If your POV is leased, or a recorded lien exists in the U.S., you must provide written approval from the “third-party-interest” (leasing company or lien holder) that expressly provides that the vehicle may be exported. This written approval must be on the leasing company’s or lien holder’s letterhead paper, and contain a complete description of the vehicle, including the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN), the name of the owner or lien holder of the leased vehicle, and the telephone numbers at which that owner or lien holder may be contacted. The writing must bear an original signature of an official of the leasing company or lien holder, and state the date it was signed. The written approval must include the leasing company's or lien holder’s acknowledgement that the return shipment prior to the next permanent change of station is a private matter between the leasing company or lien holder and you. All requirements stated in the lease agreement are your responsibility.
Propane tanks may no longer be shipped, even if they are purged and certified.
Note that this was changed in early 2000, so contrary guidance may still exist in some publications.
What You May Ship in Your POV
You must ensure only authorized personal articles remain in your POV when it is turned in for processing. All household items and camping equipment must be removed. You may ship the following:
- Tools, not to exceed $200 in value;
- Items such as jacks, tire irons, tire chains, fire extinguishers, nonflammable tire inflators, first aid kits, jumper cables, and warning triangle/trouble lights;
- One spare tire and two snow tires with wheels (either mounted or unmounted);
- Portable cribs, children’s car seats, and strollers;
- Luggage racks;
- Small items, such as thermos bottles, bottle warmers, and car cushions if they can be packed entirely within a carton provided by the port; if your POV is going to be containerized at the port, these articles may be placed in the trunk without a carton. Factory or non-factory stereo and speakers in the car or trunk, but they must be bolted down or permanently fixed as part of the car.
What You May NOT Ship in Your POV
- TVs and VCRs; except factory installed;
- Accessories not permanently installed;
- Flammable or hazardous substances, such as waxes, oils, paints, solvents, polishes. Dispose of these items before you turn in your POV:
- Any liquids, for example antifreeze or air fresheners that may be spilled and leave stain.
- Any pressurized cans.
- Citizen Band radios. Importation and operation of CB radios are prohibited in most overseas areas. Failure to comply with these restrictions may result in your POV being held at the port of discharge until such equipment has been removed and shipped out of the country. All costs associated with removing your CB radio from your POV and shipping will be at your expense.
Following a few simple rules will make shipping your POV overseas much easier. Failure to follow these rules may cause the POV processing center to refuse your POV for shipment. If a member chooses to ship out of an alternate port, there may be an alternate port charge incurred to the member if the alternate port is farther away from their new duty assignment than the designated port. If you have any questions, you should contact your Transportation Office or VPC to find out what the additional cost may be.
- Have seven copies of your orders, and any amendments.
- U.S. Customs (19CFR192) requires one certified (notarized) and two facsimiles (copies) of the original or a certified copy of the vehicle title. The title must include the vehicle identification number (VIN) or, if the vehicle does not have a VIN, the product identification number.
- If the POV is financed, provide written approval from the lien holder authorizing export. See paragraph above.
- Ensure your POV contains no more than one-fourth tank of fuel (gasoline or diesel).
- If the vehicle is leased, you must have a letter from the third party (leasing company) authorizing exportation of the vehicle.
- Have in your possession a valid driver’s license, proof of ownership (title and registration), and a photo ID.
- Contact the vehicle processing center prior to shipment if the permanent change of station is to a remote area.
- Have in your possession a complete set of keys, to include gas cap and wheel lock keys, if necessary, upon delivery to the vehicle processing center. Retain a complete set of duplicate keys and have them with you when you pick up your POV.
- Turn off or otherwise disconnect installed auto alarm or anti-theft device prior to turn-in.
- There must be a signed letter of authorization, simple power of attorney, or other acceptable evidence of agency if the vehicle is delivered by someone other than the service member. (Not required of spouse appearing on the PCS orders.) Here’s an acceptable example:
“I hereby appoint (name of agent) as my agent for the delivery of my privately owned vehicle (vehicle and ID number) to the appointed military outlawing port, and I appoint him/her my attorney-in-fact to sign all documents required for the delivery of my vehicle for overseas shipment.”
- Ensure your agent has proper civilian identification and all other documentation required to ship your POV.
- Make sure your POV is in a safe and operable condition when you turn it in at the port.
- Make sure your POV is clean. The VPC will not accept a POV laden with dirt, soil, mud or similar matter, to include the undercarriage.
- Empty the glove compartments.
- Have the make, model, color, year, and serial number of your POV.
- Have mileage of the vehicle at time of turn-in.
- Provide a destination address where you may be notified that the vehicle is ready for pickup.
- An inspector will inspect the POV with you. When the inspection is completed, you and the inspector will sign DD Form 788, “Private Vehicle Shipping Document.” You will be provided a legible copy of DD Form 788 as a receipt for your POV. Your copy of DD Form 788 will be required when you pick up the vehicle, and it will be required by the military claims office should you file a claim for loss or damage to your POV.
- Make sure your POV meets any host-nation emission control and safety standards. Discuss host-nation requirements with your sponsor and local transportation office before departing. You may be required to make some modifications prior to shipping your vehicle.
- Since your POV may be exposed to freezing temperatures during shipment or during storage at the destination terminal, safeguard the cooling system with a permanent type antifreeze solution. Antifreeze testing to minus 20 degrees Fahrenheit or lower should be used. (For Arctic areas, contact your sponsor or transportation office to determine if additional protection is necessary.)
- Consider rust protection and undercoating prior to shipment. Climatic conditions in certain areas of the world may cause your POV to deteriorate rapidly without some type of protection.
- Make sure you read the liability statements on the reverse of DD Form 788, or equivalent commercial POV inspection and shipping form.
- To avoid unnecessary trips, contact the vehicle processing center for official confirmation that the POV is on-hand and available for pickup.
- When you, or a designated agent, pick up the POV at the destination vehicle processing center, you must have:
- Proper identification i.e., military ID, driver’s license;
- Your copy of DD Form 788, “Private Vehicle Shipping Document;”
- Complete set of keys;
- Power of attorney if your spouse or agent picks up the POV. Please note that if your vehicle is not picked up within 45 days from the postmarked date of notification of arrival, you are subject to the vehicle being placed in storage at your expense.
Loss and Damage
When picking up your POV:
- Carefully inspect the exterior and interior to determine if there is any new damage.
- Make sure items left in the POV at the origin terminal are still there.
- Carefully and completely list any loss and all damages to your POV on your vehicle shipping document, DD Form 788. List all loss and damage discovered and why it was not discovered at the final inspection at the pickup point.
- Failure to do this may result in no payment for this damage.
POVs imported to the U.S. are subject to safety standards under the Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1966, revised under the Imported Vehicle Safety Compliance Act of 1988, recodified at 49 U.S.C. 301; bumper standards under the Motor Vehicle Information and Cost Act of 1972 (which became effective in 1978), recodified at 49 U.S.C. 325; and air pollution control standards promulgated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under the Clean Air Act of 1968, as amended in 1977 and 1990. These laws and regulations apply to importing POVs to any state of the United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, The Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and the Virgin Islands. Modifications required to bring a nonconforming POV into compliance with U.S. safety and environmental standards are performed by registered importers (RI) and independent commercial importers (ICI). As a general rule, all POVs less than 25 years old must comply with all applicable federal motor vehicle safety standards, and all POVs less than 21 years old must comply with federal emissions standards. Fulfillment of federal requirements does not relieve you from fulfilling requirements of a state or district of the United States. For information regarding registration or operation of a properly imported vehicle in a specific state, contact the Department of Motor Vehicles or other appropriate agency. Vehicles manufactured to meet the federal motor vehicle safety standards have a certification label affixed by the original manufacturer in the area of the driver-side-door. Vehicles manufactured to meet the federal motor vehicle emissions standards have an emissions label affixed in the engine compartment stating that the vehicle meets U.S. EPA emissions standards. Vehicles lacking these certification labels are nonconforming and must be brought into compliance. Information concerning vehicle emissions and listing of ICI companies may be obtained from the EPA, 202-564-9660. Information concerning compliance with motor vehicle safety standards and listing of RI companies may be obtained from the aforementioned web site and from the DOT safety hotline, 800-424-9393 (in U.S.), or 202-366-0123. In order to ship a nonconforming POV to the United States via the Defense Transportation System, you must, as a condition of shipment, provide written proof that you have entered into a contract with an RI/ICI located in the vicinity of the final destination CONUS vehicle processing center. You are responsible for any excess costs resulting from the inland movement to a RI/ICI that is beyond the area of the entitlement, which is normally POV delivery to the VPC nearest the new permanent duty station.
Storage of POVs
Section 368 of the FY 97 Defense Authorization Bill authorizes the storage of POVs when members are:
- assigned to an OCONUS permanent change of station where POVs can not be shipped or where extensive modification of the vehicle would be required; or
- transferred in conjunction with a contingency operation for more than 30 days and the movement is not a permanent change of station.
Contact your local transportation office for further details.
Moving with Pets
The following are tips for transporting your pets by car, by air, using military aircraft, and overseas travel. Remember that these are only a few tips. You will need to contact your transportation or household goods office for more detailed instructions and requirements.
Before the Move
• Prior to a trip, your dog or cat should be examined by a vet to assure it is in good health.
• Exam is also necessary to obtain legal documents required for interstate and international travel. The vet should provide any innoculations your pet requires, such as rabies, distemper, bordatella (kennel cough) and FELV (Feline Leukemia Virus). Heartworm preventive pills may be given after simple blood test. You may want to contact a vet in the destination state or country for more information. Check into this ahead of time to allow for completion of any special paperwork.
• A vet may prescribe a sedative or tranquilizer for the nervous pet traveler. If so, get a dose to try at home before the trip, making sure that the dosage is correct and that the medicine does not make the pet sick. Some pets may also need to be medicated to prevent motion sickness.
• If your pet takes any routine medications, get an amply supply to allow settling in at the new location.
• Limit changes to your pet’s routine. If possible, take the same food and carry a supply of water from home to minimize the chance of illness caused by a change in diet. Some animals are very sensitive to diet changes.
• Check with your veterinarian to determine what requirements exist in your destination country for importing animals. Some countries, and even some states, have quarantine laws that can be very difficult and expensive to follow.
• Every dog or cat traveling across state lines should be accompanied by a valid health certificate and rabies vaccination. It is advisable to obtain the required documents to avoid the risk of having your pet placed in quarantine or refused entry into a state.
• Other animals, such as horses, may be subject to specific rules or quarantines when moving state to state. Make sure to check in advance, the consequences can be very expensive.
• To visit Canada, your animal will be permitted to enter the country without any special documents if it is healthy, but must be accompanied by a rabies certificate and rabies vaccination. It is advisable to obtain the required documents to avoid the risk of having your pet placed in quarantine or refused entry into a state.
• Remember that pets are subject to the quarantine laws in countries or states where you may make an intermediate stop or layover.
• The carrier should be durable and smooth edged with opaque sides and grill door. It should have several venting holes situated on each of the four sides.
• Select a carrier that has enough room to permit your animal to stand up and turn around, sit and lie down. If transporting cats, you’ll need a carrier with enough room for a litter box. Be certain to choose a carrier with a secure door handle. Mark with your name and destination address and phone. You may also want to attach a photo of your pet. The words "This End Up" and "Live Animal" should be written on the carrier. Also post instructions for feeding and watering.
• Buy the carrier ahead of time and allow the pet to get used to it. Put the food dish and a favorite blanket or toy inside the carrier at home, and allow the pet to go in and out of the carrier. Take the pet for short trips inside the carrier.
• After arrival, leave the carrier in the room with the pet for a few days. Pets should be exposed to their new home slowly and in degrees, especially outdoor animals.
Traveling By Car
• Get your pet used to car travel by taking it on short trips while still young.
• While in a moving car, don’t let the pet jump around or hang its face out the window.
• Cats should travel in a carrier. Get the pet accustomed to the carrier well before the trip.
• Keep feeding to a minimum during travel. Carry a container of water. Stop frequently to allow the pet to drink, exercise and relieve itself.
• Take some familiar toys, feeding dishes or the pet’s blanket to give a touch of home in the car and at your destination.
• If the trip will require an overnight stay en route, make reservations at a motel that allows pets or arrange for a kennel overnight.
• Carry a leash for walks. Be prepared to handle the pet in case of car trouble.
• Never leave your pet alone in a car on a hot or extremely cold day.
Traveling By Air
• Make shipping arrangements well in advance.
• Try to take a direct flight. This will minimize exposure to the elements, movement of the carrier, and chances of escape.
• Have a current health certificate and rabies, distemper, and hepatitis inoculations.
• Place a copy of all paperwork in a sealed envelope secured to the crate.
• Print your name, address, and destination on the outside. It is very important to also include the pet’s name so the attendants can talk to him. Make any other necessary notations, i.e. the animal bites.
• Feed a light meal six hours before shipping. Don’t give water within two hours of shipping, unless it is a hot day.
• Check with the airline, or air freight company, for any other documents or important instructions they may require for transporting an animal.
• Consult with your veterinarian as to the use of tranquilizers or other medications associated with transporting animals.
• Have someone scheduled to pick up the animal at the other end.
Using Air Mobility Command
• You must pay for the shipment of pets. Only two pets per family are authorized.
• Owners are responsible for immunizations, clearances, and ground transportation.
• Owners must have a DD Form 2208, rabies vaccination certificate or equivalent, when making reservations.
• Make pet reservations when you make your own travel arrangements. Pets are boarded as excess baggage.
• Reserve space early; spaces for pet travel are limited. If transporting pets overseas, contact your transportation office for details. Check the SITES booklet for your next installation to get more information about moving pets into or out of specific countries.
Documents for Overseas Assignments
No-fee passports are used by eligible DoD personnel and their family members while on official travel to countries requiring passports. Each family member, regardless of age, must obtain a separate no-fee passport. Family members must have no-fee passports in their possession before port call. No-fee passports are issued for a specific purpose and may be used only under the conditions and restrictions specified. Service members should contact the servicing military personnel office for the required passport paperwork. To expedite processing, all applicants should have in their possession a certified copy of their birth certificate with a raised seal or a previously issued passport.
An individual may possess a valid tourist passport and an official or no-fee passport simultaneously. Tourist passports may be required for off-duty or non-government sponsored travel. Some countries may also require a visa prior to entry. Military personnel clerks should be able to advise travelers on this subject.
In Germany, USAREUR POV licenses are issued by the military for military personnel, civilian employees, and family members. POVs are also registered with the military, and a USAREUR POV license is required to operate any USAREUR-registered POV. In Korea, unaccompanied military personnel are typically not allowed to have POVs. For those who do have a POV or must drive a military vehicle, the military issues a special civilian license with a military stamp.
The U.S. Army established the Total Army Sponsorship Program to assist soldiers, civilian employees, and family members during the relocation process. Program participants are provided with accurate, timely information and other support needed to minimize problems associated with relocating to a new duty station. The program is available to the Active Army, the Army National Guard, the United States Army Reserve, and to civilian employees whose assignment to a position within the Department of the Army requires a permanent change of station (PCS). To benefit from the Sponsorship
Program it is essential that soldiers formally request sponsorship by completing DA Form 5434 (Sponsorship Program Counseling and Information Sheet) immediately upon receiving notification of their assignment. The DA Form 5434 is the "trigger" that sets in motion all the support mechanisms that the Total Army Sponsorship Program can muster to help relocating personnel. The DA Form 5434 should be filled out completely and indicate any special needs or requirements for soldiers or their family members and should indicate any additional information required. If going to Europe, you may be able to get a sponsor quickly through the S-Gate web site at https://www.sgate.hqusareur.army.mil or call 1-800-375-5971 Army One Source.
Helping Kids Adjust to a Move
Children have many worries about moving. Many of their concerns can be helped by talking to them and involving them in the process. Whatever the reason for the move, openness and honesty are essential. Children of all ages are usually capable of dealing with a move when given time, support, and understanding.
Before the move:
• Maintain a positive outlook. Children pick up on parents’ attitudes.
• Tell your children about the move as soon as you know, so they have time to adjust to the idea and say goodbye to friends. It’s particularly important to explain why the move is taking place, so they understand the reasons for the change.
• Children worry about fitting into the new school/neighborhood. If you travel without your child to the new city, take note of other children in the neighborhood and talk about them when you return home. Look into any clubs or activities at the new location that fit your child’s interests.
• Talk about the possibilities for your children in the new city, and if possible, have them visit.
• Let your children be involved in planning for the new home. If feasible let them go house hunting; if not, get their ideas ahead of time. Take pictures or videos, both inside and out, when you select something.
• Involve your children in packing their belongings. Allow them to carry special treasures (within reason) when you travel.
• Check the school schedule and enrollment requirements in your destination city.
• Consider a sitter for moving day.
• For the trip to your new location, pack a special moving kit for the child, i.e. coloring books, games, special foods. This will help make moving special and enjoyable.
• Check into youth sponsorship.
After the Move:
Try to keep the family schedule as normal as possible to give your child a sense of security in the new environment. If possible, take family pets along to keep things as stable as possible.
• Check out child care organizations carefully. Check references, make impromptu visits, and talk to other parents.
• If the new school curriculum is significantly different, be willing to seek a tutor for your child immediately.
• Ask school personnel and neighbors about car pools or public transportation for your child’s extracurricular activities.
• Younger children have an easier time entering a new school than older children.
• You can help by arranging for your children to meet someone they will see on the first day of school (preferably a neighborhood child or the child of a co-worker) so they don’t feel completely estranged. Once done, however, step back and let your children make their own friends.
• Make time for your child to talk about the new school, friends, etc. Children need to share their experiences.
• Encourage your child to invite new friends home so you can meet them. Don’t worry if they are not ideal; first contact is very important and will pave the way for your child to eventually choose a suitable peer group.
• Allow your child some “quiet time” with no commitments. Relocation takes a lot of energy and children need time to internalize changes.
• Plan excursions to familiarize your child with new places like parks, zoos, ice cream shops or theaters.