Spring is in the air, and that means peak PCS season is fast approaching. If you are anticipating PCS orders coming in soon, it’s time to get ahead of the moving process. Part of that is understanding what your current PCS weight allowance is and how that coincides with moving your entire household across a few states or across the country.
Just like when you finally arrive at your new station, we’ve got a lot to unpack here. So let’s dive into the details of your current 2022 PCS weight allowance.
Learn more about your PCS entitlements here: 4 PCS Entitlements You Need To Know (2022 Edition)
What Is Your PCS Weight Allowance?
Your PCS weight allowance is how many pounds of household goods you can move across the country and receive reimbursement for it while avoiding overweight fees. Your orders will include your current rank to determine how much you can move to your new location. As your rank increases, your moving allowance increases, too. If you have dependents, you’ll also be listed under a slightly higher PCS weight allowance.
Stay within your allowance to avoid additional charges after delivery.
Expert Tip – Did you know you can split your weight allowance into multiple shipments? If you have any questions, your local transportation office can help you divide your belongings into separate PCS shipments.
Contact your transportation office for help with:
- Special circumstances
- Entitlements questions
- Transporter/moving-day issues
OCONUS PCS Weight Allowance
For an OCONUS PCS, you may have unaccompanied baggage as a part of your weight allowance. UB is rushed to your new location to arrive just before you while you’re waiting for the arrival of the rest of your household belongings.
According to the Joint Travel Regulations, military members qualify for 2,000 lbs. of unaccompanied baggage (as a whole, not per family member). This number will be calculated as a part of your overall PCS weight allowance.
You can find more information about stipulations, net weight, and HHG/UB on the JTR’s PDF.
2022 PCS Allowance
Joint Federal Travel Regulations
*Note 1 / Note 3
|Permanent of Station (PCS) Without Dependents||Permanent Change of Station (PCS) With Dependents|
|O-1/W-1/Service Academy Graduates||10,000||12,000|
|E-9||13,000 *Note 4||15,000 *Note 4|
|E-3 and Below||5,000||8,000|
|Service Academy Cadets/Midshipmen||350 *TDY Weight Allowance|
NOTE 1: Includes a Uniformed Service regular and Reserve Component member and an officer holding a temporary commission in the US Army/Air Force.
NOTE 2: For this table, a member “with dependents” is a member who has a dependent eligible to travel at Government expense incident to the member’s PCS. Actual dependent travel has no bearing. Incident to a member’s first PCS after:1. The death(s) of all of the member’s dependent(s)or2. A divorce that leaves the member with no dependent(s) eligible to travel at Government expense, the member has the weight allowance of a member “with dependents.”
NOTE 3: A member appointed from an:
- Enlisted/warrant officer grade to a commissioned officer grade, or
- Enlisted grade to a warrant officer grade or rating is authorized the grade’s weight allowance:
- Held on the member’s PCS authorization/order effective date used for HHG transportation, or
- From which an appointment was accepted, whichever is greater.
- Upon reversion, the member is authorized the military weight allowance of the grade held:
- On the member’s PCS authorization/order effective date then being used for HHG transportation or
- Before reversion, whichever is greater.
NOTE 4: A member selected as Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Sergeant Major of the Army, Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force, Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy, Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps, or Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard is authorized a weight allowance of:
- 17,000 pounds with dependents or
- 14,000 pounds without dependents for a PCS authorization/order issued on or after receiving notice of selection to that position and for the remainder of the military career.
Military Move Overweight Charges
If you go over your PCS weight allowance with any part of your PCS, it could take some time for the charges to catch up to you. Avoid getting a nasty surprise for your wallet and work to ensure your HHG shipment is not overweight. All overages will be charged to you if you don’t stay under your weight allowance.
Expert Tip – When estimating the weight of your home, calculate 1,500 lbs. per room in addition to large appliances. Don’t get caught with pricey overages for your upcoming PCS move. As of August 2013, the minimum excess cost for going over your PCS weight allowance ranges anywhere from hundreds to thousands of dollars!
Use the Defense Travel Management Office’s tools to help you decide what type of move is best for your family and calculate your PCS weight allowance for both CONUS and OCONUS moves. Some types of PPM moves may mean you end up with extra cash in your pocket. Make a careful plan if you count on making a profit to be sure your efforts are successful.
Related read: Top 15 Apps For Your PCS Move
PCS Move Tips
1. Cull or Donate Old Household Goods
One of the top tips that organization pros give is to get rid of anything you haven’t used in the past year or two. Military families, this is especially true for you! Don’t move unopened boxes from one PCS to the next. If you didn’t open a box at all after your last PCS, donate or trash the contents. If you didn’t need it in your previous home, you’ll be okay without it.
See the list of acceptable donations to Vietnam Vets of America, and then call to schedule a pickup. You can also donate goods to the Salvation Army.
2. Don’t Move Anything That’s Damaged
This includes items that are incomplete or waiting for repair. We’re looking at you, single socks, discolored sheets, and threadbare towels! There are probably single-use kitchen gadgets that you can leave behind, too!
3. Take Photos of Your Household Belongings
This will help you update your home inventory and hit the ground running come packing day.
4. Plan for a Mid-Month Move
This gives you the best chance to get the dates you choose. Times like late June and early July will be a real challenge, as they’re the busiest time of PCS season.
5. Clearly Separate Trash From Household Goods
Anyone want to pay overweight fees for relocating a full trash can or old toilet brushes and molding shower curtains? Make sure there is no room for confusion between what’s going to the trash or the donation bin and what needs to be packed for the move. The movers will be focused on efficiency and may not necessarily differentiate between the two.
6. Don’t Assume All PCS Moves Are Equal
If you are separating from active duty or embarking on an OCONUS move, your PCS may be different. You can read more about military separation in our trending blog!
More like this: Reduce the Stress of Moving Through Preparation
Think of staying within your PCS weight allowance as the battle of the bulge for your household. It may make sense to sell large items if you are facing a long-distance move. You also want to be sure you understand the typical home size for your new neighborhood. Furniture and appliances that fit at your last station may not fit at your new station. Be sure you know what won’t work before you ship anything.
Find tons of information on your new military community at MyBaseGuide. They have up-to-date info that you need to settle into your home, from the best restaurants to top schools and outstanding recreation options. MyBaseGuide takes the hassle out of settling into your new posting so you can focus on having a successful move and staying within your PCS weight allowance.
More like this: Military Benefits: Insider Guide for Active Duty, Retirees, and Veterans.
Last Updated: 2/3/2022