Military Shipping - Motorcycle & Household Goods: The Complete Guide

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Military Shipping - Motorcycle & Household Goods: The Complete Guide
Military Shipping - Motorcycle & Household Goods: The Complete Guide

When you get informed of your permanent station change, it is time to prepare for the move. Begin by reducing the cost of military shipping motorcycle household goods, by selling or throwing away everything you no longer need. Useful items you can donate or sell in a yard sale.

Afterwards, decide which belongings you’ll send as baggage unaccompanied and which you will carry personally. Finally, keep in mind, the home you move into may be smaller than your current one and the utilities may differ.

Dinning sets, king size beds, entertainment centers or large sofas may be too big for your new home. Also, oven ranges, dryers, washing machines, refrigerators, and other electrical appliances sold in the U.S. have a 3 prong plug. Outlets matching these plugs are rarely seen in countries like Japan. Make sure your sponsor informs you of everything before you leave.


If you want to bring an automobile with your military shipping household goods, here’s what you should consider:

As mentioned in SOFA (status of forces agreement), you can take one automobile with you free of duty. However, you must meet certain requirements.

First of all, your commander must give you specific permission, so you may bring an automobile to your new base. This is a must, regardless of your duty in your new station.

You must test your automobile for emissions, be it a car or a motorcycle. This will cost you around $3000 or 280.000 Yen. If your automobile fails the test, you must repair it and test the car again.

You may have to make modifications to the lights and / or emissions system of the automobile. This may cost you between $1500-$4000 to install anti-pollution or similar devices. Before taking care of the PCS documents, you must register the automobile in your name.


For the purpose of shipping, your motorcycle is considered a part of your HHG (household goods). For the details regarding your bike’s preparation for transport, speak to the Personal Property Office in your local area.

When transporting a motorcycle alongside your Household Goods, it will be sent to your residence off base. From there, you will have to transport it to the base, without riding it, to complete the registration requirements.

Military Shipping Household Goods Arrival & Delivery

After arriving at your new residence, you are responsible for contacting the TSP (transportation service provider) as soon as possible. Give them your email, phone number, and let them know how they may contact you, so they do not put your goods in temporary storage, which may lead to more costs.

Ensure you or your representative is home on the date of the goods’ delivery. If the TSP finds your home empty, you will have to pay for additional storage, as well as a fine for attempted delivery.


If your items get destroyed, lost or damaged during military shipping motorcycle household goods, you can ask for compensation. If you use a full replacement value protection for your unaccompanied baggage or household good sponsored by the DoD, the TSP must:

  • Repair the items,
  • Pay the repair costs of items he cannot fix himself,
  • Pay the full price of replacing the destroyed or lost items.

The fast notification of the damage or loss incurred during the process is essential. You will receive a form from the TSP’s team, where you can note any damages or losses you uncover when they deliver your items. You will have to complete and sign the form, so make sure you thoroughly check everything.

If you discover damaged or lost items after the crew’s departure, you have 75 days to notify the TSP, so you may still receive compensation.

Things to Keep in Mind

Before military shipping motorcycle household goods, it is helpful to know the following information:

  1. Things necessary in your line of work, like professional equipment and books, do not add to the weight limit of the shipment. These items should be separated from the rest, and the boxes containing them marked clearly.
  2. Your spouse’s belongings have a 250 pounds separate weight limit.
  3. Before moving, weigh and see if your item's weight is less than the limit. Sometimes, the belongings in 1 room may weigh as much as 1000 pounds.
  4. Important items should not be kept in the house on the day of the move. Keep them with you, place them in your car or somewhere the movers don’t have access to, so they are not packed along with your other unaccompanied belongings.
  5. You may have to wait weeks, or even months, for your items to arrive at your new station. If you arrive earlier and need a frying pan or other basic utensils, you can borrow them from your military station’s loan closet (if a lending closet is available in your military installation).
  6. You may be able to ship a motorcycle as part of your HHG or POV shipment. It is up to the military to decide if you owning an automobile overseas is in the United States’ best interest.
  7. Your new country’s laws may impede your motorcycle’s shipment, so make sure it’s not restricted and it meets the local government’s standards. If not, you may find yourself stuck in a long process to recover your shipment.

A-1 Auto Transport can help you move your household goods internationally. Call 888-509-3213 to get a free, no obligation to buy price quote on interstate moving services.

What you can/cannot bring as Part of Military Shipping Motorcycle Household Goods

Pets: Allowed, but not paid for.

Before taking a pet with you, contact the airline you’ll be using and verify its requirements. You should also research the quarantine laws in the area you’ll be moving in. Most airlines have different requirements depending on the breed, its weight, size, seasonal limitations, documentation, the number of animals and the kennel’s construction.

You can ship small pets on military flights, but the regulations and availability are constantly changing. Many locations across the globe have strict laws regarding importation, such as restrictions and extended quarantines for certain animals or breeds. Even some states within the U.S. restrict the entry of certain breeds or types of animals. These rules will affect your move, so research them carefully beforehand.


To transport firearms within the U.S. as part of your military shipping motorcycle household goods, you must meet your new state’s laws, as well as the regulations of the bureau of alcohol, tobacco, firearms and explosives. To ship weapons outside the United States, you must meet the host country’s laws.

If you’re returning from overseas, and would like to bring some firearms with you into the United States, you must obtain the 6A ATF Form and the 6 ATF Form, Part 2, as well as identify the weapons on your customs declarations.

Instructions for transport:

  • Remove the firearm’s arming parts, such as the trigger assembly, firing pin, and bolt to make it inoperable.
  • Remove the ammunition.
  • Make sure your inventory contains the firearm’s information, including gauge, caliber, serial number, model, make, and unique characteristics. You should keep a physical copy of this information with you when moving.

Alcohol: Allowed

Alcohol can be part of military shipping motorcycle household goods, if it does not violate any importation laws of the new state.  For OCONUS shipments, the responsibility for checking the alcohol restrictions in your new country falls on you.

Consumables: Allowed only in remote locations.

If the duty station you are assigned to is located in a remote location named in the first part of the JTR, Appendix F, you can transport as much as 1,250 pounds of consumables for each assignment year. For 18 month tours, you can ship 1,875 lbs.

You must weigh, pack, and mark consumables separately. For more details, contact the local PPO (personal property office).

Appliances: Allowed.

Although household appliances are paid for by the government, any costs caused by having to disconnect them must be handled by you.

If you’re shipping a washing machine, the original wrencers, spacers and stabilizer / shipping bolts are necessary to secure it for transport. If these items are missing, inform the TSP during the inspection prior to the move.

Flat Panel Monitors and TVs: Allowed

Any post or pre move expenses caused by the dismounting, remounting, disconnection and/or reconnection of your TV are your responsibility.

They are subject to the PPSO’s approval (personal property shipping office). If your flat screen has a diagonal screen size of more than 75 inch, you will have to pay crating charges. For OCONUS transportation, no extra compensation is given.

The packing and wrapping of your monitor is the responsibility of the TSP. If your television has a plasma display, notify your transportation service provider, since it must be moved upright.

Lawn Furniture: Allowed.

If the area you’re moving from is infested with the gypsy moth, you must check your outdoor goods before shipping them. Any moth found on your items must be treated before the shipment. To aid in your search, use the Gypsy Moth Guide created by the USDA.

If you’re moving outside the United States, speak with your host base regarding any procedures related to agriculture which may affect military shipping household goods.

POV (Personally owned vehicle): Allowed, though transportation costs are covered mostly by you.

Inside CONUS, the transportation costs of your automobile fall largely on you. According to the DOD PCS reimbursement rate, the U.S. military will pay you back for the mileage required to drive one POV.

If you don’t want to drive your automobile to your new station, its shipping costs will be covered entirely by you. Sometimes, you may be able to request a POV shipment and get it authorized if you cannot physically drive it due to medical or geographical limitations.

In OCONUS, you can ship one automobile, be it leased or owned, at the government’s expense for personal use. This automobile cannot go past 20 MT (measurement tons).

If your situation is unique, or if you want to arrange for an additional automobile’s shipment, please speak with the local transportation office.

Motorcycles and Dirt bikes: Allowed.

You can move one motorcycle as a personally owned vehicle (POV). If not, you can ship it as a household good, and have its weight deducted from your household goods’ total weight.

In the OCONUS, you should check the requirements of each country before the shipment, to make sure your motorcycle can successfully enter.

Instructions for military shipping motorcycle household goods:

  • Drain the fuel (down to the reserve for carbureted models);
  • Empty the saddlebacks. If they are securely strapped, windshields, saddlebags, and helmets may stay with the bike;
  • Fix any leaks and inflate the tires;
  • Disconnect the battery and use electrical tape to cover the ends;
  • Unlock the motorcycle, so it may be rolled onto the truck.

Spare Parts: Allowed.

The POV parts’ weight will be taken out of your household goods’ total weight. Examples of parts you can move are seats, CD players, tops, GPS systems, transmissions, portable gas cans, spare tires, winches, car engines, etc.

Utility trailers: Allowed.

Its weight will be deducted from the household goods’ total weight. Utility trailers must be a maximum of 12 ft. long and 8 ft. wide from the outside of one tire to the other. They must have one axle, the side body / rails must be 28 inches maximum, and the trailer’s gate / ramp must be a maximum of 4 ft., unless it is detachable.

Sporting Vehicles (including snowmobiles, hang gliders, mopeds, gold carts, etc.): Allowed

Their weight will be cut out of your military shipping motorcycle household goods’ total weight. They can be shipped with their trailers if they have one. If applicable, you should drain the automobile of fuel before the shipment.

Ultra vehicles with a single occupant, must be less than 155 lbs in weight when unpowered, and less than 254 lbs when powered. Their fuel capacity must not exceed 5 gallons.

Personal watercraft or boat (including jet skis, canoes, kayaks, skiffs, light rowboats, sail boats, etc.): Allowed thought mostly unpaid for.

You can ship boats of less than 14 feet along with your household goods. If your boat is longer than 24 feet, you can transport it using the Boat One Time Only Process.

All accessorial charges, like special crating, boat transportation, packing and handling are your responsibility. Costs resulted from going past the weight allowance will be paid by you as well.

It is recommended you consider a PPM (personally procured move) for your boat. This way, the boat transport will be covered by the government, and you’ll be able to pick a commercial hauler to move it. If you find a way to move the boat for less money than you’re paid by the government, the rest is yours.

Instructions for shipping:

  • Ensure you have a valid license for your trailer. You may need a transit permit, paid for by yourself, so the boat hauler can transport the trailer.
  • The trailer must come with good brakes, wiring, lights and tires.
  • The frame of the trailer shouldn’t be broken, twisted or bent.
  • Before military shipping motorcycle household goods, remove any valuables from the boat, such as TVs, clothing, etc.
  • Remove or lower masts, antennas, outriggers, and trolling / fishing poles.

In OCONUS, if your trailer and / or boat fits in a container, it can be shipped alongside your other goods. If your boat is larger, speak to you PPO (personal property office), and schedule its transport with a commercial boat hauler. Excess costs are your responsibility.

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Joe Webster began his journey in the auto transport field by attending the University of Southern California (USC), where he graduated with a Bachelor of Business Marketing. 

After college, he started his career in the auto transport industry from the bottom up and has done virtually every job there is to do at A-1 Auto Transport, including but not limited to: Truck Driver, Dispatch, Sales, PR, Bookkeeping, Transport Planner, Transport Manager, International Transport Manager, Brokering, Customer Service, and Marketing. Working with his mentor Tony Taylor, Joe Webster has learned the ins and outs of this industry which is largely misunderstood. 

With over 30 years experience in the industry, we've been helping people ship their vehicles, motorcycles, RV's, heavy equipment, household goods and more across the country or overseas without a hitch. Ask us anything.

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Mylene Rutllant
It’s my number one pick in auto shipping to this day.

Due to the nature of my work, I must relocate every couple of years to where my company needs me. Because of this, I’ve tested several moving and auto transport companies over the years.

And my choice in terms of auto transport has to be A1 Auto Transport. It’s in the name, but also in the quality with which they do their jobs. I’ve never had a problem with this company.

The only time my shipment was delayed was during winter when a snowstorm closed down all the major roads. And they still found an alternative and got my car delivered before roads got unstuck.

When I moved to West Virginia, they picked up my car the very day I called them. I like to think they take special care of me considering all the business I’ve sent them. I’ll continue to support A1 Auto Transport. It’s my number one pick in auto shipping to this day.

Luis Rodriguez
You have my full support and recommendation!

I considered selling my car when I moved to Washington. It was old and rusty, but I grew attached to it. So, I called a couple companies to transport it to my new home, but they both fell through.

The first one couldn’t decide on a schedule. He would constantly change the pickup date till I got frustrated and canceled. The second was insufferable, very rude on the phone, even worse in person.

They started picking a part my car asking me why I still have it. If that’s their opinion of my vehicle, how can I trust they’ll take care of it? If something happened midway, why wouldn’t they just blame it on the car instead of paying up?

So, I cancelled this company as well and turned to A1 Auto Transport. From the get go, they were very different from my past options. Their website was very professional and up to date, full of useful information. I requested a quote using their online form, and I got an email response within an hour. Surprisingly fast!

If I didn’t know any better, I would’ve thought they were lacking customers, but the email spoke for itself. In just one email, everything I needed to know was there, including a contact number I could use to get more information or confirm the transport.

I called and got things rolling. I was very pleased with the driver. He followed standard procedure and represented his company well. Can’t remember his name, but props to him!

The car arrived in Washington 6 days later in excellent condition. From what I understand, the transport was delayed a bit by a storm, but since the time window was 4-6 days from the beginning, I don’t really care. You have my full support and recommendation!

Testimonial by Cristine Benoit
Cristine Benoit
I can safely say this is a legit company that will get the job done.

There are a lot of options for auto transport these days, which surprisingly makes it harder to find a good company. I received more than 10 offers to ship my car, but I couldn’t decide on any of them.

After doing some research, I got even more worried reading about all the scams and accidents that can happen. But, I have work to do and couldn’t afford to drive my newly purchased Mini Cooper all the way to Virginia.

Fortunately, I made the right choice with A1 Auto Transport. They are very good at their jobs. I spent more than an hour drilling Joe with various questions, and he never once lost his patience. He saw I was interested, so he bore with me until I was satisfied. The driver was also very courteous and my car was intact on arrival. I couldn’t have asked for more.

By the way, the price we first agreed on stayed the same. There were no delays or unexpected “surprises.” I can safely say this is a legit company that will get the job done.

David Osallo
We give A1 Auto Transport a big 10 out of 10!

We give A1 Auto Transport a big 10 out of 10! We chose them to move our car from California to Vermont, since we needed professionals.

We were abroad during the transport, so the transport was a bit tricky. The driver had to pick it up from storage on short notice and get it to its destination within at most 10 days. I was happy to note it arrived sooner. We got it 3 days early, right when we got home to pick it up. It made getting around way easier. Awesome service!

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NO. 018191NF
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NO. 025646
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