8 Steps to a Smooth Personally Procured Move

(U.S. Air Force/Kedesha Pennant)
(U.S. Air Force/Kedesha Pennant)

If you’re ready to take advantage of the PPM program make sure you follow each of the steps outlined below:

Step 1. Apply for the PPM move by scheduling an appointment with your base Personal Property Transportation Office (PTO). A PTO representative will cover all factors of the program in detail, and provide you with all forms and instructions you need. Foremost among these is the DD Form 2278 (Application for Move and Counseling Checklist). Other forms you may need to fill out or provide include:

  • Standard Form 1038 — Advance of Funds Application and Account (for advanced operating allowance).
  • Certified empty weight ticket for each shipment with name, your Social Security number and signature of weight master.
  • Certified loaded weight ticket for each shipment with name, your Social Security number and signature of weight master.
  • Original DD Form 1351-2 — Travel Voucher or Subvoucher (ask your PTO representative if you have specific questions about this form)
  • Copy of registration for your boat(s) and/or trailer(s) if applicable.

Only after applying for and being authorized for a PPM move can you proceed with the move. If you make a partial PPM move (i.e., only shipping a certain amount of household goods), make sure you work out all the details with your PTO representative. Note that you will not receive full government payment for your PPM move until after your move.


Step 2. Decide on your type of move. Will you be doing this all yourself? Will you have packers help? Will you have a moving company take care of the actual transport? Nail down these arrangements as soon as possible.

Step 3. Arrange for any rental equipment or moving services you need. You can either do it all yourself, have a professional handle tasks, or some of both. Packing materials can be purchased from commercial suppliers.

Step 4. Confirm your insurance coverage. Make sure you are up to date on your car and accident insurance. If you use a trailer, check your auto insurance policy to make sure you’re covered. State laws regarding liability for accidents during a PPM move vary, so if you’re involved in an accident while performing a PPM move, you should contact the legal office at the military installation nearest the accident site as soon as possible.

Step 5. Pick up your operating allowance from your local dispersing office.

Step 6. When your vehicle (whether you own it or are renting) is ready, calculate the total weight of what you are moving. You should weigh your vehicle both fully loaded and unloaded. This is extremely important, as your PPM payment will be based on this weight ticket. To calculate the weight of your shipment, follow this formula:

  • Loaded Weight = Your vehicle with a full tank of gas + all of your property loaded + no drivers or passengers inside
  • Empty Weight = Your vehicle with a full tank of gas + no drivers or passengers inside
  • Loaded Weight - Empty Weight = Net Weight of Property

Each weight ticket should have the following information:

  • Name, grade, Social Security number
  • Name/location of scales
  • Vehicle/trailer identification
  • Date of weighing
  • Weigh Master's signature
  • Legible of weights

Step 7. Get receipts for all moving expenses. All costs associated with the move are not taxable, and will be deducted from the allowance you receive from the move to determine your actual financial profit. Only your profit will be taxed, so be sure to keep track of everything to maximize your profit. Authorized expenses include:

  • Payment for rental vehicles/trailers
  • Packing materials
  • Moving equipment (including hand trucks and dollies)
  • Gas and oil expenses
  • Highway tolls, weight tickets and any other transportation expense directly related to the PPM move

Step 8. Make your move, and submit your settlement. Once you complete your actual move, you have 45 days to submit a claim for full payment of your PPM allowance. This should include the following:

  • Empty and loaded weight tickets (two copies of each)
  • DD Form 2278
  • PPM Move certification (attach all receipts for moving expenses)
  • PPM Move expense sheet
  • Change of Station Orders
  • Advance operating allowance paperwork (if you are renting a truck or trailer)
  • Vehicle/trailer rental contract (if you are renting a truck or trailer)

More specific details can be obtained from the Personal Property Transportation office at your installation.

To get more PCS tips or information, visit Military.com’s PCS & Moving Guide

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