Relocating your POV

Car located in front of Vehicle Processing Center in Orlando Florida

Embarking on your PCS journey can be both exciting and daunting. And it’s no secret that relocating to a new duty station involves meticulous planning and coordination – and of course lots of patience. 

Of all the tasks on the PCS to-do list, relocating your POV, or personally owned vehicle, is an important task that requires a lot of detailed attention. 

You may be authorized to relocate your POV within the contiguous United States but you will find in most cases, your vehicle will only be funded to move to OCONUS locations. If you’re unsure if you can move your vehicle to your next duty station, check with your current duty station’s transportation office. They will be able to advise if relocating your POV will be funded under your orders. 

After a year long unaccompanied tour in the middle east and my husband moving ahead of the rest of our family, it was ultimately up to me to relocate one of our POV’s solo to the closest VPC, or Vehicle Processing Center. 

International Auto Logistics (IAL) operates VPC’s all around the world to support servicemembers and their families move their privately owned vehicles from one duty station to the next. They also offer vehicle storage and maintenance support. 

Our family has only ever experienced a CONUS PCS so I made sure to spend extra time researching the process, watching the provided videos and even called the Orlando, FL VPC to confirm specific details. 

During my research, I found that there was much emphasis on the cleanliness of your vehicle. This is an important piece for reasons such as being able to easily identify any damages during inspection; like scratches or dents. 

I found a local, veteran-owned car detailer in my area to prepare my vehicle for shipment. While it’s not necessary to hire a car detailer, it is an option to consider as they have the tools to remove pet hair and clean nooks and crannies we might otherwise miss. However, there are plenty of servicemembers relocating their POV that have successfully detailed their own vehicle at their local car wash. 

Pro Tip: remove all non-factory accessories that are not permanently attached. Yup – this means magnets, grill badges, etc. These items won’t be able to travel with your vehicle. 

Also, a common misconception is that you can fill your vehicle with items from your home so you can receive them before your HHG. But only the following are allowed to stay inside your vehicle: 

  1. Hand tools not exceeding $200 in total value 
  2. Jacks 
  3. Tire iron 
  4. Fire extinguisher 
  5. Jumper cables
  6. 1 spare tire or 2 snow tires 
  7. Infant seat or child car seat 

Be sure to double-check your vehicle for these items or anything else left behind, especially if you’re traveling a long distance to relocate your POV. 

Cleanliness and items inside your vehicle are important pieces to shipping your POV but documentation might trump it all. You can reduce the time at the VPC location by utilizing their FastPass system. I used this program prior to our appointment and highly recommend it. The FastPass system allows you to upload all of your documents prior to your appointment and a customer support representative reviews them to lessen the time during your turn-in appointment. 

You will need the following to successfully complete your appointment: 

  1. Pre-shipping/ storage instruction form
  2. Shipper or Storage Acknowledgement form 
  3. Vehicle recall printout form 
  4. One set of complete orders 
  5. Proof of Identity 
  6. Proof of ownership 
    • Title if you own your vehicle 
    • Written approval if you have a lien or lease your vehicle 

Clean vehicle, check. Unauthorized items removed, check. Documentation, check. Now it’s time to travel with your vehicle to VPC. Make sure to give yourself enough time to arrive as most VPC locations are unable to accommodate late arrivals. 

Pro Tip – arrive with ¼ tank or less of gas. VPC is not able to accept vehicles above that amount. 

Prepare to spend 1.5-2 hours at the VPC center and bring your patience. You’re at the home stretch and soon the relocating your POV piece of your PCS will be checked off of your list. 

Car located inside the garage of the Vehicle Processing Center

Lastly, take the extra time to understand the process of relocating your POV and don’t hesitate to call your assigned VPC to ask questions. They want this process to be easy for you just as you do. Embrace the process, stay positive and soon enough you’ll be cruising onto your next adventure. And if you need a reminder of the benefits of PCSing while in the thick of it, check out this great piece from Suzanne Paulo with the Military Mom Collective. 

Safe travels and smooth roads ahead! 

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Stacey Currie
Stacey is the wife to her active-duty Air Force husband, Mom to her 10-year-old daughter and dog Mom to 3 loveable dogs. Currently they call MacDill AFB home but are currently knee deep into a cross-country move to Eielson AFB, Alaska. Also, she currently holds the corresponding secretary position on the local PTA board. Stacey has found much passion in volunteering at her daughter’s school, getting back into university herself and creating an inviting space on Instagram that follows her family’s journey through military life called SimplyTheCurries. Lastly, you’ll always find her with music of all genres playing and a coffee in hand (If she doesn’t have a coffee, please guide her to the nearest coffee pot).


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