Navy Auto Transport
The following article is meant to inform you on how to ship a POV (privately owned vehicle) under the GPC (global POV contract).
Before engaging in navy auto transport, contact your local PPSO (personal property shipping office) or TO (transportation office). Besides the information contained in this article, TOs and shippers must respect JTR (joint travel regulations).
Entitlement to Ship a POV
The following members may receive permission for navy auto transport:
- Uniformed service members:
- Doing a PCS (permanent change of station) to, between or from OCONUS PDSs (outside continental U.S. permanent duty stations;
- The home port of your ship has been changed;
- You’ve met certain conditions regarding CONUS to CONUS POV transportation.
- DOD (department of defense) civilian employees:
- Who were transferred by the government;
- Are newly appointed;
- Student trainees on their initial PDS.
- When separating or retiring. In this case, the time limit for transporting a POV is similar to the one for HHG transportation and travel, 1 year from the separation / retirement date with 180 days post the separation date or severance pay.
Members choosing to separate / retire overseas must comply with the Customs / Import fees of the country’s Government. Some fees can be extremely high. Talk to your local personal property processing office (PPPO) / PPSO for more information.
You can only ship one POV at the expense of the government. The expense of this shipment must not be more than 20 MT (measurement tons). To calculate your POV’s measurement ton, multiply the height times the width times the length of your vehicle in inches, divide by 1728 to get your POV’s cubit feet, then further divide by 40 to get your POV’s measurement ton.
If you plan to commercially ship a second POV, speak to your PPSO / TO and sponsor in case there are any restrictions. On the second POV, paying a duty tax may be required. Ask your TO for specifics.
Navy auto transport towards your country of choice may be prohibited by the government. These prohibitions / restrictions can range from the automobile’s condition to its color. To see if there are any restrictions you should be aware of, review the PPCIG (personal property consignment instruction guide). You can also consult your local PPPO / PPSO for more information.
Combined Weight Limitations for a POV Belonging to 2 Married Members
You may combine the 20-MT weight limitation in the JTR to move a single big POV at the expense of the government instead of moving 2 if you and your spouse are both members of the military, and you are both being transferred under a PCS order / authorization.
Payment for the navy auto transport cannot surpass what the government would have covered if each spouse had moved a 20 MT automobile using the appropriate POV vehicle processing center / loading port.
Commercial / Government Navy auto shipping:
- According to U.S. law, you may ship a POV using commercial / government means. You can travel with the automobile by ferry and be covered by the JTR.
- The shipment method is determined by the government.
Note: The government does not authorize POV shipments by air.
Personally procured shipments are available only to civilian employees: If the government has authorized your POV shipment at its expense, and you personally arrange it, you will be reimbursed for the concrete expenses, without exceeding the amount you would otherwise pay to transport your POV from the VPC / port acting as the origin point to the VPC / port acting as the destination. If you personally arrange your navy auto transport, the responsibility for any issues with the shipment falls entirely on you.
Limitations on the Size of your Vehicle
If you want to ship a POV heavier than 20 MT, you must first process and complete a 139 DD Form, K3-1 Figure, or 1131 DD form, to pay the supplementary shipping costs, unless medical necessities require you to transport your POV.
Licensing and Insurance
U.S. licensing and insurance after the navy auto transport is your responsibility. Licenses, license plates and automobile registrations from the HN (host nation) / armed forces may only be valid for a few months or not at all in some states. These items should be obtained receiving your POV. You can register your POV in many state vehicle divisions by mail.
Before leaving your last duty station, make preparations for entering the CONUS. Your POV should be insured prior to receiving it. You must cover the minimum requirements demanded by your new home state. Arrangements done in advance can save you money, and you will have the time to compare insurance companies and their prices.
Overseas licensing, taxes and insurance may vary depending on the country you’re heading to. Speak to your overseas sponsor and local TO to arrange your navy auto transport. Again, it falls on you to pay any necessary taxes and obtain licenses and insurance.
Verify these items prior to starting a navy auto transport. Sometimes, insurance can be far more costly overseas.
When to Arrange a Navy Auto Transport
If you are part of the Air Force:
- Your POV will be accepted for navy auto transport if it arrives at the port in less than 90 days after you or your dependent have left for more than 1 years overseas or if it arrives in less than 30 days of you leaving on a tour overseas of at most 1 year.
- If you go on an OCONUS tour lasting longer than a year, the port delivery takes longer than 90 days and / or of the current tour less than a year is left, you will need the approval of the CDR (OCONUS Commander) to ship your POV.
If you are part of the Navy, Army, Coast Guard or Marine Corps, you can move your POV if 12 months or more are left of your duty station in OCONUS when the automobile arrives at the leading port. If your commanding officer or the CDR of the OCONUS area certifies your automobile is vital to you performing your duties, an exception may be made.
POVs you can Transport
You may consider a POV any vehicle on a year or more lease / owned by a person or a person’s dependent used for the main purpose of transportation which is:
- Created for carrying household goods and passengers,
- Licensed for public highways and streets,
- Has at least four wheels, or at the option of the employee / member, is a moped or motorcycle (this applies only if the client does not transport an automobile with four wheels or more using the same order / authorization).
Note: An airplane, trailer or automobile meant for commercial use does not qualify as a POV. For leased automobiles, you as the customer must obtain leasing company’s authority in writing to transport your automobile to your new designated place, DPS, etc. You are responsible for all the requirements mentioned on the lease.
If a there is a recorded lien or you’ve leased your POV and you want to move the automobile from the U.S. to another country, you must have a written approval ready from the lien holder or leasing company confirming the automobile can be exported.
This approval must appear on the lien holder’s or leasing company’s letterhead document, and consists of a full vehicle description, as well as a VIN (vehicle identification number), the phone number at which the lien holder or the owner may be called and the lien holder or owner’s name.
The document must contain the original signature of the lien holder’s or leasing company’s official, as well as the date. The approval must contain the lien holder or leasing company’s agreement that returning the transport before the next PCS is to be arranged between you and them. You are responsible for every requirement mentioned in the lease agreement.
Note: When speaking of the U.S. we are talking about the continental U.S., as well as Hawaii, Alaska, the Virgin Islands, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Commonwealth and Puerto Rico.
Tanks of Propane
Propane tank automobiles can be moved with navy auto transport only if the tanks are part of the automobiles and are necessary for the engine to function. If the tank serves other functions and is expensive to remove, it must be certified and purged before turning the POV at the VPC.
A label should be tagged and fixed to the tank. When turning in the automobile, you must hand over an authority in writing, stating the tank has been purged and emptied. The certificate must be given by a firm or individual authorized for propane tank purging. These requirements are considered already met for new tanks. Easily removable or loose tanks, used for example for barbeques or stoves, cannot be transported along with the POV.
Items you can Transport in your POV
Items you can move along with your navy auto transport are as follows:
- Tools related to the automobile of $200 max. in value.
- Tire chains, tire irons, double lights / warning triangle, first aid kits, tire inflators, jumper cables, fire extinguishers and other similar items.
- 2 snow tires and 1 spare tire with wheels.
- Strollers, children’s seats, portable cribs.
- Luggage supports and racks.
- Small articles, like car cushions, bottle warmers and thermos bottles can be prepared by the VPC for shipping. Video / audio equipment and speaker inside the trunk or POV must be fixed or bolted down permanently to the POV.
- Oxygen sensors, catalytic converters, piper segments or catalyst components taking the place of converters in OCONUS.
Items you Cannot Transport Inside the POV
Items you cannot move along with your navy auto transport are the following:
- Hazardous or flammable substances, such as oils, polishes, waxes, solvents or paints.
- VCRs / DVDs and TVs, except those coming from the factory or installed permanently.
- Tape / CD decks and radios which are not permanently installed.
- Camping equipment and household articles.
- Accessories not considered a permanent part of the POV.
- Pressurized cans.
- CB (citizen band) radios that are not listed / authorized specifically in the PPCIG. If you do not comply with these restrictions, your POV may be restrained at the discharge port until these items are removed and transported back to where they came from. You will also have to pay the expenses of removing and shipping your POV’s citizen band radio.
- Spare and consumable automobile parts are not authorized for shipment.
Your Responsibilities as the Customer
The following rules will help ease your Navy auto transport. Not following them may result in your shipment being restricted.
- Make sure there isn’t a recall notice placed on the automobile. If the vehicle is dangerous to you or the VPCs equipment and facilities, the VPC may refuse the POV’s transport. You may have to provide paperwork from a certified dealership or mechanic authorized in making recall notices.
- You must possess valid amendments / orders.
- Make sure, in case unexpected expenses or delays occur at, to or from the VPC, you have the funds to cover for them.
- From your lien holder or leasing company, you must have an approval in writing authorizing the POVs export.
- You must have a state / government identification.
- Your POV should have no more than a fourth of its tank filled, regardless if it runs on diesel or gasoline.
- You must present the vehicle’s registration or title as proof of you owning it.
Note: If you are engaging in navy auto transport to the U.S. from another country, the automobile must have a DOT (department of transportation) sticker and an EPA sticker placed in their appropriate positions.
- If the area you are transporting your POV is limited in its ability to ship vehicles, contact the VPC before getting started.
- Present a complete key set, including keys for the lock and gas cap when delivering your vehicle to the VPC. Keep a duplicate set of keys with you for when you take back your POV. Valet keys are not permitted.
- Disconnect or turn off any installed anti theft or auto alarm devices before turning in the vehicle.
- Present an authorization letter or a POA (power of attorney) allowing a representative to act for you. Your spouse does not need such a document if they are identified on your travel orders.
- If you send a representative, make sure he/she has all the necessary state issued / government identification necessary to transport your POV.
- Ensure your vehicle is operable and safe when you give it to the VPC. If your vehicle does not function, it will not be accepted. If it has leaks or poorly working brakes, it may also be rejected.
- Ensure your vehicle is clean. Soil, mud, water, dirt, etc. on its undercarriage will not be accepted. Compartments and pockets should be emptied.
- Give a destination email address, phone number, and address where you can be informed the POV is prepared for pickup. Ensure the vehicle respects all HN emission safety and control standards. Confirm the HN requirements with your local TO and your sponsor before shipping. Before transporting the POV, there may be a few modifications you will have to make.
- Use a permanent antifreeze for your cooling system in case your vehicle goes through cold temperatures during transport. Your antifreeze should work for -20 degrees Fahrenheit at least. If you’re transporting your POV to an arctic area, speak to your TO or sponsor to see if you need more protection.
- A joint inspection of your vehicle will be conducted by you and an inspector. After successfully completing the inspection, your inspector and you will sign a 788 DD Form, K3-3 Figure, or equivalent.
- As a receipt for your automobile, you will receive a copy of the 788 DD Form or equivalent. Ensure you read the reverse of the form for the liability statements. Keep the document in case you may need it later.
- If your navy auto transport is to Turkey, you will have to give the engine number of your POV.
To confirm your vehicle can be picked up, contact the VPC. When you or a representative goes to retrieve the automobile, you must prepare the following:
- State issued / government identification.
- 788 DD Form copy or the commercial equivalent provided by the VPC.
- The vehicle’s key set.
- A letter of authorization of certified POA in case you want someone else to pick up the POV for you. This does not apply if you send a spouse who appears in your travel orders.
- To clear customs, a United States street address is needed if you’re traveling from OCONUS to CONUS.
Note: If you do not pick up your POV in 45 days from the time you were notified of its arrival, the automobile may be stored at your expense.
In case of damage or loss. When retrieving your vehicle after its navy auto transport:
- Inspect its interior and exterior carefully to see if it was damaged during transportation.
- See if any objects you’ve left inside your vehicle prior to shipping haven’t been stolen.
- Any damage or loss to your automobile should be listed in the 788 DD Form. If you do not do this, you will not receive compensation for the damages.
Liability of the Contractor
If you are transporting your POV and its accessories into the U.S., you can determine its market value using NADA’s official used vehicle guide for the area in which you want to move your vehicle. If you’ve shipped your POV from the U.S. to another country, you can determine its market value as the same as the retail value determined by the same publication at the United States port from where it was transported. If your vehicle does not appear in the official used car guide of NADA, its fair market value can be determined as the retail value of the guide’s most similar vehicle.
If you wish to file a claim, you can do it if less than 2 years have passed since the delivery, at the military claims office or at your POV contractor.
Settlements on site proceed as such:
- When delivering your vehicle after navy auto transport, the contractor can settle a claim immediately and pay $1,500 before you depart.
- You maintain the right to make another claim for damage and / or loss to the POV if discovered after departure.
- The contractor may ask you to sign a partial liability release for damages and / or loss. Clear damage / loss is noted in the 788 DD Form before you leave the VPC. However, your claim cannot be validly denied just because you haven’t noted the damage and / or loss of your vehicle in the 788 DD Form. You may file a claim for damages and / or loss not mentioned on the 788 DD Form, if you can prove the damage and / or loss happened while in the control / custody of the contractor or any other subcontractor.
Sometimes, you may want to make an inconvenience claim after the navy auto transport. This is a claim beyond your legal entitlement. You can ask for compensation from the government or contractor if the vehicle arrived after the promised delivery date. Such reimbursements by the government cannot go past $30 per day for a maximum of 7 days ($210 in total). When the automobile arrives and can be picked up at the point of destination, this offer expires.
The vehicle contractor will not reimburse you if the amount to be paid is not larger than what you are entitled to from the government. This $210 entitlement over 7 days is not applicable if you are a civilian employee. If you are one, you can file a claim directly with the contractor.
If the inconvenience was caused by the negligence or fault of the contractor, it is his responsibility to consider and review your claim and either decline, pay or make an offer for settlement in at most 45 days.
Responsibilities of the Contractor:
In the process of turning in the automobile, the contractor’s responsibilities are:
- To process your automobile in at most 1 hour since the sign in;
- To do a join inspection with you on the condition of your automobile before departure;
- To counsel you on the Navy auto transport process and to complete / prepare the necessary paperwork for the shipment;
- To put a label on the automobile with the VPC / location of delivery;
- To make sure motorcycles are safely secured inside a crate during transport;
- To make sure no inoperable, unsafe or leaking automobiles are transported;
- To advise you on the procedure for starting a damage and / or loss claim.
During the pickup process of the POV, the contractor’s responsibilities are:
- To process your automobile in less than 1 hour;
- To notify you in verifiable manner of the automobile’s arrival at the destination point within to week days;
- If the automobile is damaged during the navy auto transport and / or becomes inoperable, the contractor must notify you by phone;
- To do a joint inspection of your vehicle with you to assess its condition at the destination point;
- To inform you of the procedures for filing a damage or loss claim.
In case the POV is oversized, the contractor’s responsibilities are:
- To inform you the maximum entitlement the government can provide is the cost of transporting an automobile of 20 MT in size, unless the secretarial process approves it for medical reasons.
- To let you know of ways to downsize your automobile by removing the external spare tire, ladder, luggage racks, side view mirrors, etc.
- To calculate and inform you of the costs for the oversized automobile’s navy auto transport.
The contractor must prepare the 139 DD Form or the 1131 DD Form and explain how the excess cost was arrived before he can collect it from you. He may also send you to a government representative for more information.
During the joint inspection of your POV, the contractor’s responsibilities are:
- To be present for the automobile’s joint inspection along with you or your representative to assess the current condition of the automobile. You may disagree with the contractor’s recording of your automobile’s condition and not on the back side of the inspection form these discrepancies.
- To let the customer know he can give comments on the service provided by the contractor on the 788 DD Form or on the SDDC commercial equivalent.
- To inventory and pack the personal belongings that will stay in the vehicle in the accessory box he provided. To give you an inventory copy, close the box and tape it, and ask you to sign it for content security reasons;
- To give you a legal copy of the 788 DD Form or of the SDDC commercial equivalent when you receive your automobile.
Remember to keep this document with you and have it ready when picking up your vehicle to compare its condition to what was recorded.
After agreeing to transport your automobile, the contractor’s responsibilities are:
- To replace or repair flat tires before giving you the automobile. If needed, to replace the unusable tires with similar ones;
- If necessary, to start your automobile using battery booster cables;
- To ship the POV to its destination point, even if during transit, it gets disabled.
The Comment Card
SDDC relies on you to inform it of the shipping company’s performance. Therefore, you will be encouraged by the VPC to write a customer comment card. This is your opportunity to give ideas on how to improve navy auto transport. It is also the only way to ensure quality auto shipping and to notice and correct problems when they occur.
Note: Customer comment cards can only be accessed by representatives of the Government. Your input will not be released to the public.
Automobiles imported into the U.S. must respect the motor vehicle safety act’s safety standards, the motor vehicle information and cost act’s bumper standards, and the EPA’s air pollution standards.
You must respect these regulations and laws regardless of the U.S. state in which you are importing your automobile. They apply to Puerto Rico, Guam, the Virgin Islands, the Columbia District, American Samoa and the Northern Mariana Islands. To comply with these standards, you can ask an independent importer or a registered one to modify your vehicle accordingly.
In general, if your automobile was manufactured less than 25 years ago, it must respect every federal safety standard, while those built less than 21 years ago must meet federal emissions standards. If your POV fulfills the federal government’s requirements, you should still check with your local state if they have additional requirements you must take into consideration. For information on this subject, contact the DMV (Department of motor vehicles) before the navy auto transport.
If your POV was built to the specifications of the federal government’s safety standards, there should be a certification label from the manufacturer on the driver’s side door. If it was built to meet EPA standards as well, there should be an emissions label on the engine compartment certifying this fact. If your automobile lacks these labels, it is most likely nonconforming and must be modified before it can be imported.
Before the navy auto transport of a non conforming vehicle to the U.S. can begin, you must possess a contract signed with an RI (registered importer) and / or and ICI (independent commercial importer) to make the necessary modifications to your POV when it arrives in the country. The automobile will be held by Customs until the RI / ICI issues an entry authorization into the U.S. You are responsible for costs that may come from importing a non-conforming automobile into the U.S.
For more info on converting / importing automobiles to United States’ specifications, visit www.nhtsa.dot.gov/cars/rules/import/.
Requirements for Registering a POV in CONUS
Many states’ DMV (department of motor vehicle) will issue a registration or a title certificate for an imported automobile only after you bring proof of it being legally shipped into the U.S. through Border protection and Customs. To import DoD vehicles into the U.S., the global automobile contractor will usually use a 7501 CBP Form. You may find more forms when you receive your automobile at the VPC. Before leaving the VPC, make sure you take all the necessary forms. This will save you time when attempting to register the automobile with the state after the navy auto transport.
Written By:Joe Webster
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.