When going through a PCS move, it's important to understand what is and isn't allowed for the move.
Moving is never an easy task, but the military tries to make the PCS (permanent change of station) moving process as smooth as possible. Authorized movers will pack your belongings, itemize them, and handle the relocation for you. All you have to do is make sure you’re not asking the movers to pack anything on the PCS prohibited list.
Unfortunately, unauthorized items for PCS aren’t always obvious. That’s why we created this PCS Prohibited List Cheat Sheet. Consider this your guide for what not to pack for your next PCS.
Unauthorized items for PCS are not allowed to be moved by military moving contractors. It doesn’t matter which moving company you’re using; no moving company is legally allowed to move any of the items on this list.
Moving companies know that they could face serious legal consequences for violating the PCS prohibited list, so they won’t bend the rules for you. But even if they wanted to accommodate your items, you could personally face fines or penalties for ignoring the PCS unauthorized list. Instead, make arrangements to properly dispose of these unauthorized items before the move, or move them yourself.
Here is the PCS unauthorized list:
“Hazardous materials” covers a lot more than the propane tanks and full gasoline cans that immediately come to mind. Many cleaning supplies, auto care supplies, and hobby supplies (like glue and paint) also fall into the hazardous category. As a general rule, if it’s liquid and has a flammable or hazardous warning on the label, you shouldn’t pack it.
Lumber and cordwood can’t be moved. Even a small amount of wood for building furniture is included in this category. So if you’re planning to build something with the supplies in your garage, make sure you complete your project before the PCS.
Cars, trucks, vans, SUVs, motorcycles, boats, planes, campers, trailers, jet skis, ATVs...all of these vehicles are on the PCS prohibited list. You can make arrangements to move them yourself, store them, or sell them before the move.
This one is a pretty easy one to understand, any living animal cannot be handled by PCS movers. Make sure to have a plan ahead of time of how you will be transferring your animals.
If you have a side hustle selling household goods, PCS movers will not be authorized to relocate your inventory. They won’t move any household goods that you plan to resell or put to commercial use.
While PCS movers will move many types of guns, they won’t move any private ammunition.
In addition to the items on the PCS prohibited list, there are lots of other items that movers will not pack simply for liability purposes. Movers are taking responsibility for getting your belongings safely from one place to the next, so they don’t want to pack anything that could potentially damage your belongings.
The exact list of unpackable items varies by moving company, but many companies have similar lists because they face the same liability issues. You might find a moving company that will pack some of the items on our cheat sheet, but you should make other plans just in case.
Here is your cheat sheet for items movers likely won’t pack:
Here are a few tips to make your move as smooth and stress-free as possible.
Are you looking to buy a new home when you move? Take advantage of VA financing.
With a VA loan, you can buy a home with no down payment and a favorable interest rate. And VA loans don’t require PMI (private mortgage insurance), so you won’t have to pay a monthly fee for mortgage insurance when you use a VA loan.
VA loans are available to active military service members and Veterans with reasonable credit scores and sufficient income to cover the mortgage payment. For information about home financing and refinancing, visit VAMortgageCenter.com.