Shipping Your Car Overseas: Checklist

Shipping Your POV - Checklist

Be sure to keep track of the directions and reminders listed below when shipping your personally owned vehicle (POV).

[See this page for more details on shipping your POV, and contact info for Vehicle Processing Centers (VPCs)].

Forms you may need:
DD Form 788 (Private Vehicle Shipping Document for Automobile)
DD Form 788-1 (Private Vehicle Shipping Document for Van)
DD Form 788-2 (Private Vehicle Shipping Document for Motorcycle)

1. For vehicle shipment, have the following items ready:

- Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)
- Written approval from leasing company, or lienholder authorizing export
- Make sure your POV contains less then one-fourth (1/4) 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 a valid driver’s license, proof of ownership (title and registration), and a photo ID on hand
- Contact your VPC prior to shipment if permanent change of station is to a remote area
- Have in your possession a complete set of keys upon delivery to the VPC. 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, and a certified copy of members’ power of attorney, or other acceptable evidence of agency if vehicle is delivered by someone other than the servicemember (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 outlaying port, and I appoint him/her my attorney-in-fact to sign all documents required for the delivery of my vehicle for overseas
- 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. Dry-vacuum only! The VPC will not accept a POV laden with dirt, soil or mud, including the undercarriage.
- Empty all pockets and compartments
- If any personal items are being shipped in the POV, make a list of everything you're shipping so you can check to make sure you still have them when you pick up the POV at your destination
- Have the make, model, color, year, and serial number of your POV available. Shipments to Turkey must have motor number on company letterhead
- Have mileage of vehicle at time of turn-in available
- Provide a destination address, phone number and/or email address where you may be notified that 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) or commercial equivalent. 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. An 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.)
- You may want to add rust protection and undercoating prior to shipment; 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 commercial equivalent POV inspection and shipping form

2. At your destination:

- 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) or commercial equivalent;
  • complete set of keys; and 
  • certified copy of members’ Power of Attorney if your spouse or agent picks up the POV.
Important: 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.

3. Inspecting for loss and damage:

When picking up your POV, be sure to check the following:
- Carefully inspect the exterior and interior to determine if there is any new damage
- Make sure items left in the POV at the origin VPC or port terminal are still there
- Carefully and completely list any loss and all damages to your POV on your vehicle shipping document, DD Form 788 or commercial equivalent. 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.
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