • You will be authorized either Per Diem or actual out of pocket expenses, whichever is greater, not Per Diem and receipts combined.

Visit the Defense Travel Management Office website for per diem rates for meals and incidental expenses.

  • Your TSP must acknowledge your intent to file an inconvenience claim within five business days of being contacted by you or your local transportation office.
  • Your TSP must reimburse you within 30 calendar days of your initial contact informing them of the intent to file an inconvenience claim.

If your moving company denies reimbursement or disputes all or some of the items you claimed, contact your local transportation office for assistance. They will review your inconvenience claim and let you know if the mover has to reimburse you for your items.

There may be circumstances when your moving company is not responsible for paying your out-of-pocket expenses. Some examples are natural disasters, acts of the government, or violent strikes that may have caused a delay with your shipment. If you have questions, contact your local transportation office.

Out-of-pocket expenses are additional costs you may incur because you can’t use certain necessary items from your shipment to set up (or remain in) your household. These expenses may include, but are not limited to, laundry service, furniture and/or appliance rental (to include rental of a television), air mattresses, towels, linens, pillows, and necessary kitchen items such as pots, pans, dishes, paper plates and plastic ware.

In this case, you would file an inconvenience claim with your moving company for missed agreed upon pickup, delivery, required delivery dates, or delivery date out of storage. To learn more about inconvenience claims, check out the Inconvenience Claims Fact Sheet.

Contact your local transportation office if you have additional questions about inconvenience claims.

Loss and damage claims

If any of your household goods are lost, damaged or destroyed during the moving process, you may be entitled to full replacement/repair value of those items. To learn more check out the Personal Property Claims fact sheet.

On the day of delivery, should you notice damage while the TSP is still at your residence, note the information on your Notification of Loss or Damage at Delivery Form. Should you find additional damage after the TSP leaves your residence, you may annotate the information on the Notification of Loss or Damage After Delivery Form.

NOTE: If water, mold or smoke damage is discovered, stop the move immediately and contact your local transportation office, quality assurance Inspector, and move coordinator and inform them of the discovery.

To learn more about the claims process check out the Personal Property Claims fact sheet.

The first step in initiating a claim is to give your TSP a written notice that some of your items were missing or damaged during the move process and that you intend to file a claim. You can submit this notice in two ways:

  1. Review and sign the Notification for Loss and Damage at Delivery form given to you by your delivering TSP on delivery day.
  2. Submit the Notification of Loss and Damage After Delivery form in the Defense Personal Property System, or DPS, which is the portal where you originally scheduled your move. Click on Start My Loss & Damaged Report to find that form.

Note: Shipments picked up prior to May 15, 2020 still adhere to the previous 75 calendar day timeframe. The 180 calendar day timeframe only applies to shipments picked up on or after May 15, 2020.

Remember that submitting a loss and damage report does not take the place of filing your claim. To be reimbursed you must still file a claim in DPS. Learn more about different types of moving claims.

Yes. You can submit your Notification of Loss or Damage at/After Delivery forms to your moving company by mail, fax, or by attaching the form to an email and emailing it to your TSP. It’s a good idea to keep your proof of dispatch, i.e., a return mail or certified letter receipt, fax confirmation sheet, email delivery confirmation, or email “read” receipt.

If you had good cause to exceed the 75 calendar day notice period (applicable to shipments picked up prior to May 15, 2020) or 180-day notice period (applicable to shipments picked up May 15, 2020 and after), such as an officially recognized absence or hospitalization during all or a portion of that 75-day or 180-day window, please pass that information to your TSP for their consideration. When incidents like this happen, your TSP is required to contact your military claims office, or MCO, for a determination. We recommend you do the same and contact your service branch MCO, as well. To find your MCO contact information, visit Customer Service Contacts for Your Military PCS and look under the Claims section.

Note: Your military claims office, or MCO, is the only office that can grant an extension for filing your loss/damage report after the 75/180 day timeframe.

A claim is made when you request compensation for lost or damaged items.

In order to file a claim and qualify for full replacement/repair value protection, you will need to submit your claim using DPS. It’s located under the Claims tab.

You will have up to nine months to submit a claim from your delivery date for the full replacement. If the claim is submitted more than nine months from the delivery date, you will only be eligible for depreciated value up to two years from your delivery date.

In order to start your claim within DPS, your shipment must be in a “delivery complete” status. If it is not, please contact your moving company for them to deliver your shipment out in the system. Your nine month timeframe will start from the date the status was changed in the system.

Note: Your Military Claims Office, or MCO, is the only office that can grant an extension for filing a claim past the 9-month timeline or outside of DPS.

When filing a claim, documentation to substantiate may not be the same for all. However, at a minimum for items that are lost and/or damaged that can’t be repaired, you would need to know the replacement cost and where to purchase the item. If at all possible, please take pictures of damaged items for your files. For high value items (antiques, jewelry etc.), appraisal reports may be needed to support actual worth. Again, every claim is different and may require less or additional documentation to support an amount of an item.

If you cannot come to an agreement on the offers being provided, you may either transfer a portion (per line items) or the entire claim to your military claim office, or MCO. To find your MCO contact information, visit Customer Service Contacts for Your Military PCS and look under the Claims section.

If you notice damage caused by the movers, point it out to the moving company’s lead crew member or supervisor before they leave your residence, if possible. Make sure it’s documented on the paperwork prior to them leaving. If the damage is found later, you have SEVEN days from the last date they were at your residence to alert the TSP of the damage. Please make sure notification is in writing. For more information on residential claims, check out our Personal Property Claims Fact Sheet.

NOTE: Government cannot reimburse for damage to real property (home).

After your move

If you receive notification from the Defense Personal Property System or the transportation office that you went over your authorized weight limit, there are a few things you can do:

  • First, check to see if the weight of all professional gear (yours and your spouse’s) listed on your inventory form was subtracted from the total net weight you shipped.
  • Second, subtract the weight of the “packing material” (usually 10% of the net weight) from that total net weight.
  • If you’re still over your authorized weight and your shipment has not been delivered to you yet, you can request a reweigh before your household goods are brought to your new home. If the reweigh shows you’re still over your allowance, expect to pay back the excess shipping costs.

You can also contact your local transportation office for assistance.

At the end of your move, you are encouraged to fill out the Customer Satisfaction Survey, or CSS. This provides the transportation offices with direct feedback on your moving company. The surveys are read by real humans and if a moving company has a negative trend, they can be suspended (temporarily or indefinitely) for providing poor service. On the flip side, if you find a moving company that did an excellent job, please put that in the survey as well, so we know who to continue to reward with more service contracts.

To access the CSS, log on to DPS and select the Customer Satisfaction Survey tab. If you are unable to log on to DPS, you can call the System Response Center at 800-462-2176. Select option 2, next option 1, and then option 1.

You have 45 days from the planned move start date to turn in all paperwork. Please visit or call your local transportation office, as they will need copies of your weight tickets, vehicle registration, moving receipts, and a few other documents to ensure you are properly reimbursed.

If you have questions or need assistance with any aspect of your move, experts are available to help you find the answers and resources you need. Call Military OneSource 24/7 at 800-342-9647. You can also use OCONUS dialing options or schedule a live chat.

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