You received your orders, and now you are getting ready for your Permanent Change of Station (PCS). Whether it’s your first PCS or your fifth, remembering what comes next can be challenging. Below are some tips to make your PCS easier.

Important PCS Paperwork

Start a folder of your important paperwork to take with you. Ensure you keep it with you at all times during your move. 

What should you have in there? Important documents such as:

  • Both your original orders and copies, just in case.
  • Identification cards include your military ID, driver's license, social security cards, passports, birth certificates, marriage certificates, and naturalization certificates.
  • Vehicle information, including title or lease, registration, insurance, and proof of vehicle inspection.
  • Banking information, including personal checks, hard copies of recent bank statements, credit card statements, and credit cards. You never know when you’ll need them.
  • Your household inventory that your moving company provided, contact phone numbers, and lease or mortgage paperwork.
  • Legal documents such as divorce or annulment paperwork, wills, custody or adoption paperwork, and any powers of attorney.
  • School records for your children, including transcripts, report cards or grade sheets that your children may need for school registration.
  • Medical documents including previous medical records, dental records, and vaccination cards. It might also be a good idea to keep a TRICARE card with you in case you need to contact them in an emergency situation.

Pets and PCS

When the family PCS moves, so do our furry family members. Sometimes, it’s not as easy to get them to our new duty station. Provided below are some tips to make your next PCS with pets easy.

  • Research the pet policies at your next duty station. Some destinations have strict regulations and quarantine requirements before your pet gets to the next duty station.
  • Ensure all veterinarian certifications are in order. Use a military vet, if possible, as they are more familiar with the paperwork required for PCS moves.
  • Check with your airline about flight restrictions for pets. Some airlines impose a "pet embargo" during the summer months, which restricts certain dog breeds. Many airlines also may limit the number of pets on each flight, whether they are flying with passengers or in cargo.
  • Make sure your pet is comfortable in a crate. It’s also good to double-check your airline’s requirements for pets regarding identification, water, and size/shape of the crate.

Shipping Vehicles for a PCS

If you’re not traveling from one duty station to the next, it’s a good idea to ship your vehicle. With these helpful hints, you can ship with ease.

  • Most cars are able to be shipped, but you may not be able to ship your recreational vehicle or a large truck with a heavy camper shell.
  • If you’ve got a modified vehicle with lift kits, upgraded speakers, or other non-factory modifications, they must meet special requirements to be shipped. The regulations vary by country, so be sure to check with your relocation office for information specific to your new duty station.
  • There are strict time limits for how late after your departure or before your return your car can be shipped.
  • There are strict regulations on what may be placed in the car, as well as weight limits on the vehicle.
  • Check with the relocation office for registering your vehicle at your new duty station. Every state has a different time requirement.
  • If you are a two-car family, you may choose to buy a car after arriving at your new installation. If you are unable to ship your vehicles due to the location of your next duty station, be sure you’ve got some cash available for purchasing a vehicle or two. Local Facebook groups can be helpful with the resale of vehicles in these situations.

Want to know more before you go? Visit your local Information, Referral, and Relocation Office