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Top Tips for Surviving Military Moving Season

You have received orders to re-locate and need to set-up a move. Wondering what to do next? The Defense Personal Property System (DPS) is the DoD one-stop source for managing personal property moves. DPS provides convenient 24/7 access to personal property shipment information and is used to certify counseling, set up moves, track and manage shipment(s), file claims, and complete Customer Satisfaction Surveys (CSS) about the performance of Transportation Service Providers (TSP).  Here are DPS’s top tips to ensure that your move is a smooth one.

Complete Self-Counseling
The first step in preparing for your move is to create a DPS account on Click on the “First Time DPS Users” link and follow the instructions. Once your account is created, you must complete self-counseling in DPS. It is recommended that you review the “Before you Move” guide prior to completing your self-counseling.  This will provide you with information on entitlements, weight allowances, privately owned vehicle (POV) shipment and storage, mobile homes, firearms, and other useful moving tips and tools. The local Defense Management Office (DMO) can provide counseling; however, Marines are ultimately accountable for costs incurred during moves that are beyond their entitlements and allowances. 

First-time movers, separates, retirees, and other special category personnel are required to be counseled at the local DMO in addition to completing DPS self-counseling.  The DMO will require completion of self-counseling and a copy of official web, separation, or retirement orders to complete applications for Household Goods Moves (HHG). 

Schedule Your Pick-Up Date ASAP
Late May through mid-July is the most popular time for scheduling PCS moves.  Executing HHG moves during this window can be challenging. It is recommended that Marines schedule their move well in advance to ensure they get their requested pick-up date(s).  Pick-up dates should be planned to allow for at least two days between requested and actual pick-up dates in order to vacate housing, commence travel, and execute other PCS-related events. The last two days and the first two days of every month are particularly difficult dates.  Alternate pick-up dates are not confirmed until the conclusion of the pre-move survey, so Marines should ensure they obtain confirmation of pack and pick-up dates before making final travel arrangements.  

Stay in Touch
Marines should stay in contact with their TSP.  DPS will provide point of contact telephone numbers for each TSP’s local agent at origin and destination supporting each move.  Pick-ups for multiple shipments should not be scheduled on the same day.  If Marines have questions about service or encounter problems at delivery locations, immediately call the local DMO tasked with providing oversight of HHG in the area.  This information is available in DPS and can be received from the DMO at the pack out location.

Did your move not go as planned? Contact Personal Property Claims to report any damage or loss to personal property that occurred incident to service.

If you experience DPS user issues, contact the DPS helpdesk at (800) 462-2176 or via e-mail at


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