Preparing for Your PCS Move

Couple planning for move

There are several steps in the moving process that occur 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. This could be done 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 while you wait for your official orders:

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, 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, it is common that only a small subset of your household belongings will be able to travel with you to your new location.

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.

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

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 learn what options there are for transporting your goods.

Using the Defense Personal Property System, or DPS

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.

When creating your shipment, you will select the packing and pickup dates. This will be a seven-day spread window starting with actual pickup date requested during your self-counseling or counseling session with your local personal property office. Learn more about the 7 Day Spread Window Policy.

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

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

When you sign in to DPS you can expect to be asked a series of questions about your move. Make sure you are prepared to provide the following:

  • Your contact information
  • Estimated weight (use the weight estimator tool to help)
  • 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

Related Forms:

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 is the place to go for help figuring out how to break up your weight into various 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.

Approved for:
CONUS
Permanent change of station, or PCS

OCONUS
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, visit the Crating section of Frequently Asked Questions for PCS and Military Moves.

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. To learn more about PPMs check out the PPM Factsheet.

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. Contact your local transportation office for more details.

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

OCONUS
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 subset 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.

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 travelling 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 instead of shipping your items 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 1 year beginning with retirement date, and may be extended for up to five years.

Note: For separation: NTS may be authorized for 180 days, and may be extend one time for an additional 180 days.

Related Forms:

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.

How to Plan for a Happy Moving Day

Woman packing to move

After weeks or even months of waiting, it’s finally time to pack and move your stuff. Military OneSource is committed to making your PCS move as smooth as possible. Below is an overview of what you can expect during the actual moving days for a household goods shipment. The Personal Property Quick Reference Guide is also a great resource to give you a snapshot of the key responsibilities for both you and your transportation service provider, or TSP, during each step of the process.

Staying on top of COVID-19 updates during your move

Making a military move during a pandemic presents additional challenges. Stay up to date on all the latest information on COVID-19. For Department of Defense COVID-19 updates for the military community, view the following sites:

Before the packers arrive

It’s important to make sure that you and your residence are ready for a flurry of activity. If you haven’t checked out some of these moving tips, now would be a great time. Being proactive about your move is the best way to make it as stress-free as possible.

A representative from the moving company or TSP will call or come by your residence to complete a Pre-Move Survey. During the survey, they will complete a weight estimation and annotate any special items that you identified when you arranged your move. If you are within a week of your scheduled move date and a survey has not been completed on your home, it’s highly recommended that you reach out to the TSP or your local transportation office for assistance.

Note: Anytime packers, movers, or other representatives assisting with your move are scheduled to be at your home, please ensure pets are secured in an area out of the way. This will allow for a more fluent process that does not create a distraction and provides for the safety of your pets.

Pro tip: Make your own inventory. Before the packers come, it’s recommended that you document any high-value and electronic items yourself. Make sure you document the make and serial number of each item, along with a photo or video of the item showing its condition. (If it’s a TV, appliance, or other electronic, a simple video showing it working can save you a headache later.) In addition to keeping your own record, make sure these details are also listed on the TSP’s inventory sheet for these items BEFORE the truck leaves your house. For more information, check out How to Inventory Your Belongings.

When shipping goods, it’s extremely important to try and prevent the spread of mold. Mold can cause health risks and can spread to other shipments that come in contact with it. Prior to your move, you must ensure your personal property is free of any visual signs of mold. Work with your TSP during packing and loading days to reduce any exposure that could result in mold. Then at delivery, your TSP is responsible for conducting remediation work for any mold that is discovered. Contact your local transportation office for more details.

Packing day(s)

Packing days are different from loading/moving days. During the packing phase, the TSP will send packers to your home to put all your items in boxes. You or your designated agent must be available between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. on these days. The loading/moving phase includes the dates that movers put your household goods on the truck, with your final loading date usually being moving day.

The packers will contact you ahead of time to inform you they will be coming on the scheduled pack dates and within a specified time period. It’s critical that you’re available during this time. If for some reason the TSP fails to show, quickly notify your local transportation office and the TSP.

The packers will load just about anything and everything that they can fit into boxes during this portion, which can both be a blessing and a challenge. Make sure to separate anything that needs to travel with you before pack day, or you run the risk of those crucial items being packed and lost in the mix of the boxes.

Pro-Tip: Physically separate anything you plan to take/keep with you from the rest of your belongings. Put these items into a closet or your vehicle before the packers arrive. Clearly mark the area with a “Do Not Pack” sign.

If at any point something doesn’t feel right during the packing process, call your local transportation office and ask for assistance from an inspector or quality assurance personnel.

Loading and Moving day(s)

The truck has arrived, and it’s time for all of your household goods to be loaded. Remember, you or your designated agent must be available between the hours of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. During loading/moving, the driver of the truck is usually in charge of the show. The driver is responsible for ensuring there is a crew and that everything is properly loaded onto the truck before departing. If you run into any issues during this phase, talk with the driver first and if they are unable to resolve the issue, don’t hesitate to call your local transportation office for help.

When they first arrive, the loading crew is required to put down some type of material (plastic, fabric, etc.) to protect your flooring, doorways and any tight corners. If damage is done to your residence, you have the option to file a Real Property Damage claim.

During packing and loading, the TSP will be creating an inventory of all your household items and will put colored numbered stickers on all the boxes and larger items such as couches and household appliances. On the inventory sheets, they will also be indicating whether or not there was any pre-existing damage to your household goods.

After everything is loaded on the truck, do a walkthrough with the driver to make sure everything is out of your residence and loaded up. This will ensure that nothing gets left behind. Ask the driver to provide his/her phone number so you can reach them if needed.

The last thing will be signing the inventory sheet. If you don’t agree with something on that form, make sure you annotate it in the remarks section BEFORE signing. Also, remember to keep your copy of the inventory sheets with you as you will need them during the delivery of your goods.

On the road

As you are traveling to your next destination, it’s important to keep the lines of communication open and be available for the TSP driver and your moving coordinator. If your driver or your moving coordinator has any updates, they may try to contact you as they make their way to your next destination and it’s important you be available to answer any questions.

If you are doing a direct delivery move, you MUST arrive at the delivery destination before the driver. If the driver arrives at your new residence before you do they may have to put your items in storage, depending on their schedule. If you had planned for your items to go directly into storage, you have more flexibility with your arrival timing.

The TSP must provide a 24-hour notice before 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 goods are in storage, it can sometimes take up to a few weeks to get them delivered again.

Pro-Tip: It’s a good idea to provide your TSP with an emergency contact in case the driver cannot get in touch with you during transit.

Delivery day

You or your designated agent must be available between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Before the truck is unloaded, you can expect to do a walk-through with the driver and the delivery crew to identify any pre-existing damage to the residence and to let them see the layout of the home to determine the best way to unload your household goods. As with your loading day, the delivery crew is required to put down some type of material to protect your flooring and any tight corners that may be in the residence as well.

Prior to the delivery crew offloading your household goods, they will give you the inventory sheets so you can check off the “numbers” to ensure everything is delivered. The use of bingo cards/check-off sheets is another way the crew can check off the numbers. These are only internal moving company documents. Do not let the delivery crew check off the numbers on the inventory sheet… this would not be in your best interest. As the boxes come off the truck, you should expect to direct them to a room in the residence on where that item should be placed. If you’ve got friends or family that can help during this phase, that’s always a bonus.

Once the truck is empty, you should verify on the inventory sheet that everything has been delivered. If not, annotate any missing items on the inventory sheet before you sign it. Also annotate any damage that may have occurred to the residence. Additionally, any items not received or that arrive damaged should be written on the Notification of Loss or Damage at Delivery form provided by the driver. Remember to keep your inventory sheets until your claims process is complete.

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. You also have a couple of options about how you want the delivery crew to unpack. Your mover can do a full unpack, where they empty all the items of the boxes in the specified rooms, or they can 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.).

Clean up

Your moving company is not required to return and pick up any empty boxes after they’ve delivered everything to your new home. The movers are only responsible for hauling away empty boxes and packing materials when they’re finished delivering your belongings. If you ask them to come back to take your empty boxes and they agree to do it, that’s great. If possible, have everything piled up in one location to get this done quickly.

If you have questions or concerns at any time during the moving process, contact your local transportation office. For information about filing a loss or damage claim, review the article Filing a Claim After Your Military Shipment is Delivered.

Marine Corps PCS Moving Assistance

Marine assisting with a PCS question

Update to 2021 Peak Moving Season – MARADMIN 297/21

Updated June 4, 2021

The purpose of this MARADMIN 297/21, Update to 2021 Peak Moving Season is to stress the importance of immediate action by Marines, civilian Marines, and their families executing a permanent change of station move this year in accordance with guidance provided in MARADMIN 207/21 2021 Peak Moving Season Preparations. Effects of the on-going pandemic continue to challenge normal relocation processes especially in the area of moving household goods and other personal property (household goods, unaccompanied baggage, privately owned vehicles and mobile homes).

2021 Peak Moving Season Preparations – MARADMIN 207/21

Updated March 31, 2021

The purpose of this MARADMIN 207/21, 2021 Peak Moving Season Preparations, is to provide Marines, civilian Marines, and their families conducting a permanent change of station move in a COVID-19 environment during the peak moving season (May 15 through August 31, 2021) with direction and information on how to ship and store their personal property, also known as household goods or HHGs, unaccompanied baggage or UB, mobile homes and privately owned vehicles or POVs. Included are force health protection requirements such as wearing a suitable mask while performing pre-move surveys, packing, loading, unloading and unpacking operations, using a personally procured move, or PPM, to help reduce the demand on the transportation industry’s capacity and the importance of completing the customer satisfaction survey, or CSS, for each shipment made during the PCS completes the personal property contents. Paragraphs eight, nine and 10 provide the requirement for 72-hour pre-travel testing for COVID-19 for all international travel per the references, the transportation of pets as members of the Marine family aboard Air Mobility Command-Patriot Express, or AMC-PE, flights and the importance of contacting the local passenger travel office located within the distribution management office or installation transportation office at non-Marine Corps installations, to make pet transportation arrangements as early as possible.

ABC’s of PCS – Marine Minute

Ways to Improve Passenger Processing for an Overseas PCS

Personally Procured Move 2021 – Marine Minute

USMC PCS Family Advocacy Council Video

Tis’ the PCS Season – Marine Minute

Household Goods Safety – Marine Minute

PCS Wave – Marine Minute

PCS With Pets – Marine Minute

PCS Overseas – Marine Minute

Importance of Completing the Customer Satisfaction Survey – Marine Minute

Health Safety Protocol Verifications – Marine Minute

Reinforcing Guidance for Marines Regarding Transportation, Pets, Housing and Quarantine-Level Restriction of Movement Associated with Permanent Change of Station Moves to Japan – MARADMIN 396/20

Updated July 14, 2020

Within the context of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the purpose of this message reinforces existing guidance for Marines regarding transportation, pets, housing and quarantine-level restriction of movement associated with PCS orders to Japan.

Note: This message does not apply to those personnel executing orders under chief of mission authorities. Those individuals should contact their gaining chain of command to ensure travel is being conducted by authorized means.

COVID-19 response

All documents, handouts and COVID-19 documents produced for Marines, civilian Marines, and their families can be found on the LPD-2 PCS MOVE RESOURCES public page. Click the red box labeled PCS Resources Menu for drop-down options.

MARADMIN 354/21 Marine Corps Guidance on Use of Masks and Other Containment Measures for 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Customer service information

For assistance with entitlements, exceptions to policy and general move information, please contact your local distribution management office.

Marine Corps Customer Service
Email: usmcpersonalproperty@usmc.mil
Facebook: U.S. Marine Corps Personal Property Transportation and Storage

The Navy’s Household Goods Help Line is also available for Marines, civilian Marines and their spouses to use for support when the local DMO or local transportation office is not available and immediate assistance is required for moving issues, counseling support and shipment information.

Navy Household Goods Help Line
Phone (toll free): 855-HHG-MOVE or 855-444-6683

Marine Corps claims

Submit to Navy Personnel Claims:

Email: NorfolkClaims@navy.mil
Website: U.S. Navy Judge Advocate Claims and Tort Litigation
Phone (DSN): 564-3310
Phone (commercial): 757-440-6315
Phone (toll free): 888-897-8217
Fax (commercial): 703-432-2591

Retirement/separation household goods extensions

For retirement or separation HHG extensions, contact:

Commandant of the Marine Corps
3000 Marine Corps Pentagon, Room 2E227 (LPD-2)
Washington, DC 20350-3000
United States

Email: usmcpersonalproperty@usmc.mil
Phone (commercial): 855-HHG-MOVE or 855-444-6683
Fax (commercial): 703-695-8160

Supplemental policies

Find additional information on the Marine Corps Personal Property Transportation Program through Marine Corps Order 4600.39.

Military OneSource is here to support your move process and make your PCS as easy as possible. If you need additional information at your new installation, visit MilitaryINSTALLATIONS, an online information directory for military installations worldwide. For updates and information specific to your location, visit your installation’s official website. You can also follow your installation’s Facebook, Twitter or Instagram platforms.

Stay up to date on all the latest information on COVID-19 and how it may impact your move. For Department of Defense updates for the military community regarding the virus that causes COVID-19, view the following sites:

How School Liaisons Help Students Realize Education Goals and More

School liaison sits behind desk

Parents have many questions about their children’s education, and military life can create even more. If you’re looking for answers to your education questions, your installation school liaison can connect you with the support you need.

The School Liaison Program offers an array of services and resources to support children, parents, installation leadership, schools and the surrounding community. By working together with these stakeholders, the School Liaison Program builds a support network to provide the best possible education experience for military-connected children and youth worldwide.

Looking for your school liaison?

Contact your local school liaison for all of your pre-K-12 education needs

School liaisons are located at each installation and are the main contact for military families, local school systems and installation leadership for school-related matters pre-K through 12. School liaisons are experienced professionals who advocate, advise and build partnerships with the civilian and military community to help address common education challenges of military families. School liaison support is free of charge and open to all Department of Defense identification card holders, educators who serve military students and community partners involved with pre-K-12 education.

Student and family support

School liaisons provide a wide variety of services for students and families, including:

  • Transition support – for PCS moves, as well as general education transitions
    • Information on campus specific programs and courses of study, school districts and boundaries
    • Assistance with transferring credits and registering for classes
    • Help with locating after-school and extracurricular programs
    • Tutoring referrals
    • Youth sponsorship referrals
    • Support for transitions to elementary, middle and high school and beyond
  • Alternative schooling support – including information about private, parochial, charter and homeschool options
  • Special education support and referrals – including referral to the Exceptional Family Member Program and other local resources
  • Deployment support – including parental absence coping strategies, educator awareness of deployment cycles, accommodation compliance and non-medical counseling referrals to minimize the negative academic, social and emotional impact.
  • College, career and military readiness:
    • Test preparation and scheduling
    • Scholarship and financial aid information
    • Postsecondary opportunities
    • College, vocational and career fairs
  • Parent workshops on topics such as:
    • Smooth transitions
    • College and career preparation

School liaisons know that transitions are more than just permanent changes of station. Children move to new schools, and they also move within schools. In addition, military children transition from parent(s) being home to being deployed. Rest assured that whatever transition your military child is navigating, school liaisons are available to help improve their academic experience, promote social and life skills, offer vocational guidance and build education partnerships to help them thrive.

Education community support

In addition to working with students and families, school liaisons work with local education community partners and installation leadership to meet military children’s education needs. School liaisons offer information workshops and professional development opportunities. Topics include:

  • The social and emotional effects of military transition
  • Reducing test anxiety in youth
  • Grant resources for school systems (such as Federal Impact Aid and DOD grant opportunities)
  • Military Interstate Children’s Compact Commission compliance support
  • Military culture
  • Installation tours

Partners in education

On the program level, school liaisons collaborate with national educational and local community organizations to promote the best education for military children. Some educational partners include:

The partnerships, resources and services that school liaisons develop and coordinate play a key role in creating a collaborative relationship between the military community and school systems worldwide to support the educational needs of military children and families.

School Liaison Program support is open to all DOD ID card holders, educators who service military students and community partners involved with pre-K-12 education. For more information, contact your local installation school liaison office.

Filing a Claim After Your PCS Shipment is Delivered

Woman writing down notes

Sometimes PCS moves don’t go exactly as planned. Rest assured that if the movers lose or damage your household goods you are entitled to receive compensation for lost or damaged property, as well as expenses incurred due to a lapse in service. You are highly encouraged to file claims in these instances and can find more details on filing a claim(s) below.

File a Notification of Loss/Damage Form with your TSP

When your household goods are delivered, your transportation service provider, or TSP, should give you a Notification of Loss/Damage at Delivery form to complete. However, if you don’t discover lost or damaged items until after the movers have gone, you can still contact your TSP to notify them of any loss or damage, and you have up to nine months to file a claim with them for the full replacement value. If you file a claim more than nine months from the delivery date, you will only be eligible for the depreciated value. You also have 2 years from delivery date to transfer your claim to your service branch military claims office, or MCO, and will receive a depreciated value for the item(s) upfront. Your MCO will then continue to negotiate for the full replacement value on your behalf. Your MCO can also help you resolve disagreements with your TSP.

Need help getting settled after your PCS move?

Relocation assistance professionals can help you plan, address questions and provide resources at any point before, during or after a move.

If you file a Loss/Damage Report, you can submit claims for any additional lost or damaged items discovered after the initial 75 or 180 calendar day window (the 180 calendar days timeframe only applies to shipments picked up on or after May 15, 2020), even if the item(s) wasn’t included on the original Loss/Damage Report. Contact your MCO to request a waiver to discuss good cause for the delay. Good cause may include, but is not limited to, an officially recognized absence or hospitalization during some or all of the 75 or 180 calendar days after delivery.

Remember that even if you notify your TSP of loss or damage, you must also submit a Loss and Damage Report and file a claim with the Defense Personal Property System, or DPS, in order to be reimbursed. Contacting your TSP lets them know you plan to submit a claim with DPS. It also gives the TSP a chance to settle any disputes and possibly reimburse you for any loss or damage more quickly.

Note: If the delivering TSP offers, you may file a quick claim settlement outside of DPS to promptly resolve minor loss or damage (not to exceed $1,000). You will file paperwork on delivery day with the TSP and payment will be sent within five calendar days of claim submission. While you cannot file claims on those specific items later, you may still file claims for other lost or damaged items discovered after delivery using DPS.

Report lost and damaged household goods in DPS

There are two steps to reporting lost or damaged household goods in DPS: filing a Loss and Damage Report and filing an itemized claim. To complete these two steps, you have the following time periods:

  • Up to 75 days (applicable to household goods shipments picked up prior to May 15, 2020) or 180 days (applicable to household goods shipments picked up May 15, 2020 and after) to inspect your property, annotate all loss and damage not previously discovered and reported at the time of delivery, and provide notice to the TSP.
  • Up to nine months after the delivery date to submit itemized claims for any lost or damaged items to receive the full replacement value of your item(s.)
  • Between nine months and two years after the delivery date to file a claim directly with your TSP for a depreciated value. Contact your military claims office for help receiving depreciated replacement value, or repair cost, whichever is the lesser of the two.

If your household goods shipment was picked up May 15, 2020 and after, the TSP must pay, deny or make an offer within 30 calendar days on all claims valued at $1,000 or less and 60 calendar days on claims over $1,000. You will have the opportunity to accept or make a counter-offer for each item and the TSP must respond to your reply within seven calendar days.

File a Loss and Damage Report in DPS

Even if you have already contacted your TSP about any loss or damage, you must also file a Loss and Damage Report and an itemized claim in DPS to be reimbursed. Follow these simple steps to: File a Loss and Damage Report in DPS.

File a claim in DPS

Before creating your claim in DPS, gather as much information about the lost or damaged items as possible. Photos, receipts and details of expensive or important items can be very helpful throughout the process. In addition to any photos or receipts you have, know the item’s manufacturer, inventory number, cost at purchase, year of purchase, extent of damage and repair estimate. The more details you have, the better.

If you already submitted a Loss and Damage Report in DPS, you can pull loss/damage items directly onto your claim without retyping the items. If some items that were lost are now found, you can remove them before you submit the final claim.

It is recommended that you stay engaged in the claims process and follow up with the TSP as needed. If you are unable to reach agreement with the TSP at any time during the process, you can transfer the claim to your military claims office for assistance.

Privately owned vehicle claims

You have two options for filing a POV loss or damage claim: you can submit and settle your claim directly with International Auto Logistics, or you can transfer your claim to your service branch of military claims office. You can access IAL’s claims information at PCSmyPOV or check out the POV Claims brochure.

Complete a customer satisfaction survey

Your feedback matters! After your shipment has been delivered, you will have an opportunity to evaluate your household goods or unaccompanied baggage shipment by submitting a customer satisfaction survey. Your feedback helps determines which companies get DOD’s business, so be sure to let us know if you were satisfied or not.

The surveys are read by real humans and if a TSP has a negative trend, they can be suspended (temporarily or indefinitely) for providing poor service. On the flip side, if you find a TSP 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 survey, log on to DPS and select 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.

Assistance

For more information about claims, review the Defense Personal Property Program System Claims Liability Business Rules.

If you need help at any point in the claims process, contact your service branch military claims office. Visit Military OneSource PCS customer service contacts and look under the Claims section for your service branch MCO contact information.

For assistance with your household goods or unaccompanied baggage shipments and delivery, contact your local transportation office.

Your local Relocation Assistance Program is also a great source of support – before, during and after your move. Relocation experts can help answer questions and connect you with resources for newcomer orientations, child care, youth sponsorship, spouse employment, emergency financial aid and more. Learn more about the military Relocation Assistance Program.

If you have questions or need help finding information, Military OneSource consultants are available 24/7/365 to connect you with the resources you need to master your PCS. Call 800-342-9647, use OCONUS calling options or schedule a live chat.

Understanding Moving Claims

Mover unloading truck

Sometimes moves don’t go as smoothly as you would hope. You are entitled to receive compensation for lost or damaged property, and expenses incurred due to a lapse in service. You are highly encouraged to file claims in these instances and can find more details about the various types of claims and how to file for each in the information below.

If you have any questions about this process, you can contact your transportation service provider, your local transportation office, your service branch military claims office or PCSmyPOV.

Personal Property 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. This includes items that have been transported via the following move types:

  • Household goods, or HHG
  • Unaccompanied baggage, or UB
  • Non-temporary storage, or NTS
  • Direct procurement method, or DPM

Follow the steps below when filing a claim.

Note: What does “full replacement value” mean?
When you are moving with the military, your items are insured at “full replacement/repair value”, or FRV, at no additional cost to you. Essentially, this means that if an item is lost or destroyed during the move, the TSP is obligated to pay the lesser of the replacement/repair cost. If replacement cost is offered, it should replace the item with the same or similar item. The replacement item could be new or used. The TSP will still require proof of the item’s value, quality and evidence of the cost to replace it. If the item can be repaired, as determined by a qualified inspector, and the repair cost is less than the replacement, the TSP may pay for the repair.

Step 1: Give a notice of loss/damage within 180 calendar days from delivery date

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 & Damage Report” to find that form.

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

Exclusion: If your shipment included NTS or DPM and/or was processed outside of DPS, then you must submit the Notification of Loss/Damage At/After Delivery form within 75 calendar days, not 180 calendar days. The checklist you receive during your counseling session will specify the methods used to process your move so you know if this exclusion applies to you.

Step 2: File a claim within 9 months from delivery date

After you give your notice of loss or damage, you must file an itemized claim in DPS for every item that was lost or damaged during the moving process. For NTS and DPM shipments, your claim may be emailed, faxed or mailed.

You will have up to nine months to file a claim for the full replacement/repair value of the item(s) you are claiming. If the claim is filed more than nine months from the delivery date, you will only be eligible for the depreciated value.

Before logging into DPS, save yourself some time by gathering as much of the information below as possible. The more details you can provide about your items, the better. If you have before and after photos or receipts of the item, that will significantly help throughout the process. Learn more about how to inventory your belongings.

Here is an example of the data you may need for replacement or repair of a damaged appliance:

  • Manufacturer: Samsung
  • Brief description of item: Front-load washing machine, model number ABC12345
  • Inventory item number: 78
  • Cost at purchase: $1,000
  • Year of purchase: 2016
  • Description of damage: Plexiglas on washing machine door has been broken.
  • Repair estimate (optional): $250 from Samsung Repair Wizard
  • Photos and receipts (if available):

Step 3: Work with the TSP to assess your claim

After you have submitted the claim, the TSP must confirm receipt of your claim within 15 calendar days.

The TSP is then responsible for assessing the value of your property and may send someone to inspect the damaged property, repair items, or pick up any items that are damaged beyond economical repair. They are required to share those assessment reports with you upon written request. If an item(s) is lost, the TSP will start an official tracer to locate your goods.

If your household goods shipment was picked up May 15, 2020 and after, the TSP must pay, deny or make an offer within 30 calendar days on all claims valued at $1,000 or less and 60 calendar days on claims over $1,000. You will have the opportunity to accept or make a counter-offer for each item and the TSP must respond to your reply within seven calendar days. Remember, this is a negotiation, so you may counter-offer if you feel the offer amount is not appropriate and the item is not marked as “Final.”

For shipments involving multiple providers (NTS and DPM), the delivering TSP must notify you and the appropriate military claims office within three business days if they are denying liability for the loss or damage. In these cases, it is recommended that you transfer your claim to the MCO who will work on your behalf to determine which parties are responsible for the claimed item(s).

Note: If the TSP has stopped communication, do not dispose of, obtain a repair estimate, or repair any items in your claim without first contacting the MCO for approval.

Step 4: Finalize the settlement or transfer to the MCO

You may settle a claim by accepting or rejecting in full or line item. If you are using DPS, you must finalize the offer in the system. TSP providers (to include NTS and DPM) are then required to make payment or repairs within 30 calendar days of an agreed upon settlement amount. If an item is being repaired, the TSP must hire a repair company no later than 20 calendar days from claim submission and the repair must be completed within 45 calendar days.

For any items that have been designated as “salvage items,” the TSP must take possession of those items at your residence or other location you deem acceptable. The pickup must occur no later than 30 calendar days from the TSP’s notification from the repair firm that an item is beyond repair, or within 20 calendar days of inspection (to include virtual), whichever occurs first. The pickup period can be extended by an agreement between you and the TSP in writing.

Note: DO NOT FEEL PRESSURED – only accept an offer if you are completely satisfied with the offered amount.

Not fully satisfied? Contact your MCO

If you are unable to come to an agreement with the TSP, or they have not communicated with you for more than 30 calendar days, your next step is to transfer the claim to your military claims office. The MCO will take over from there, but it’s important you stay in close contact with them throughout the process. Prior to transferring the claim to the MCO, contact your local transportation office for assistance with your TSP.

You have two years from delivery date to transfer your claim to your MCO. You will receive a depreciated value for the item(s) upfront and then your MCO will continue to negotiate for the full replacement value on your behalf. If they are successful in recouping funds from the TSP, you will receive the difference up to the full replacement/repair value, or FRV. Exemption: For all NTS and DPM claimed item(s), you will be paid the FRV upfront.

Important dates for claim filing

It is important that you stay proactive throughout the claims process and it’s recommended you follow up well before the timelines displayed below.

Delivery day

For any lost, damaged, or destroyed items discovered on delivery day, request that your delivering TSP (moving truck driver) complete and sign a Notification for Loss and Damage At Delivery form. Please verify that the TSP contact information is clearly listed on the form.

Up to 180 calendar days after delivery date

If you didn’t submit a form on delivery day, you can still submit notification using the Defense Personal Property System or DPS. You have up to 180 calendar days for household goods shipments picked up on or after May 15, 2020 to inspect your property, annotate all loss and damage not previously discovered and reported at the time of delivery, and provide notice to the TSP.

Note: for household goods shipments picked up prior to May 15, 2020 you have 75 calendar days to report loss or damage.

Up to 9 months after delivery date

Sign in to the Defense Personal Property System or DPS and submit itemized claims for any lost or damaged items for full replacement/repair value, or FRV, provided notice of loss or damage was submitted or provided to the TSP within 75 or 180 calendar days (as applicable based on shipment pick up date)

Between 9 months and 2 years after delivery day

Contact your service branch military claims office for help receiving depreciated replacement value, or repair cost, whichever is the lesser of the two.

30/60 calendar days after claim submission

If your household goods shipment was picked up prior to May 15, 2020, your TSP should pay, deny or make an offer within 60 calendar days of receipt of a complete claim submission.

If your household goods shipment was picked up May 15, 2020 and after, your TSP should pay, deny or make an offer on all claims valued at $1,000 or less within 30 calendar days of receipt of the claim and within 60 calendar days of receipt on all other claims.

Note: If you file a Loss/Damage Report, you can submit claims for any additional lost or damaged items discovered after the initial 75 or 180 calendar day window, even if it wasn’t included on the original Loss/Damage Report. Contact your military claims office to request a waiver and to discuss good cause for the delay. Good cause may include, but is not limited to, an officially recognized absence or hospitalization during some or all of the 75 day or 180 calendar days after delivery.

Quick claim settlement option

Instead of using the traditional filing method described above, if the delivering TSP offers, you may file a quick claim settlement outside of DPS to promptly resolve minor loss or damage (not to exceed $1,000). You will file paperwork on delivery day with the TSP and payment will be sent within five calendar days of claim submission. While you cannot file claims on those specific items later, you may still use DPS to file claims for other lost or damaged items discovered after delivery.

Residential damage claims

If your TSP causes any damage to your home or residence, you can file a Real Property Damage claim to be reimbursed. Follow these steps to file a Real Property Damage claim.

Step 1: Document the damage on the day it occurs
Conduct a pre and post walk-around with the TSP and note any damage, both interior and exterior, in writing. Take pictures for your records. An example of damage might include scratched hardwood floors, dented walls, torn grass, etc.

Step 2: Submit a claim
Contact the TSP directly within seven calendar days from the last date they were at your residence. The TSP may require you to submit a DP3 Real Property Damage Form.

Step 3: Conduct an inspection
The TSP will schedule an inspection within 15 calendar days of notification. They will arrange for a repair firm to inspect your property damage. The repair estimate will be shared with you to determine payment.

If you have any problems negotiating settlement, you should contact your local transportation office or MCO for further assistance/guidance. Be aware that they may suggest you consult with your local legal office and seek assistance from an attorney.

Inconvenience claims

An inconvenience claim is a payment to you from your TSP to offset expenses incurred by you and your dependents because you are not able to use necessary items in your shipment to establish your household due to the TSP’s inability to meet required pickup and delivery dates. An inconvenience claim is authorized and payable when:

  • The TSP fails to pick up a shipment upon the agreed date.
  • The TSP fails to deliver on or before the required delivery date, provided you are in possession of residence and are available to receive the delivery.
  • The TSP places your shipment into storage in transit, or SIT, without you being notified.
  • You have requested for your shipment to be released from SIT and the carrier is unable to deliver the shipment out of SIT within the following dates:
    • Within seven government business days from the date you make your first contact requesting delivery or
    • Within two government business days, when your requested delivery date is more than seven business days out.

You will be notified by your TSP if a delay is expected to occur with your shipment. This normally happens a few days prior to the scheduled delivery day but could be as late as on the day of scheduled delivery. You should contact your local transportation office if you believe you are owed an inconvenience claim and the TSP has not already offered you a way to submit a claims form.

For shipments picked up prior to May 15, 2020, the TSP will reimburse you for reasonable out-of-pocket expenses documented by receipts. Tangible household items paid for by the TSP may be reclaimed upon delivery of your shipment. For household good shipments picked up May 15, 2020 or later, there is a baseline reimbursement of the local per diem 100% rate for meals and incidental expenses for the member only, based on the applicable pick-up or delivery location. No receipts are needed for the first seven calendar days. Visit the Defense Travel Management Office website to get M&IE per diem rates. Unaccompanied baggage shipment claims are not paid based on per diem and require receipts showing actual expenses.

Tangible household items paid for by the TSP may be reclaimed upon delivery of your shipment. Contact your TSP before purchasing any out-of-pocket expenses to avoid issues.

Note: The customer will be authorized either the per diem amount or the actual out-of-pocket expenses whichever is greater. All expenses claimed beginning the eighth calendar day must be documented with receipts.

Download the Filing an Inconvenience Claim Handout to use as a reference guide.

Privately owned vehicle, or POV, claims

You have two options for filing a POV loss or damage claim: you can submit and settle your claim directly with International Auto Logistics, or you can transfer your claim to your service branch military claims office. You can access IAL’s claims information at PCSmyPOV or check out the POV Claims brochure.

If you want to file your POV claim with your service branch MCO, visit Military OneSource Customer Service Contacts for Your Military PCS and look under the Claims section for your service branch contact information.

POV inconvenience claims

If you’re a service member, you may be reimbursed for rental car and lodging expenses if your POV is not available for pick-up on the required delivery date. The government will reimburse you up to $30 per day for the first seven calendar days, not to exceed $210. After that time, the contractor may be responsible for paying inconvenience claims over the government’s maximum allowance. IAL will consider your claim and pay, decline or make a firm settlement offer in writing within 40 calendar days. Once your vehicle is made available for pickup, IAL is no longer responsible for paying an inconvenience claim.

If you’re a civilian employee, you can file an inconvenience claim if your POV misses its required delivery date—even though there is no rental car authority for civilian employees. IAL will pay, decline or make a firm settlement offer to you, in writing, within 40 calendar days of your claim date.

Military OneSource is here to support your move process and make your claim filing as easy as possible. If you have questions or need help finding information, consultants are available 24/7 to connect you to the resources you need. Call 800-342-9647, use OCONUS calling options, or schedule live chat.