Military Travel (PCS) Move Services And Allowances

PCS Moving
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Military members who make Permanent Change of Station (PCS) moves from one duty station to another are authorized many entitlements (services) and monetary allowances - too many to remember so use this page for future reference as well as the military links listed in this article. Below is a quick glance of the major entitlements authorized in conjunction with moving from one duty assignment to another.

House Hunting Prior to a Move

A few months before your the move to your next duty station, military members are allowed a permissive TDY (Temporary Duty) for up to 10 days in conjunction with a Permanent Change of Station (PCS) move between and within the 50 states & District of Columbia. You must travel and stay in temporary lodging on your own dime (no transportation or per diem paid), but you will not be charged for up to 10 days leave.

You can select when you prefer to take these 10 extra days of leave. You can choose to travel months in advance of your PCS move and see the local options for living arrangements, or you can take the extra 10 days of house hunting leave and take your normal leave as you make this transition. However, if you are still living in the barracks, dorms, or on ship, you cannot take house hunting leave.

Temporary Lodging Expense (TLE)

TLE is an allowance given to partially offset lodging and meal expenses when a member and/or dependents need to occupy temporary lodging in CONUS (Continental United States) in connection with a PCS. The member receives reimbursement (for member and family members) for temporary lodging and meal expenses, up to $290 per day.

If the member is moving from one CONUS base to another, he/she is authorized up to 10 days TLE, either at the losing duty station or at the new duty station (or any combination, up to 10 days total). Typically, the base has temporary quarters in the form of a Navy Lodge or Air Force Inn, but if not the local hotels will have to be used and the full amount of TLE can be authorized.

TLE is not the same as per diem. Per diem is actual pay / reimbursement for lodging made during the actual travel days from one duty station to another. TLE is pay / reimbursement for temporary lodging (in CONUS) at the old duty station, before departure, or at the new duty station, after arrival.

For more information about TLE, see the TLE FAQ Page.

Temporary Lodging Allowance (TLA)

The TLA is for OCONUS, or overseas PCS moves. Up to 60 days (can be extended) may be paid for temporary lodging expenses and meal expenses after a military member (and his/her family) arrive at a new overseas location, while awaiting housing. Up to 10 days of TLA can be paid for temporary lodging expenses in the overseas location, prior to departure.

For more information see TLA on PCS DOD Website.

Dislocation Allowance

Military members may be entitled to a Dislocation Allowance (DLA) when relocating their household due to a PCS. DLA is intended to partially reimburse relocation expenses not otherwise reimbursed. For more information and current rates. DLA amounts vary by rank and dependency status.

Per Diem for PCS Travel

Military members receive a "per diem" allowance, which is designed to partially reimburse for lodging and meal expenses when traveling from one duty station to another.

When traveling by Privately Owned Conveyance (POC), military members are paid a flat rate of $142.00 per day for each day of authorized travel used. When the member travels by commercial means, they are paid the established per diem rate, (under "Lodging Plus") for the new Permanent Duty Station (PDS), or the rate for the delay point if the member stops overnight.

Per diem for dependents is 3/4 of the member's applicable rate for each dependent 12 years old or older and 1/2 of the member's rate for each dependent under 12 years.

For more information on PCS Per Diem (click link).

Travel By Privately Owned Conveyance (POC)

When members elect to travel to their new duty station by POC (auto), they are entitled to receive a mileage allowance, in lieu of cost of airline ticket. The reimbursement rate depends on the number of authorized travelers in the vehicle. Standard rate is $.19/mile if PCS - effective date 1 Jan 17.

Dependent Travel Within CONUS By Other Than POC

Within CONUS dependents may be authorized to travel by commercial means (air, rail, bus), unless they elect to travel by POC. The military member can be reimbursed for this travel, up to what it would have cost the military to purchase an airline ticket.

Dependent Travel Outside CONUS 

Dependents can travel to overseas assignment locations, either via military aircraft, or by commercial means. Warning: If one purchases their own commercial airline tickets for travel to an overseas assignment location, one may only be reimbursed if the aircraft is an American-Flag Carrier, if any AMCs fly to that location. The only time one can be reimbursed for flying on a commercial foreign carrier is if no AMC services that overseas location.

Household Goods Transportation

Military members can ship Household Goods from their old duty station to their new duty station. Authorized up to 18,000 pounds, but varies by grade & whether or not the member is with or without dependents. 

In addition to allowing the military to arrange for movement of Household Goods, the member can elect to move it themselves, and receive reimbursement if the move is within the CONUS. For details, see our article about "Do-It-Yourself," or "DITY" Moves.

Limited Household Goods Transportation Overseas

If the military member's orders state that government furnishings are provided at the overseas location, the member's Household Good Weight Shipping Allowance is limited to 2,500 pounds or 25 percent of HHG weight allowance, plus nonavailable items. Additional items (up to the weight allowance) is allowed to be placed in Nontemporary Storage.

Non-Temporary Storage of Household Goods 

Military members can elect to have the military store all, or part of their Household Goods on a permanent basis during the assignment, up to their maximum weight allowance.

Additional Consumables Allowance 

This is a separate allowance for annual shipment of up to 1,250 pounds per year of consumable items. Weight is in addition to  the household goods weight limit.

Mobile Home Transportation

When moved by a commercial transporter, reimbursement includes carrier charges, road fares & tolls, permits & charges for the pilot car. If towed by POC, reimbursement is for actual costs. For self-propelled mobile home, reimbursement is at 36.5 cents per mile. May be transported by GBL. Reimbursement is limited to what it would have cost the Government to transport member's maximum HHG weight allowance.

Transportation of Mobile Home is in lieu of HHG transportation and is authorized only within CONUS, within Alaska, & between CONUS & Alaska.

Transportation of Privately Owned Vehicles (POV)

Military members can ship POVs in conjunction with many overseas assignments (and, of course, can ship them back to the CONUS, upon completion of the assignment). The military services can apply restrictions on this entitlement. For example, for assignments to Korea, military members must be "command sponsored" (allowed to be accompanied by family members), or must be in the grade of E-7 or above, in order to ship a vehicle.

Members may also be authorized shipment for a replacement POV during any 4-year period, while assigned overseas.

Members have also authorized mileage reimbursement when driving the vehicle to the authorized port for shipment, and when picking up the vehicle from the authorized receiving port.

There is only limited authority for POV shipment within CONUS. Shipment within the CONUS is authorized only when medically unable to drive, homeport change, or not enough time to drive.

POV Storage

A member is authorized storage of a POV when (a) ordered to an overseas assignment to which POV transportation isn't permitted, or (b) sent TDY on a contingency operation, for more than 30 days.

Six months prior to making your PCS move, look into all the different services and allowances you are entitled. Do your homework, as you will need to reference the DOD webpages and your personnel support on your local base to set up the move to your new base.