Discover the Process of Military Car Shipping: A Detailed Guide

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The process of military car shipping is more than a mere logistics task; it’s a vital service dedicated to aiding the brave men and women who protect our nation. With every new posting or deployment, military personnel face the daunting task of uprooting their lives and starting afresh. Amidst these transitions, the need for a dependable car shipping service is paramount.

As a seasoned military auto transport company with over 20 years of industry experience, Military Car Shipping seamlessly steps into this role. The company understands the unique challenges faced by service members, offering comprehensive shipping and moving services tailored to meet the demands of military life.

This blog post aims to shed light on their processes, demonstrating how Military Car Shipping ensures a smooth, stress-free transition for our armed forces.

What is Military Car Shipping?

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Military Car Shipping is a dedicated service designed specifically to cater to the unique requirements of military personnel and their families. It provides a crucial service of transporting privately-owned vehicles (POVs) when service members are called upon to relocate, whether due to deployment, a Permanent Change of Station (PCS), or other military duty-related moves.

Our military vehicle shipping services encompass both domestic and international relocations, even shipping your car overseas if required, promising a safe, secure, and efficient means of ensuring that your vehicle arrives at your new location, wherever in the world that may be.

Essentially, it’s an indispensable support system to the men and women serving our nation, making the logistical aspect of their moves a little less burdensome.

Read More: Classic Car Shipping: Here’s What You Got to Know Before Shipping One!

How to Ship a Car When You’re in the Military

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Navigating the military vehicle shipping process and coordinating your military PCS vehicle shipping can feel like a daunting task, especially if you’re in the military. However, active service members who have received permanent change of station (PCS) orders are eligible to ship their privately owned vehicle (POV) at no personal cost. Here, we provide a detailed step-by-step guide to simplify the process.

1. Confirm Your Eligibility

Before you can ship your car, you need to ensure that you’re eligible for this service. It’s worth noting that shipping a POV is only provided to service members who have been given orders for a permanent change of station, either to or from overseas locations or members who’ve had the homeport of their assigned vessel changed. In summary, to be eligible, you must be:

  • An active member of the U.S. Armed Forces
  • A DoD civilian with appropriate orders
  • An authorized retiree

2. Check That Your Car Meets Required Specifications

The U.S Government will only cover the cost for the shipment of one privately owned vehicle, which must be a vehicle owned or leased by you for personal use. This car must also meet several specifications. For instance:

  • It should be a wheeled, self-propelled motor vehicle.
  • If modified as a ‘lowrider,’ it should have a minimum of six inches of clearance from the ground.
  • It should not have a lift kit greater than 3 inches in height.
  • The vehicle can weigh up to 20 measurement tons.

3. Determine The Estimated Time For Shipping

The timeframe for shipping varies depending on whether you’re an Army/Air Force member or a Navy/Marine Corps member. Here’s a brief overview:

  • Army/Air Force members: For a year-long or longer assignment, the car can be shipped within 90 days from the departure date for the overseas tour. For assignments less than a year, the car needs to be shipped within 30 days.
  • Navy/Marine Corps members: The car is eligible for shipping if there are at least 12 months left on your time of service at the overseas duty station from the time it was transferred to the loading port. Exceptions may be granted if the vehicle is crucial to performing your duties, subject to approval by a commanding officer.

4. Have All Documentation Ready

Several documents are crucial for ensuring a smooth and hassle-free shipping process. You should prepare the following:

  • Proof of entitlement, such as your official military orders
  • A valid government or state-issued ID, preferably a passport
  • Proof of ownership, which can be a copy of your vehicle registration or a lien-holder authorization letter
  • Consignee Form, Shipper Export Declaration, and Declaration of Dangerous Goods, among others

Additionally, ensure you have details like a valid email address, emergency contact information, and a valid destination address.

5. Know Which Items Are Allowed or Prohibited for Shipping

Following the rules regarding what you can ship with your car can save you time and prevent any removal fees. Here’s a quick rundown:

  • Prohibited Items: Household items, outdoor activity equipment, liquids that can leave spills or stains, flammable substances or oils, and any accessory not permanently installed in the vehicle.
  • Allowed Items: Tools worth less than $200, luggage racks and supports, a first-aid kit, children’s accessories, permanently installed audio equipment, car repair and maintenance items, a spare tire, and two snow tires.

6. Clean Out Your Car Before Shipping

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Before shipping, it’s a crucial step to ensure that your vehicle is thoroughly cleaned out. It might seem like a minor step, but the process of shipping can potentially dislodge items left in the car, which can, in turn, create a variety of complications, from the mundane to potential safety hazards.

Therefore, to be on the safe side, it’s best to remove all personal items from the vehicle. This includes items from the trunk, compartments, seat pockets, and under and between the seats.

In addition to removing items, any gadgets that are not permanently installed in the car should also be taken out. These can include navigation equipment, air fresheners, liquids or pressurized cans, and citizen band radios.

If the vehicle is to be cleaned and shampooed, ensure this is done at least two weeks before the vehicle is scheduled for shipping. This is to make sure that the car is completely dry when it is shipped, which can help prevent potential complications such as rust.

7. Ensure Your Car is Safe for Shipping

Before taking your car to the nearest vehicle processing center for shipping, it’s crucial to ensure that it is in safe operating condition. This step is not just about ensuring that your vehicle will function properly when it arrives at its destination.

It is also about making sure that the shipping process itself can be done safely. For example, a vehicle with a malfunctioning parking brake could potentially move during transport, which could cause serious damage.

Therefore, take the time to thoroughly inspect your car before shipping. Make sure the parking brake is working, check for any leaks, and closely inspect the windshield for any significant cracks.

In addition, it’s important to ensure that the gas tank is only a quarter full or less. This is because gasoline is heavy, and reducing the weight of the vehicle can help make the shipping process easier and safer.

8. Have Your Car Turned Over for Shipping

On the day of shipping, you will need to hand over your vehicle along with a complete set of keys to the shipping company. This includes the key for the ignition, the keys for the doors and trunk, the key for the wheel lock, and the key for the gas cap.

This may seem like a minor detail, but it is an important part of ensuring that the shipping process goes smoothly. Without a complete set of keys, the shipping company may have trouble moving your vehicle when necessary, which could lead to delays.

In addition, it’s important to keep in mind that if the shipping company has to force open any part of your vehicle due to missing keys, you will likely be held responsible for any resulting damage.

9. Track the Progress of the Shipment

Once your vehicle is embarked on the military ship, you can track the progress of your car’s shipping journey through your service provider. This is a convenient way to stay updated on the status of your shipment, and it can also provide peace of mind during the process.

As your vehicle is being transported, you’ll be contacted by the destination vehicle processing center. They will provide you with updates at key stages of the shipping process. For example, they will notify you when there is a scheduled arrival for your vehicle (usually about three days before it arrives), when your vehicle has arrived at its location, and when your vehicle is available for you to pick up.

Keeping track of these updates will help ensure that you are prepared for each step of the process and that you can make arrangements for picking up your vehicle as soon as it is ready.

10. Collect Your Car When It’s Ready

Once your vehicle is ready to be collected, ensure you have the following documents:

  • A valid government or state-issued ID
  • Inspection form
  • Notarized power of attorney or letter of authorization (if necessary)

Ensure you have your bank details available for electronic payment. After providing these documents, you and a representative can check your car for any damages that may have occurred during shipping. Any claims for damages can be settled onsite with claims personnel.

Read More: How A Bill Of Lading Works For Vehicle Shipping?

Benefits of Using Military Car Shipping

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Engaging with a dedicated military car shipping company like Military Car Shipping offers numerous benefits. Not only do these services offer the convenience and flexibility that comes with regular car shipping, but they also provide additional perks specific to military members and their families.

1. Tailored for Military Transfers

Military transfers are typically quick and can be sudden, requiring service members and their families to relocate without much notice. Military car shipping services are specifically tailored to handle these situations. Understanding the unique challenges that accompany a move to a new duty station, our car transport team offers prompt, reliable service for a seamless transition.

Furthermore, these services understand the unique timelines and deadlines associated with military transfers. They’re committed to providing swift services, ensuring that your vehicle arrives at your new location when you need it and not a moment too late. This promptness and dedication to accommodating your schedule can greatly alleviate the stress that comes with a sudden relocation.

2. Door-to-door Service for Maximum Convenience

Just like other professional car shipping companies, our military auto shipping service also offers door-to-door delivery. This is an added convenience for busy military personnel, as it eliminates the need to drive your vehicle to a terminal or pickup location. The service picks up your car right from your doorstep and delivers it to your new location.

Moreover, the flexibility of choosing the pickup and delivery locations that suit your needs is retained. Whether you want your vehicle delivered to your new residence, your place of work, or another safe and legal location, the military car shipping service can accommodate your preference. This feature provides additional convenience and flexibility to better suit your schedule and lifestyle.

3. Personal and Trustworthy Service

A unique advantage of using a military car shipping service is the personal touch they provide. You have the opportunity to meet the driver transporting your vehicle, offering a sense of reassurance. This not only gives you peace of mind knowing who is handling your vehicle but also allows you to discuss any special requirements or concerns you may have.

Furthermore, these shipping services understand the value and importance of your vehicle. They are often well-versed in the protocols for handling vehicles belonging to military personnel and provide a professional, trustworthy service that respects your vehicle and your time.

4. Capability to Ship Multiple Vehicles Simultaneously

If you’re a service member with more than one vehicle, our military vehicle transport services can accommodate your needs, shipping multiple cars simultaneously. They have the capability to transport multiple vehicles at the same time, saving you the hassle of organizing separate shipments. This is particularly helpful for households with multiple cars, as it simplifies the process of relocation.

In addition, consolidating your vehicle shipments can be more cost-effective and efficient, as you only have to coordinate with one shipping service. This can significantly streamline your relocation process and provide additional peace of mind.

5. Cost-effective and Value for Money

Opting for a military car shipping service can be a cost-effective choice. These services are often able to offer discounts or special rates for military personnel, providing better value for money compared to standard car shipping services.

Moreover, the cost of shipping typically includes all services, eliminating hidden or additional costs. This transparency allows you to budget effectively for your move. With a military car shipping service, you can have peace of mind knowing your vehicle’s transport is handled professionally and affordably, allowing you to focus on other aspects of your relocation.

Why Choose Military Car Shipping for Your Vehicle Transport Needs

When you’re looking for a dependable, efficient, and professional car shipping service tailored to the unique requirements of military personnel, look no further than Military Car Shipping. We are dedicated to providing seamless vehicle transportation services to the men and women serving our country.

1. A Service Tailored to Military Personnel

At Military Car Shipping, we understand the challenges associated with military transfers. That’s why we offer:

  • Swift and Reliable Service: We accommodate the sudden and quick transfers typical to military service, ensuring that your vehicle reaches its destination promptly.
  • Understanding of Military Procedures: With a thorough understanding of military timelines and protocols, we work around your schedule, not ours.

2. Unparalleled Convenience With Door-to-door Service

We strive to make your relocation process as stress-free as possible by providing:

  • Flexible Pick-Up and Drop-Off Locations: You decide where we pick up and drop off your vehicle. It could be your home, office, or any other safe, legal location.
  • Hassle-Free Service: We take care of the entire process, from pick-up to delivery, allowing you to focus on your other relocation tasks.

3. Personalized and Trustworthy Service

Trust is paramount in our service offering. We provide:

  • Professional Handlers: Meet the driver transporting your vehicle, discuss any special instructions, and rest assured that your vehicle is in capable hands.
  • Respect for Your Valuables: Your vehicle’s safety and timely delivery is our top priority. We handle every vehicle with the utmost care and respect.

4. Multiple Vehicle Shipment Capability

Whether you’re shipping one car or several, we’ve got you covered. Our service features:

  • Bulk Transport: We can simultaneously ship multiple vehicles, simplifying your relocation process and saving you time.
  • Consolidated Coordination: Enjoy the convenience of working with one company for all your vehicle transport needs.

5. Transparent and Value-driven Pricing

We believe in providing value for money. Our pricing model is designed to be:

  • Cost-Effective: We offer special rates for military personnel, providing high-quality service that fits within your budget.
  • Transparent: Our pricing includes all services, ensuring there are no hidden or additional costs. You can effectively plan your budget with confidence.

Choose Military Car Shipping for a reliable, hassle-free, and efficient vehicle transport experience custom-made for the heroes serving our nation.


Relocating, especially under military orders, can be a daunting process, but with Military Car Shipping, you can leave your vehicle transportation concerns to us. We are committed to ensuring a seamless, reliable, and efficient car shipping experience tailored to the unique needs of our servicemen and servicewomen.

Whether you need to ship one car or multiple vehicles, we have you covered. Our trustworthy, convenient, and cost-effective services make us the perfect choice for your vehicle shipping needs.

Take the first step toward a stress-free relocation experience, and contact us today for a free quote!


How long does the shipping process take?

The duration of the shipping process varies depending on the distance between the pickup and delivery locations. We’ll provide you with an estimated timeline when you book our services, and you can track the progress of your shipment through our website.

Is my vehicle insured during transportation?

Yes, your vehicle is insured from the moment it’s picked up to the point of delivery. Our insurance coverage is designed to provide peace of mind and protect your vehicle during its journey.

Can I ship personal belongings in my vehicle?

We recommend that all personal belongings be removed from the vehicle before shipping. This ensures the safety and security of your items and prevents potential damage to your vehicle’s interior.

What kind of vehicles can be shipped?

We can ship a wide range of vehicles, including cars, trucks, motorcycles, and even larger vehicles such as RVs and boats. If you have a specific type of vehicle you need to ship, please contact us to discuss the details.

What if I am not present for pickup or delivery?

We understand that our military clients have demanding schedules. If you are unable to be present, you can designate someone else to hand over or receive your vehicle. They will need to provide identification and be prepared to review and sign off on the condition of the vehicle at pickup and delivery.