Guidelines For Shipping A Military POV

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The “Guidelines For Shipping A Military POV (Privately Owned Vehicle)” is a set of directives designed to ease the process of transporting personal vehicles for service members during a Permanent Change of Station (PCS) or deployment.

When military personnel receive their new assignment, one of the most daunting tasks can be arranging the safe and efficient transportation of their personal vehicle. Military Car Shipping, a veteran-owned business with over 20 years of industry experience, specializes in this task.

We understand the challenges and specifics of military life, and we are here to help navigate the intricacies of the shipping process. This article aims to provide a comprehensive guide on the guidelines for shipping a military POV, how our services work, the cost implications, and why choosing Military Car Shipping is the best option for your needs.

What is a Military POV Shipping?

guidelines for shipping a military pov, car overseas

Military POV (Privately Owned Vehicle) Shipping is a specialized service provided to the members of the military to assist in the transport of their personal vehicles during times of a Permanent Change of Station (PCS) or deployments.

Given the dynamic nature of military service, personnel frequently have to relocate across the country or even overseas, often on short notice. A critical part of this process is ensuring that their personal vehicle, which could be a car, motorcycle, or recreational vehicle, is safely transported to their new station.

When a military member receives orders for a new assignment, they have the option to arrange for the transportation of their POV. While some may opt to drive their vehicle to the new location themselves, this can be time-consuming, costly, and impractical, especially for overseas assignments.

This is where Military POV Shipping services come in. These service providers handle the logistics of transporting the vehicle, freeing the service member to focus on other critical aspects of their relocation.

With experienced teams, these companies can navigate the complex process, taking care of necessary paperwork, pick-up, and delivery. They also ensure the vehicle is transported safely and securely, providing peace of mind to the military personnel during their move.

What Steps to Follow for Military POV Shipping?

military members, military families, government's expense

Navigating the ins and outs of shipping a military POV (Personally Owned Vehicle) can seem daunting. However, with the right approach, broken down into manageable steps, the process can be seamless. Here, we will guide you through seven crucial steps to successfully ship your POV, ensuring a stress-free transition to your new duty station.

Step 1: Scouting for the Ideal Logistics Provider

Shipping your vehicle begins with finding the right logistics provider, and this process starts with collecting and comparing quotes from multiple companies. When sourcing for quotes, consider elements like the shipment’s origin and destination, the vehicle type, and the preferred shipping method (for instance, containerized or roll-on/roll-off).

It’s crucial to note that the cheapest quote isn’t always the best option. The logistics provider’s reputation, licensing, and insurance coverage should also play significant roles in your decision-making process.

At Military Car Shipping, we ensure our quotes are comprehensive and transparent, clearly specifying all included and excluded services. Many other logistics providers may not offer this level of detail, potentially leading to unexpected costs down the line. Should you need clarification, we’re happy to compare our quotes with those of our competitors to highlight any missing services or hidden fees.

Step 2: Assembling the Necessary Documentation

Before your vehicle can be transported from the destination vehicle processing center, your vehicle registration, among other documents, must be in order, including the vehicle’s registration, proof of ownership, insurance documents, a lien letter (if applicable), and the Bill of Sale.

Each logistics provider and destination country may have unique documentation requirements, so it’s important to verify these in advance. When you request a shipping quote from Military Car Shipping, we provide a comprehensive list of all the required documents to streamline your preparation process.

Step 3: Prepare the Vehicle for Shipment

Properly preparing your vehicle for shipment is essential to ensure its safe delivery. We recommend thoroughly cleaning both the interior and exterior of the vehicle, removing any personal items, disabling alarms or anti-theft devices, ensuring the fuel level is at a quarter tank or less, and removing any accessories or modifications that could potentially get damaged during transit.

These steps help protect your vehicle and streamline the shipping process, reducing the chances of delays or additional charges.

Step 4: Deliver the Vehicle to the Port

Once the necessary documentation is prepared and your vehicle is ready for shipment, the next step is arranging for vehicle pick-up or drop-off. Military Car Shipping offers a convenient door-to-door delivery service from your local transportation office, where we pick up your vehicle from your specified location.

However, if you’d prefer, you can also drop off your vehicle at any of our over 40 designated shipping locations throughout the United States. When you schedule your vehicle pick-up from the vehicle processing center, we provide an estimated date range for pick-up, keeping you informed throughout the process.

Furthermore, we conduct a thorough inspection of your vehicle and provide a condition report for your peace of mind.

Step 5: Track the Shipment

With your vehicle en route after military PCS vehicle shipping, tracking your shipment via international auto logistics becomes crucial. Most logistics providers offer tracking services, so be sure to ask for tracking information and instructions. Military Car Shipping provides automated notifications once your vehicle is delivered to the Origin Port, complete with vessel information and a tracking link.

Step 6: Confirm Import Requirements for Destination Country

Before your vehicle reaches its destination, it’s vital to confirm the import requirements of the destination country. These requirements may include payment of import duties or fees (from which most service members are exempt), obtaining an import permit, or meeting certain vehicle specifications.

We understand the complexities of international shipping and provide all necessary import requirement information prior to shipment, helping you avoid delays or additional costs.

Step 7: Import Clearance and Receiving the Vehicle at Destination

The final step involves import clearance once your vehicle arrives at its destination. This process may require additional paperwork or vehicle inspection.

Once clearance is complete at the vehicle processing center, you’ll be able to pick up your vehicle, ensuring your parking brake is properly engaged at the designated location. With Military Car Shipping, you can rest assured that your vehicle is in capable and reliable hands throughout its journey.

Read More: Important Steps To Take When Caught in A Car Accident

Uncovering the Cost of Shipping a Military POV

owned vehicle pov, gas tank, joint inspection

Understanding the financial implications of shipping a personally owned vehicle (POV) is a vital aspect of planning your relocation. Cost estimates can significantly vary based on various factors, making it crucial to dive into the specifics. In this section, we break down the potential costs, dissect the factors influencing these costs, and present cost-saving strategies offered by Military Car Shipping.

Breakdown of Potential Costs

Delving into the myriad costs associated with shipping a POV can help illuminate the overall expense you may encounter during the process. Let’s walk through the most common cost categories:

Freight Charges

Freight charges are the core costs associated with shipping a vehicle. These expenses typically cover transportation from the point of origin to the destination, including loading and unloading the vehicle. It’s important to note that these charges can fluctuate based on factors like distance, vehicle type, and the shipping method employed.

Insurance Costs

Insuring your vehicle for the duration of its transit is a critical aspect of the shipping process. While some auto insurance policies may cover vehicle shipping, it’s common to require additional coverage. This additional cost will depend on the vehicle’s value and the level of coverage chosen.

Port Charges and Customs Fees

When shipping internationally, you’ll need to factor in port charges and customs fees. These costs cover services like vehicle handling at ports, storage, and customs clearance. Depending on the destination country, these charges can vary, and you may also need to pay import duties and taxes.

Additional Services

Depending on your needs, you may opt for additional services such as door-to-door pick-up and delivery, expedited shipping, or exclusive container shipping. These services, while convenient, add to the overall cost.

Exploring Factors Affecting the Cost

The cost of shipping a POV is not a static figure but is influenced by a myriad of factors. Understanding these variables can help manage expectations and budgeting efforts:

Vehicle Type and Size

The type and size of your vehicle play a crucial role in determining the shipping cost. Larger vehicles like SUVs or trucks typically cost more to ship than smaller cars due to the increased space they occupy.

Distance and Route

The distance between the origin and destination and the chosen route directly impacts the shipping cost. Longer distances incur higher freight charges. Additionally, certain routes may be pricier due to factors like higher demand, fewer departures, or challenging terrain.

Shipping Method

Whether you choose roll-on/roll-off (RoRo) shipping, shared container shipping, or exclusive container shipping, each method carries a different cost. RoRo is generally the most affordable option, but it may not be available for all destinations or suitable for all vehicle types.


The time of year can also affect the cost. For example, shipping costs can be higher during peak season due to increased demand.

Embracing Cost-saving Measures with Military Car Shipping

While shipping a vehicle comes with unavoidable costs, there are several strategies to help save money. At Military Car Shipping, we’re committed to providing cost-effective solutions for service members:

Military Discounts

As a part of our commitment to serving those who serve us, we proudly offer military discounts. This special pricing helps to alleviate some of the financial burdens of moving.

Planning Ahead

Booking your shipment well in advance can help you secure better rates. It provides you with ample time to compare quotes and avoid the higher prices that come with last-minute bookings.

Leverage Free Storage

At Military Car Shipping, we offer free short-term storage for your vehicle. This service can help you save on storage fees at your origin or destination.

Bundle Services

When you bundle services like door-to-door delivery with your shipping order, you can often save money compared to purchasing these services separately.

Navigating the financial aspect of shipping a military POV might seem complex. Still, with a clear understanding of the potential costs, influencing factors, and available cost-saving measures, you can effectively budget for this crucial aspect of your relocation.

Our team at Military Car Shipping is always available to answer your questions and help you make the most cost-effective decisions for your unique situation.

Read More: Overseas Shipping And The Need For Marine Insurance

DoD Rules and Regulations for Shipping a Military POV

door keys, ignition keys

The Department of Defense (DoD) guidelines for shipping a military POV primarily dictate the eligibility criteria, the type of vehicles that can be shipped, and the vehicle ownership.

These rules apply to active duty personnel, retirees, reservists, and DoD civilian employees on PCS orders. For military community members, the vehicle should be self-propelled, have a complete set of wheel locks and tire irons, and be licensed for general highway use and for personal use.

It should also be registered under the service member or their immediate family. For leased vehicles, written authorization is required. The vehicle should be clean at drop-off, and personal items, if any, should be locked in one compartment and weigh no more than 100 pounds. Understanding and following these guidelines from your local transportation office can ensure a smooth military PCS vehicle shipping process.

Tips for Compliance and Avoiding Common Pitfalls

While the DoD guidelines offer a comprehensive roadmap, staying in compliance can sometimes be tricky. To ease your journey, here are some tips to help you remain compliant and avoid common pitfalls:

1. Maintain Proper Documentation

Keeping all required documentation in order is a crucial step for a hassle-free shipping process. This may include proof of vehicle title ownership, military orders, military ID, power of attorney if the service member or family member is unavailable, and proof of eligibility.

2. Thoroughly Clean Your Vehicle

A common mistake in the military community is not removing snow tires and not cleaning the vehicle properly before dropping it off at the international auto logistics center for shipping.

Remember, a clean vehicle with a secured gas cap key is easier to inspect using a vehicle inspection form, and hidden damages are more visible. This step is essential to avoid potential disputes about the vehicle’s condition before and after shipping.

3. Limit Personal Belongings in the Vehicle

While it might be tempting to use your vehicle as additional shipping space for personal items, the DoD guidelines clearly stipulate that only limited items can be stored in one locked compartment. Exceeding this could result in additional charges or complications during the shipping process.

4. Inspect Your Vehicle Before and After Shipping

Before handing over your vehicle for shipping, conduct a thorough inspection and document any pre-existing damages. Repeat this process after receiving your vehicle. This documentation is vital in the unlikely event of a dispute over new damages incurred during shipping.

5. Plan for Potential Delays

While Military Car Shipping strives to ensure timely delivery, unforeseen delays can occur, often due to factors beyond our control. It’s wise to plan for this contingency and have alternative transportation arrangements in place at your new location.

The Military Car Shipping Experience: Simplifying Your POV Shipping

Shipping a vehicle for a Permanent Change of Station (PCS) or Temporary Duty (TDY) can seem daunting, but at Military Car Shipping, we are committed to making the process as smooth and stress-free as possible. With our extensive experience and dedicated customer service, we ensure a seamless transition for your vehicle.

At Military Car Shipping, we understand the unique needs and circumstances of military service members. Our services are designed with you in mind and include the following:

  • Specialized Military Service: We are familiar with the specific requirements and protocols for military vehicle shipping, ensuring compliance with Department of Defense guidelines.
  • Exceptional Customer Service: Our dedicated customer service team is available 24/7 to answer any questions or concerns you may have.
  • Competitive Pricing: We provide fair and transparent pricing, with military discounts available to eligible service members.
  • Global Reach: With our extensive network of trusted partners, we can ship your vehicle to or from any location worldwide.
  • Door-to-Door Service: We offer door-to-door service for maximum convenience. Your vehicle will be picked up from your specified location and delivered to your new duty station.


Choosing the right company to handle your military POV shipping needs is crucial. At Military Car Shipping, we aim to provide the best possible experience for our military service members. From understanding the DoD guidelines to preparing your vehicle and handling all the logistics, our mission is to make your POV shipping process as hassle-free as possible.

Request a quote today, and let us simplify your next PCS or TDY vehicle shipment.


How far in advance should I schedule my vehicle shipment?

We recommend scheduling your shipment as soon as you receive your orders. This allows for optimal planning and ensures your vehicle arrives at your new duty station on time.

Can I track the status of my vehicle shipment?

Yes, at Military Car Shipping, we provide tracking services, and you will receive an automated notification when your vehicle is delivered to the origin port. This notification includes the vessel information and a link to track your shipment.

What if I need to ship more than one vehicle?

While the government will ship one vehicle per service member, we are happy to help you with any additional vehicles. We offer competitive rates and exceptional service for all your vehicle shipping needs.

Can I pack personal items in my vehicle?

According to the DoD regulations, you can pack up to 100 pounds of personal items locked in one compartment. However, keep in mind these items are not insured, and Military Car Shipping is not responsible for any loss or damage.

What if my vehicle gets damaged during shipment?

At Military Car Shipping, we handle your vehicle with utmost care. However, if your vehicle does sustain any damage during transit, we have a comprehensive insurance policy to cover it. We recommend inspecting your vehicle on delivery and reporting any damage immediately.