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Moving: Household goods -

May. 10, 2010 - 02:00PM   |   Last Updated: May. 10, 2010 - 02:00PM  |  

As soon as you have reassignment orders, start arranging for the shipment of your household goods. With many service members moving during peak summer months, or in areas with large military populations, you limit your options by waiting.

There are two ways to start the moving process: by contacting the installation transportation office to have them counsel you on the move, or by doing it yourself on the automated Defense Personal Property System at

If you're making your first personal property move, you should contact your local military transportation office rather than use DPS. But each service has its own policies for who should initially contact their transportation office; the list is found on

When you receive your orders, your first step, if you are using DPS, is to go to to register for a user ID and password that are needed to log on to DPS. The Web site also provides information about the process for movement of household goods, and includes tips for moving, weight allowance, details for arranging the pickup for shipment of your household goods, delivery, storage, shipping firearms and privately owned vehicles, and much more.

Once you log on, the system will ask you a series of questions to guide you through the entire move process.

Once you've completed the self-counseling, select the nearest transportation counseling office from the drop-down menu and forward the required documents to that office. After receiving your request, a counselor will verify your input data and then your shipment will be booked with the best qualified carrier rather than the one offering the lowest bid, as was the case in the past.

The moving company will contact you to initiate a pre-move survey and negotiate packing and pickup dates for your personal property. The carrier should stay in direct contact with you throughout the entire process.

Upon arrival at your new duty station, you'll arrange with the moving company for either temporary storage or delivery of your property. If there is any damage to your property, will guide you through the claims process.

One last step: Complete the Customer Satisfaction Survey about the move experience, which will help defense officials select the best movers for service members in the future.

Contact: The Defense Personal Property Program,

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