How Do I Schedule a Military Move?

If you are a military service member or a dependent, scheduling a military move, also known as a Permanent Change of Station (PCS), requires careful planning and coordination. The military recognizes the unique circumstances of its personnel and provides specific resources and processes to facilitate these relocations. Whether you are embarking on your first PCS move or have done it multiple times, understanding the steps involved and the available support can help ensure a smooth and efficient transition. This article will guide you through scheduling a military move, offering valuable insights and tips to help you navigate this critical undertaking effectively.

Determine your Eligibility for a Military Move 

Determining your eligibility for a military move, specifically a Permanent Change of Station (PCS) move, involves considering your status as a military service member or a dependent. Here are some key factors to determine your eligibility:

  • Active Duty Service: You are generally eligible for PCS moves as an active duty service member. These moves occur when you receive new orders to a different duty station within the same country or internationally.
  • Dependents: Dependents, including spouses and children, may be eligible for a military move if listed on the service member’s orders. Depending on the military branch and specific regulations, eligibility criteria for dependents may vary.
  • Reserve and National Guard: Reserve and National Guard members may also be eligible for PCS moves, mainly when activated or receiving orders for extended duty assignments.
  • Military Retirees: Retired service members may have different relocation benefits and eligibility criteria than active duty personnel. They should consult with the appropriate military authorities or agencies to determine their specific eligibility for a military move.
  • Specific Circumstances: Certain circumstances, such as hardship or humanitarian reasons, may qualify individuals for a military move. These cases are typically evaluated on a case-by-case basis, and the service member should consult their chain of command or the appropriate military personnel office for guidance.

It’s important to note that eligibility for a military move does not automatically guarantee all expenses will be covered. The extent of entitlements, such as transportation, temporary lodging, or per diem, will depend on your specific situation, the distance of the move, and the military branch’s regulations.

Gather the Necessary Documents for the Move 

When scheduling a military move, gathering the necessary documents is essential to ensure a smooth and organized relocation process. Here are some key documents you may need:

  • Orders: Your official orders are the most critical document for a military move. These orders will specify your new duty station, reporting date, and any special instructions. Keep multiple copies of your orders, both physical and digital, as you will need them throughout the moving process.
  • Identification: Ensure you have valid identification documents for yourself and any dependents participating in the move. This typically includes military ID cards, driver’s licenses, passports, and Social Security cards.
  • Travel Authorizations: You may need travel authorizations or vouchers if you are entitled to travel allowances or reimbursements. These documents will outline the authorized mode of transportation (such as air, rail, or personally owned vehicle) and provide instructions on filing for reimbursement.
  • Housing Documents: If you are moving into military housing at your new duty station, gather any required housing application forms, lease agreements, or assignment letters. Keep records of any maintenance or repair requests for your current housing unit.
  • Medical and Dental Records: It’s essential to have copies of your and your dependent’s medical and dental records for the move. These documents are crucial for transitioning healthcare providers and ensuring continuity of care. Obtain copies of medical histories, immunization records, prescriptions, and necessary referrals.
  • School Records: If you have school-aged children, gather their academic records, including report cards, transcripts, and any Individualized Education Programs (IEPs). These records will assist in the enrollment process at their new school.
  • Financial Records: Keep track of important financial documents, such as bank statements, insurance policies, tax records, and housing lease agreements. These records can be helpful for address changes, insurance updates, or filing for reimbursement during the move.
  • Vehicle Documentation: If you plan to transport your vehicle(s) as part of the move, ensure you have the necessary vehicle documentation, including registration, insurance, and any required customs or import/export paperwork for international moves.
  • Family Care Plan: If you are a single parent or a dual-military couple with dependents, ensure you have an updated Family Care Plan. This plan outlines the care arrangements for your dependents during the move and in case of deployment.

Submit your DD Form 1746 to Your Servicing Personnel Office

To ensure a successful military move, it is essential to submit your DD Form 1746, also known as the Application for Assignment to Housing, to your servicing personnel office. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to complete this process:

  • Obtain the DD Form 1746
  • Fill out the form
  • Review and sign the form
  • Attach any required documents
  • Make copies for your records
  • Submit the form
  • Follow up and track your application

Contact the Defense Personal Property System to Schedule the Move

To schedule your military move, you must contact the Defense Personal Property System (DPS), managed by the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD). DPS is responsible for coordinating and managing the transportation of household goods during a military move. Here’s how you can contact DPS to schedule your move:

  • Obtain your move orders
  • Find your local Transportation Office or Personal Property Office
  • Contact the Transportation Office or Personal Property Office
  • Register on
  • Coordinate move dates and logistics
  • Stay in communication

In conclusion, scheduling a military move involves several essential steps and interactions with various entities. By following the proper procedures and contacting the necessary offices, you can ensure a well-coordinated and organized relocation. Initiating contact with the Defense Personal Property System (DPS) through your local Transportation Office or Personal Property Office is crucial for scheduling the transportation of your household goods. 

You can navigate the process smoothly and ensure a successful military move by providing the required documentation, coordinating move dates, and communicating with the relevant offices. 

Remember to familiarize yourself with the specific guidelines and resources provided by your military branch to ensure compliance with their regulations and to make the most of the available support throughout the moving process.