Shipping a Car Overseas
When you receive your PCS orders you're entitled to ship your privately owned vehicle (POV) from or between locations overseas. If you wish to ship your POV overseas it must be authorized on your orders. Alternate ports may be used if approved by the military traffic management command (MTMC). Requests to use an alternate port should be addressed to the Personal Property Shipping Office (PPSO).
Your owned or leased POV may be shipped to your new duty station at the government's expense. If you want to make your own arrangements to ship your own POV, consult your sponsor and transportation office for any restrictions. You may have to pay an import duty on a second POV. Your local transportation office has information on the host country's restrictions.
Preparation of Your Vehicle for Shipment
Make sure you have all your documentation ready.
In order to make the process of shipping your vehicle as easy as possible, it is best to have all the following documentation ready:
- Proof of entitlement: You will be required to bring one copy of your official orders and amendments
- Proof of identity: Please present your VALID Government/State issued identification
- Proof of ownership: You will need to present a legible copy of either your vehicle registration AND a lien holder authorization letter, or your title and registration. The vehicle must be in the service members name.
- To help expedite the turning in of your vehicle, please download and print out the IAL Shipping Instruction Form, complete it, and bring with you when you drop off your vehicle.
- Additional documentation is required for the following:
- If your vehicle has a lien, and you are exporting outside of the country of origin, you must provide a lien holder authorization letter. Please contact your lien holder to obtain this document.
- If your vehicle is leased, you are required to provide a letter authorizing the exportation of your vehicle.
- If someone other than the service member will be shipping the vehicle, a signed and certified power of attorney will be required.
- These options do not apply to a spouse who is identified on the members/employees official travel orders. Here is an acceptable example:
- "I hereby appoint (name of agent) as my agent for the delivery of my privately owned vehicle (make, model, VIN) to the appointed military outlaying port, and I appoint him/her my attorney in fact to sign all documents required for the deliver of my vehicle for overseas shipment"
- You will also need to provide a valid email address, destination address notification address, and emergency contact information before shipping your vehicle. (It is important to note: For U.S. Imports no APO or P.O. Box addresses are allowed. The address must be a valid and able to accept mail addressed to you, it can be a relatives or friends, and address and must include street name and number, city and zip code).
Wash and clean out your vehicle before shipping
Before you turn in your car please make sure to wash the exterior and remove all personal items from compartments, doors, trunk, and under and in between the seats. This also means removing all accessories not permanently installed – this includes: all loose audio/video/navigation equipment, any liquids or pressurized cans, any flammable, combustible, or hazardous substances and citizen band radios.
Once all items have been removed from inside, it is required that the interior and the trunk of the vehicle be vacuumed clean. If the interior of the vehicle was cleaned/shampooed (wet/damp), it had to have been done at least 14 days prior to shipment to allow the vehicle to dry completely.
Also, please do not forget to remove all air fresheners and/or any items hanging on your rear view mirror.
The following items CAN be left in your vehicle:
- Hand tools: cannot exceed $200 in value
- Jacks, tire irons, fire extinguishers and jumper cables
- One spare tire or two snow tires, baby / child car seats
As a reminder: Before shipment all vehicles will be subject to a joint inspection where all damages and blemishes will be documented. You will be requested to signoff the DD788 inspection form as a mutual record.
Double check for these “Musts”
- Fuel must be at a ¼ tank or less in order for the car to be shipped.
- A complete set of keys must be provided when turning in the vehicle. This includes: ignition keys, door keys, trunk keys, gas cap key and wheel lock.
- The vehicle must be in safe operating condition. Please check that the parking brake is fully functioning; make sure the vehicle has NO leaks and double check the windshield for any major cracks.
- Only 1 vehicle may be shipped at government expense and the vehicle being shipped must not exceed 20 MT. A compact car measures approximately 9 MT, and a full size car about 15MT. If the vehicle does exceed the 20 MT limit the service member will be required to pay any extra costs applicable to transport vehicle. Rest assured you will be able to verify all calculations prior to shipment at processing center.
- Restrictions for destination countries (other than U.S.) may also apply.
Additional Considerations for OCONUS to CONUS POV Shipments
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and Department of Transportation (DOT) have set strict guidelines that you must conform to for shipment of your vehicle into the United States.
EPA and DOT Sticker Requirements
The EPA sticker will be located in the motor compartment or the hood itself. It will have the words "Vehicle Emissions Control" or "CATALYST" on it. If this sticker is missing or illegible, a compliance letter from EPA will be required before your vehicle will be accepted. To get this letter, proof must be provided to the EPA in the form of a stateside title, stateside registration, or CARFAX report.
The DOT sticker will be located in the drivers door jamb area, or on the door edge, and will have the VIN number on it (Volvo's may be located in the left rear door jamb area). If this sticker is missing, or illegible, proof in the form of a stateside title (must state that the vehicle meets DOT requirements), stateside registration, or CARFAX report must be provided to the VPC on the date of turn-in before your car can be accepted.
Additional Cleaning Considerations
Your POV must meet all USDA requirements for cleanliness. Your vehicle will be thoroughly inspected to ensure it's cleanliness, and that it is free of all dirt, soil, plant and animal life. This is a "zero tolerance" inspection. If your vehicle fails to meet these standards, you will be provided with an Agricultural Reject Sheet, identifying the areas that need additional cleaning. Only after the vehicle meets these standard can we accept your vehicle.
Exterior – Please wash the exterior of your vehicle. Also either wipe out or spray out your wheel wells and fuel intake area.
Motor Compartment – Ensure all corners of the motor compartment are clean. We recommend using a good vacuum cleaner and flashlight to get out all leaves, built up dirt, etc., then either spray off or wipe down the hood and engine.
Door Jambs – Wipe down all door jambs, to include the trunk seal. For vans, do not forget to clean out the sliding door tracks. For Vans and SUV's, also the rear hatch area, especially the upper lip where the hinges are. For SUV's where the rear window opens, please open and clean the seal.
Interior – Ensure the entire interior of the vehicle is thoroughly vacuumed, to include floor mats, both top and bottom. Rubber floor mats must cleaned / wiped off. Vacuum under and between the all seats, under the seat rails, and between the seats and the center console.. Use a flashlight to be able to see everything. Vacuum the trunk completely, to include removing the spare tire and cleaning the spare tire well. Also check the back of the rear seat.
For Station Wagons and SUV's – if your rear seat lifts up, make sure you lift up the bottom part and vacuum underneath. Also check the back of the rear seat.
For Vans – The easiest way to vacuum the interior of a van is to fold the rear seat down, and take the middle seats out. Now you have a wide open spot to vacuum. Do not forget to make sure that the seat locking channels are completely clean. Check under the plastic caps covering the unused channels
You can track your POV through the International Auto Logistics website simply by entering your confirmation number or Last Name and Order Number. During your vehicle’s transport the destination vehicle processing center will contact you at the following stages:
- To advise when your vehicle is scheduled to arrive at its destination (usually 3 days prior to arrival)
- When your vehicle has arrived
- When your vehicle will be available for you to pick up (at which time no appointment is necessary)
If In Storage
If your vehicle is being stored then you'll need to fill out a storage removal request form in order to start the process of releasing your vehicle from storage and transporting it to a VPC where you'll pick it up. Please allow for up 21 calendar days to deliver your vehicle to a VPC (longer if international transportation is required).
When picking up your vehicle, please insure you have all of the following documents with you:
- Proof of Identity
- Bring your VALID Government/State issued identification. If you have a designated agent listed on your vehicle inspection form assigned to pick up your vehicle – they too MUST provide an official valid photo ID.
- Inspection Form
- Bring your vehicle inspection and shipping form. If you are unable to pick up your vehicle in person, you may empower a family member or friend to act as an agent on your behalf. If this is the case you must provide your agent with a notarized power of attorney or letter of authorization.
Once you arrive at the destination vehicle processing center you will be asked to sign in and provide all of the documents mentioned here to our customer service representative at the VPC. Your documents will be verified and then both you and a customer service representative will review your vehicle to look for any damages that may have occurred during transportation.
In the unlikely event that transportation damage did occur to your vehicle, onsite claims personnel are equipped with state of the art technology to settle your claim on the spot. In order to do so you will need to have the following information available to accept an electronic payment:
- Your bank name, bank ABA / SWIFT number, bank account number, bank routing number / BIC, and your bank account name.
- (SWIFT and BIC (Bank Identifier code) depending on receiving country i.e. European account)
Type of POV's You May Ship
Only self-propelled, wheeled motor vehicles can be shipped. This includes automobiles, motorcycles, motor scooters, vans, and pickups. Other passenger-carrying, multi-purpose motor vehicles may qualify. However, they may require a written certification stating the vehicle is for personal use.
To ship a long-term (12 months or longer) leased POV, you must provide a written authority from the leasing company. All requirements stated in the lease remain your responsibility.
When to Ship Your POV
Each branch of the military has different limitations for shipping a POV. A few of those limitations for the Army, Air Force, Marines and Navy include:
- Army and Air Force personnel POVs will be accepted for shipment if delivered to the port within 90 days after the servicemember departed for an overseas tour of more than one year, or within 30 days after the servicemember's departure on a tour of duty of one year or less.
- Navy and Marine Corps personnel POVs will be accepted when at least 12 months remain to be served at their current overseas duty station at the time vehicle is delivered to the loading port.
Shipping and Receiving Locations
- Atlanta: 2759 Campbell Blvd., Ellenwood, GA. 30294
- Baltimore: 6333 Macaw Court, Elkridge, MD 21075
- Charleston, SC: 3601 N. Meeting Street Rd., North Charleston, SC 29405
- Dallas: 957 Heinz Way, Grand Prairie, TX 75051
- Jacksonville, FL: 8998 Blount Island, Jacksonville FL 32226 (For personnel assigned to/from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba ONLY.)
- Los Angeles: 14611 S. Broadway St, Gardena, CA 90248
- Norfolk, Va.: 1215 Executive Blvd, Chesapeake, VA 23320
- St. Louis: 13918 St. Charles Rock Rd, Bridgeton, MO 63044
- San Diego: 11433 Woodside Ave, Santee, CA 92071
- Seattle: 654 Milwaukee Ave. N, Auburn, WA 98001
- Alaska, Anchorage: 300 LaTouche Street, Anchorage, AK 99501
- Alaska, Fairbanks: 5250 Airport Industrial Road, Fairbanks, AK 99709
- Bahrain: EM Cargo Building 167, Gate 4,Road 4903, East Riffa Industrial Area, Al Musaskar 940, Bahrain
- Belgium, Chievres: Chievres Air Base, Bldg 46, Belgium 7950
- Germany, Ansbach: Meinhardswindener Strasse 25, Barton Barracks; Bldg.5259., Ansbach, Germany
- Germany, Baumholder: Clinic Barracks, Gate 15 on L 169 Street, Bldg 8751., Baumholder, Germany,
- Germany, Boeblingen: Panzer Kaserne Bldg. 2931 71032 Boeblingen, Germany
- Germany, Grafenwoehr: U.S. Grafenwoehr Base, 322 Shiloh Avenue, 92655 Grafenwoehr, Germany
- Germany, Kaiserslautern: Kapaun Air Station Bldg. 2806, 67661 Kaiserslautern, Germany
- Germany, Spangdahlem: Spangdahlem Air Base Bldg. 222, 54529 Spangdahlem, Germany
- Germany, Wiesbaden: Mainz Kastel Housing Area Bldg. Wiesbadener Str. 78, 55252 Mainz Kastel, Germany
- Guam: COMNAVMAR Naval Base Building 3179, Santa Rita, Guam 96915
- Hawaii, Honolulu: Pier 1 Ft. Armstrong, Forrest Ave., Honolulu, HI 96813
- Italy, Aviano: Via dei Longobardi 49, 33080, San Quirino, Italy
- Italy, Livorno: Leghorn Army Depot, Gate 27 Bldg. 5138 Depot Via Aurelia Tombolo Pisa, 56128 Livorno, Italy
- Italy, Naples: Naval Support Activity Bldg. 2081, Contrada Boscariello 81030, Gricignano di Aversa, Naples, Italy
- Italy, Sigonella: Base Military USA NAS II, Strada Statale, 417 Catania, Piano D Arci, Signonella, Sicilia
- Italy, Vicenza: Via Strada Della Pelose, Bldg. 928 Entrance 8, Torri Di Quartesolo, 36040 Vicenza, Italy
- Netherlands, Schinnen: Borgerweg 10 Building 27, Room 102, Schinnen, Netherlands, 6365 CW
- Puerto Rico, San Juan: Parque Industrial San Miguel, Calle 1 #60, San Juan, PR, 00920
- South Korea, Daegu: Area IV Support Activity, Daegu Camp Henry, Building 1415, Daegu, South Korea, 96218
- South Korea, Seoul: Camp Kim, Building C1244-68 US Army Garrison Yongsan, Korea, APO AP 96205-5333
- Spain, Rota: C/Inventor Pedro Cawley 10, Polígono Ind. Las Salinas del Levante, El Puerto de Santa María, AL, Spain, 11500
- Turkey, Incirlik: Yenimahalle 33 Sokak No. 31 TR-01340 Incirlik, Turkey
- Turkey, Izmir: Doganlar Mah. 1417 Sokak TR-35040 Bornova, Izmir, Turkey
- United Kingdom, Brandon: Field Road, Mildenhall, Suffolk IP28 7AL, UK
For More Information
For more information, please visit PCSmyPOV.com the resource for Service Members moving or storing their POV in connection with a PCS move.
To get more PCS tips or information, visit Military.com's PCS/Home Buying Guide.