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Arranging a Personal Property Shipment


Several steps in the moving process happen before packing even begins. Understanding what each step includes can help ensure a smooth transition. Your local transportation office can answer questions and provide assistance with all aspects of your move, from understanding entitlements and allowances to scheduling your shipments.

Step 1: Receiving assignment notification

While each service does this slightly differently, you are typically notified that you will be moving through an assignment notification process, either through an email, a phone call or a notification from a supervisor.

It’s important to understand that an assignment notification does not mean that you have “orders” yet.

At this stage, it’s recommended that you start some of the preparation work, which may include looking at places to live at your new destination and getting yourself organized for the pending move. The one constant within the Department of Defense is change, so we caution you not to make any permanent decisions (i.e., home purchase) until you have orders in hand.

Here are a few things you can do to get organized while you wait for your official orders:

Image of Hand Light Bulb
Image of Moving Boxes

Review these packing tips to help you get organized.

Step 2: Receiving your orders

In general, your moving process will start with the job/travel orders you receive from your service or agency.

In your orders, information describing your rank, the duration of your job/training, and your assigned location will determine whether your entire dependent family can come, what you are allowed to bring, and how those items will arrive to your new location.

Your orders are an important document, so make sure everything is accurate. Verify the administrative details (your name, Social Security number, etc.) and make sure it has the correct duty station, dependent information and reporting dates. If you see anything that does not look right, let your administration know right away that there is an error so it can be corrected as soon as possible.

If you have any questions, your local transportation office is the place to go for help deciphering your orders as they pertain to moving.

Understanding different types of assignments and destinations

PCS, or permanent change of station, is when you are assigned to a location for 20 weeks or more, regardless of whether your assignment pertains to training or a new job. In these circumstances, you should be allowed a full household goods move should you choose to take it.

TDY, or temporary duty, is when you are temporarily assigned to a new location for an extended period of time (over 31 days) but generally less than 20 weeks. For TDY, generally only a small portion of your household belongings can travel with you.

CONUS moves start and end within the 48 contiguous states of the U.S. and District of Columbia.

OCONUS moves are to or from Alaska and Hawaii, and international locations.

Step 3: Scheduling your move

Now that you have orders in hand, you get to choose how to ship your goods and schedule your move dates. You should contact your local transportation office to schedule an info/counseling session and discover options for transporting your goods.

Pro-tip: Use this weight estimator tool if you need help determining how much your household goods shipment might weigh. The tool shows the average weight of standard household items and gives an estimated calculation to compare with your entitlement allowance.

DPS is the online system you use to upload your orders and create shipment(s) (e.g. household goods, unaccompanied baggage, non-temporary storage, personally procured move, etc.).

You can log in using a common access card, or CAC, or by obtaining a user ID and password before accessing DPS. Follow the instructions in the “New User Registration” tutorial in DPS when setting up your account. After that, follow the instructions in the “Create a Shipment” or “Create a PPM Shipment” tutorial.

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

When creating your shipment, you will select the packing and pickup dates. This will be a seven-day spread window during which your moving company is required to pick up your shipment. Learn more about the 7-Day Spread Window Policy.

Once your shipment application (DD Form 1299) has been created and submitted, the local transportation office, will review and submit for routing and awarding to a transportation service provider, or TSP.

When you sign in to DPS, you’ll be asked a series questions about your move. Make sure you are prepared to provide the following:

  • Your contact information
  • Estimated weight
  • Pickup and delivery locations
  • Pickup and delivery dates
  • Special entitlement items (boat, guns, large electronics, etc.)
  • Estimated weight of professional books, papers and equipment, or PBP&E

Log in to or contact DPS »

Related Forms:

Understanding your PCS entitlements

Understanding the amount and types of items you are allowed to move — generally referred to as your PCS entitlements — will help with planning. In addition to weight allowances, you can find more information on what items you’re allowed to move — from pets and household appliances to lawn furniture, TVs and more. Your local transportation office can also talk you through your specific entitlements during your individual counseling session.

Choosing how to ship your goods and understanding move types

When scheduling your move, you will have some choices to make regarding how your belongings are shipped to your new destination.

Remember, you can split up your total allowable weight into multiple shipments. For example, most service members doing a PCS CONUS move will have both a personally procured move, also known as a PPM or “do it yourself,” and a household goods, or HHG, shipment using a government-furnished moving company for the bulk of their belongings.

If you have any questions, your local transportation office can help you figure out how to break up your weight into separate shipments.

HHG, or a household goods move, is a move completed by a government-furnished moving company, also called a transportation service provider, or TSP. During a HHG move, your TSP is responsible for packing all of your belongings and transporting them to your new location. See the Managing Your Moving Days article for an overview of this process.

Approved for:
Permanent change of station, or PCS

Permanent change of station, or PCS

Note: If your HHG shipment includes storage-in-transit you may have the option to request the use of a container. Shipments in containers are dependent on what the moving and storage industry is able to provide at the time of your move. To learn more about shipments in containers, see the Personal Property Containerization fact sheet.

PPM, or a personally procured move, is a do-it-yourself move within the military. You will be responsible for either packing/unpacking and transporting your belongings to your new location yourself or hiring your own commercial moving company. You can use portable moving and storage containers, rental trucks, or any other method of your choosing to conduct a PPM.

PPMs are especially recommended for any irreplaceable valuables you own, such as family heirlooms, photos and important documents or for necessities you will need immediately at your new location while waiting for your transporter to arrive.

As an incentive to move yourself, the government will pay you 100% of the government’s constructed “best value” cost to hire a moving company on your behalf or perform your own move. If you can move your belongings yourself for less money, you get to keep the difference.

Remember, this money is considered an incentive and is based on the household goods weight you actually transport, not to exceed your authorized weight allowance. If necessary, for most branches of military service you can receive an advance payment of up to 60 percent of the incentive value.

If the government cannot arrange an HHG move within the timeframe you request, you may be authorized to do a PPM and in some cases receive reimbursement of the actual coast associated with hiring a commercial moving company if approved in advance by your military service or agency.

See the Personally Procured Moves fact sheet for more details and contact your local transportation office with any questions.

Approved for:
Temporary Duty, or TDY
Permanent Change of Station, or PCS

Temporary Duty, or TDY

Note: There’s no incentive PPM for DOD civilians. Civilians are only authorized actual cost reimbursement for expenses incurred or the commuted rate based on the General Services Administration schedule.

Related Forms:

UB, or unaccompanied baggage, is an option for shipments where a small portion of your total weight allowance is expedited to your new location, typically while you wait for the rest of your belongings to arrive at a later date. UB shipments are approved for CONUS TDY and OCONUS TDY and PCS.

POV, or privately owned vehicle, shipment and storage is available for some moves. In general, if you are traveling overseas or outside of the contiguous United States, the government may pay to ship one POV to your new duty station or store one POV during your OCONUS tour.

You will need to make an appointment with the global POV contractor, International Auto Logistics, or IAL, and take it to a vehicle processing center, or VPC, for transportation to your new duty station or to a contracted storage facility.

You can find global VPC locations, schedule your turn-in or drop-off appointment, and view POV shipping and storage documentation requirements on IAL’s website, PCSmyPOV. Read the 6 Things to Know About Shipping a Car Overseas article for additional information.

Note: Some OCONUS countries do not allow POV transportation into the host country. Check with your local transportation office for country-specific restrictions. In these situations, you can store your POV at government or personal expense for the length of your OCONUS tour. Contact your local transportation office for storage authorizations and reimbursement options.

If you are a service member traveling within the 48 contiguous states, or CONUS, you can drive your vehicle to your new location or pay to ship one or more POVs at your own expense. The government will pay you a monetary allowance in lieu of transportation, or MALT, for mileage, fuel, tolls, and certain other expenses you encounter along the way.

Be sure to save your receipts and tickets. In some cases, a service member may be allowed to ship a POV between CONUS duty stations if he or she is physically unable to drive or has insufficient time to drive and report to the new duty station as ordered.

If you’re a civilian employee changing duty stations within CONUS, you may be allowed to ship up to two POVs to your new duty location if the new CONUS destination is further than 600 miles away.

There are other exceptions, so check with your servicing civilian personnel office or local transportation office if you have questions.

NTS, or non-temporary storage, is long-term storage of your belongings generally used but not shipped to your new duty station. Expect the storage location to be located near the origin or pickup location where items may remain for the duration of your tour.

When you return and have established a new address, you can request retrieval and shipment of your stored belongings. There may be restrictions on CONUS NTS, so be sure to contact your local transportation office if you have any questions.

NTS is approved for CONUS PCS (exceptions may apply) and OCONUS PCS.

Note: For retirement: NTS may be authorized for one year beginning with retirement date. Upon expiration of the one-year NTS storage entitlement, the storage cost will be converted to member expense. A shipment entitlement extension may be authorized or approved through the secretarial process, but normally this extension does not extend the NTS entitlement at government expense.

Note: For separation: NTS may be authorized for 180 days. Upon expiration of the 180-day NTS storage entitlement, the storage cost will be converted to member expense. A shipping entitlement extension may be authorized or approved through the secretarial process.

For information about shipping special items such as boats, motorcycles, firearms, pro gear and more, review the entitlements moving guide or contact your local transportation office.

Resources, benefits and support services for Arranging a Personal Property Shipment



Schedule your move: Log in to DPS or connect with support.

Scheduled Maintenance: DPS will undergo scheduled maintenance every Friday from 7 p.m. CT until Saturday, 5 a.m. CT. During this time, the system will be unavailable to all users.

The Defense Personal Property System

DPS allows you to schedule your move, track your shipment or file a claim.


DPS Help Desk

Unable to access DPS or getting security errors? Call the DPS Help Desk.

Call: 800-462-2176 (toll free)
Call OCONUS: Call local operator for DSN dialing

Email: Message DPS

Additional Customer Service

Find contacts for your local transportation office, service branch moving assistance, POV shipping and more to help with moving your personal property.


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