Posted on 03/17/22

Can The Army Ship My Car

Can The Army Ship My Car

The PCS orders for military personnel will arrive any time. Every step of the process, from planning to finally move, is fraught with challenges. It takes a solid action plan and lots of research before you can finally move.

Shipping your car is one of the many ambiguities that may be lingering in your head as you prepare for your first PCS.

You are likely reading this because you have received your PCS orders. You suddenly find your eyes stuck on your car, and you wonder if the army will ship it?

There's so much more to do. It's not enough to just sit there and scratch your head. Right?

Therefore, we have done all the hard work for you. This article will answer all your questions about shipping your vehicle.

Let's get started!

Is my car being shipped by the Army during the PCS?

Both yes and no!

It all depends on where you are going!

Yes, your car will be shipped by the Army when you move OCONUS (outside of the continental United States).

If your destination is in the continental United States (CONUS-CONUS), then you're in a tight spot. Your responsibility for shipping your vehicle rests on your shoulders.

Before we get to the more technical aspects of shipping army cars, it is important that you are familiar with the acronyms used in military car shipping. This will allow you to better comprehend the other factors.

Army Car Shipping Acronyms


Permanent Change of Station


Permanent Duty Station


Privately owned vehicle


Transport Office


Continental United States


Outside of the Continental United States

Is it possible for the military to ship my car free of charge?

You have now learned that the military can ship you overseas when necessary. But what about the costs?

The military will ship your car free of charge, or you will have to pay the costs.

The short answer is yes! Your car will be shipped free by the military if you:

  • Active military personnel.
  • Your PCS orders have been received.
  • Your vehicle will be shipped to OCONUS.
  • CONUS POV entitlements are also available if you are unable to drive or can't reach your PDS on time.

NOTE: The Department of Defense will not reimburse the cost of a private vehicle (POV).

Do you have an extra POV that you need to transport? It will be necessary to transport it using your pocket.

How do I know if my car qualifies for a US Military POV

To qualify for a US military POV, your vehicle must meet certain conditions. You will receive your car free of charge.

For example, a car must have at least four wheels and be self-propelled in order to qualify for the US military POV. If the vehicle is multipurpose and designed to transport passengers, it is also eligible for military POV. Multipurpose vehicles must be certified in writing that they are only for personal use.

If you ship a POV that is long-term leased (12 months) you must give written authorization from the leasing company.

Remember: You are responsible for all requirements in the lease. )


  • You are an active member of the armed force
  • You are a DoD civil (whose orders allow the shipment of your POV).
  • Retirees have the right to ship their POV

These conditions apply to shipping one person or a leased vehicle to the next duty station. If you wish to transport another vehicle, please contact your transportation office to discuss any restrictions. Import duty may apply to your additional POV.

Timeline for Delivering Your POV for Shipment

Different military departments have different time frames for accepting shipments. These are some of the limitations for the Army, Air Force, and Navy.

Army/Air Force Limitations:

  • POVs are usually shipped within 90 days after a member or dependent leaves for a tour of duty overseas lasting more than one or 30 days after a term of service overseas that is less than one or more years.
  • POVs cannot be shipped if delivered to the port within 90 days. You must also have at least one year remaining on your current overseas trip when the POV arrives at the port. The POV must be valid for at least one year.

Navy/Marine Corps Limitations:

  • The vehicle will only be accepted at the loading port if it has not been used for at least 12 months at the current overseas duty station. You may request an exception if the overseas commander or your commanding officers certifies the vehicle.

Prepare Your Car for the Move Through Army During a PCS

All your documents ready

All documentation is required to prepare your vehicle for a Personal Computer System (PCS). This process will require four documents:

  • Proof that you are eligible This is proof that you can drive the vehicle at the base.
  • Proof Of Identity - This is proof you are the owner of the vehicle and that you have the authority to transport it at the base.
  • Evidence of ownership This is confirmation that the vehicle has been registered with the state-issued motor vehicle agency.
  • Additional documentation This document proves that your vehicle was inspected and serviced to safety/operational standards.

This information is available in many ways. It is best to call your local MWR/BX to find out what they recommend to make sure your vehicle moves smoothly. You will be provided with a list and instructions by your local MWR or BX to help you move your vehicle successfully. Make sure you have all the documents required and that there are no tickets or citations before you go to inspect your vehicle.

Wash Your Vehicle

Wash and dry your vehicle's exterior a few days before you move. The interior should be cleaned in the same way. To ensure that your car is completely dry, we recommend shampooing or wetting it at least 14 days prior to the day of shipment.

There are some things you must do before moving

  • Your car's fuel must equal 1/4th of its tank.
  • When you turn it in, you must have a complete set with you, including the ignition, trunk, gas cap, and wheel locks.
  • A maximum of one vehicle is permitted at the government's expense. It cannot exceed 20 MT. A compact car weighs in at 9 MT and a large car around 15 MT. If the vehicle is larger than 20 MT, the member will be responsible for any additional costs. All calculations will be verified at the processing center before shipment.
  • Verify that the parking brake works and that there are no leaks in the car. Also, check that the windshield is free of cracks.
  • Other destinations may also face restrictions.

Additional Tips for Preparing Your Car to Move

This checklist will help you prepare your vehicle for shipping during your Army move.

  • Lubricate door hinges.
  • Make sure all electronic devices are fully charged and that accessories (GPS, CD Changer, etc.) are removed from your vehicle.
  • Clear out the center consoles and ashtrays.
  • Make sure your tires are properly inflated
  • Make sure your tire tread isn't too low before you send it.
  • Make sure you check your brakes and make sure they are working properly.

Important Things to Remember When Shipping Your POV Through Army

There are some things that you need to remember when you ship your car through the Army.

  • You can ship items with your POV
  • You can't ship certain items with your POV

Let's discuss both the Army and POV shipping. Before you ship your POV, make sure to read and follow the guidelines. Your car could end up at the port while you wait for your vehicle to conform to the next set of items that you can ship with it during a move.

What you can send with your POV

Here are some items that you can take with you during a PCS move.

  • Tools (must not exceed $200 in value).
  • Jumper cables, Jack's tire irons, tire chains, as well as non-flammable tire inflators and fire extinguishers, emergency kits, warning triangles/trouble lights, and Jacks tire irons, are all available.
  • Children Car seats / Strollers / Portable Cribs
  • Luggage racks OR support
  • Permanently fixed or bolted speakers, audio/video equipment.
  • Other small items such as car cushions, bottle warmers, and thermos bottles are also available.

What you cannot ship with your POV

Let's now discuss the things that your POV cannot change.

  • Accessories that aren't permanently installed, such as TVs, VCRs, and DVD Players
  • Flammable and hazardous substances such as oil, paint, or wax.
  • Liquids that may spill or leave stains
  • Pressurized cans

After your car is shipped through Army, you can pick it up.

To ensure that your car arrives at its destination safely, you will need the following documents.

Proof Of Identity

Your vehicle inspection form must be accompanied by valid government-issued identification. A vehicle inspection form will list a designated agent. They must present a valid ID.

Inspection Form

You can have your vehicle picked up by a family member or friend if you are unable to do so. Your shipping and inspection forms should be brought. You may need to give your attorney a notarized power or letter of authorization in such cases.

When you arrive to pick up your vehicle from the delivery location, you will be asked for the above documents.

Once you have verified your records, it is possible to review the current condition of your vehicle. You can accept your vehicle if everything is in order and there were no damages during transportation.

What should I do if my car arrives damaged?

If your vehicle is damaged in the Army move, you can claim compensation. The compensation can be claimed on the spot. To be able to claim the compensation on the spot, you will need the following information:

  • Your bank name, bank ABA / SWIFT numbers, bank account number and bank routing number / IC.
  • Based on the receiving, SWIFT or BIC (Bank Identification Code) are available.


Sometimes it can be frustrating and tedious to prepare your car for moving through Army units during a PCS. To make it go smoothly, you must be familiar with the correct procedures.

The Army will move your car with certain permissible goods in one shipment if you're moving overseas. However, you must follow all rules and regulations established by the Army. No matter what your needs may be, it is important to keep organized. You should keep a running list of everything you need. Get in touch with your local transportation office as soon possible. Although you may be able to move your belongings on your own, it is better to get help before you need it.