Military Times

2012 Benefits Handbook

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There are two ways to start the moving process: Contact the installation transportation office to have staff members counsel you on the move, or do it yourself by using the automated Defense Personal Property System at

If you're making your first personal property move, contact your local military transportation office rather than using DPS. But each service has its own policies for who should initially contact the transportation office; find them on

When you get your orders, your first step, if you are using DPS on, is to register for a user ID and password to log on to DPS. The website also provides information about the process for movement of household goods, and includes tips for moving, weight allowance, arranging pickup of your household goods, delivery, storage and much more.

Once you log on, the system will ask you a series of questions to guide you through the entire moving process.

When you've completed the self-counseling, select the nearest transportation counseling office from the drop-down menu and forward the required documents to that office. After receiving your request, a counselor will verify your data and your shipment will be booked. If orders are not received by the transportation office, your move cannot be awarded to a moving company.

The moving company will contact you to set up a pre-move survey and negotiate packing and pickup dates. The carrier should stay in direct contact with you throughout the entire process.

Don't assume that a mover will show up at your door on a certain date just because you have requested a move through If a moving company has not contacted you to set up a move within several days after your request, contact your local military transportation office.

Upon arrival at your new duty station, you'll arrange with the moving company either temporary storage or delivery of your property. If there is any damage to your property, has resources that will guide you through the claims process. If you don't meet the claims filing deadlines, you will receive less reimbursement — and possibly nothing.

One last important step: Complete the customer satisfaction survey about the move experience. These surveys weigh heavily in helping defense officials select the best movers for service members in the future.

Contact: The Defense Personal Property Program, A transportation office locator is at


The government will ship one privately owned vehicle — an automobile, motorcycle or scooter — overseas for a service member. The limit is 20 measurement tons. (One measurement ton equals 40 cubic feet.) Service members must pay for tonnage over the limit, which may come into play for campers, pickup trucks, SUVs or other large vehicles.

In most cases, you must deliver your vehicle to a port or vehicle processing center, and the government will ship the vehicle to the port nearest your new station.

A secure Internet system allows you to track your vehicle during its shipment at

Contact: Information on shipping personal vehicles is available at Click on "DoD Service Members and Civilians," then "Before Your Move," then "Privately Owned Vehicles (POV)" on the left.


Accompanied. Accompanied baggage is the luggage service members and family members carry on an airplane, bus, train or car. It also refers to personal documents and property such as jewelry. It is not counted in the moving weight limit.

Unaccompanied baggage. "Unaccompanied baggage" for moves overseas refers to belongings needed immediately upon arrival at a new duty station, such as clothes, linens and small appliances. It is typically sent ahead on a commercial carrier and arrives before the main household goods shipment. The weight is subtracted from the full weight allowance as set by Joint Federal Travel Regulations.

Unaccompanied baggage can be shipped in addition to an administratively restricted weight allowance. Each service has its own rules.


Canoes, skiffs, sailboats, light rowboats, motorboats, dinghies or sculls of any size, and boat trailers may be shipped as household goods and counted against your weight allowance. Service members are financially responsible for special packing, crating and handling.


Full Replacement Value protection now provides better coverage for household goods that are lost or damaged while in the care of moving companies. A member can recover $5,000 per shipment, or $4 times the weight of the shipment in pounds up to a maximum of $50,000, whichever is greater, as compensation.

Service members must file claims through That system sends a claim directly to the moving company. To get full replacement value, service members must follow procedure, which includes filing a notice of loss or damage within 75 days of delivery, and filing the actual claim within nine months.

If the claim is not filed within nine months, the company is liable only for the depreciated value of lost or damaged items, as was the case before FRV went into effect. War or armed conflict may extend the filing period beyond nine months.

As before, members use DD Form 1840 to document damage or loss found at or after delivery. These forms are submitted directly to the moving company within 75 days of delivery.

The company will settle the claim by repairing or paying to repair damaged items, and paying full replacement value for items damaged beyond repair, lost or destroyed. The company is also responsible for getting repair/replacement estimates.

If the company denies the full claim, makes an offer that is unacceptable within 60 days or does not respond to a request within 30 days, the service member may transfer the claim to the Military Claims Office.

Contact: Detailed instructions for filing a claim are at In the "DoD Service Members and Civilians" box, click on "Claims/CSS."


Firearms are considered household goods, but national, state and local laws govern their transportation. Foreign countries also have rules about firearms. Check with your transportation office on the rules that apply to your situation.


Full. Service members may move their own possessions, known as a Personally Procured Move (PPM), and previously known as a Do-It-Yourself (DITY) move. Although a service member may enter the shipment data at, the transportation office at the current duty station must authorize a PPM. The government will pay all or most of the cost of a PPM, but the total can't exceed what the government would have paid to handle the move.

The program is open to all members with permanent change-of-station orders, including those who are retiring or separating. It also offers a financial incentive. A transportation counselor determines how much the government would pay to move your household goods. If you can move for less than 95 percent of that amount, you get to keep the difference.

You will be reimbursed for the move. The government will advance most of the cost of the move to those who want to rent a moving van. Family members who ride in the van are eligible for travel and per diem allowances.

Partial. A partial personally procured move can be used in tandem with a commercial mover. A service member may want to move fragile belongings himself while shipping the rest of the household goods with the commercial provider.


Professional items do not count against your weight allowance. These include books, papers and special uniforms such as flight suits, if approved by the transportation office as necessary for the performance of duty. Office furniture and regular uniforms are not included.

Professional items can be shipped along with household goods or unaccompanied baggage. However, they must be clearly identified so they can be weighed separately from the rest of the shipment.

A service member's spouse also can ship up to 500 pounds of professional items at government expense.


Non-temporary. Non-temporary storage is permitted when the amount of household goods that can be transported overseas is restricted or when service members don't take all their possessions with them. Under such conditions, they are entitled to store goods at government expense for the length of their tours.

Temporary. Temporary storage for 90 days is permitted when a delay prevents service members from moving into permanent housing at a new duty station. An additional 90 days may be requested through the local military transportation office.

Any period beyond 180 days usually is considered long-term storage. Storage rules are different for those on temporary duty or additional duty and for those deployed for more than 90 days.


The government sets weight limits for what it will ship. The allowed weight depends on your rank and whether you have dependents. Weight allowances can be found in the Joint Federal Travel Regulations, Chapter 5, Part D. The allowance includes the total weight of all household goods shipped, stored and sent as unaccompanied baggage.

Service members are responsible for charges incurred for any weight over the limit; those fees are based on weight tickets submitted by the moving company.

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