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Military PCS Move vs. DITY Move: What’s the Difference?


posted Dec 12, 2011

A PCS move is a Permanent Change of Station move and is paid for by the military. If a service member is making a "government procurred move," the military normally hires a commercial contractor to move their household goods for them.  The member is allocated an authorized weight limit, which varies according to their rank and whether they have any dependents, and household goods up to this limit will be moved free of charge.

A DITY (Do-It-Yourself) move - also referred to as a Personally Procured Move - is different. If a member does not want to use a military contractor to move their belongings, they can move them on their own. This may be done by using rental equipment, the member's own vehicle, or hiring a commercial carrier.

Under the DITY move, service members can receive a complete reimbursement of the Government Constructive Costs (GCC), which is what the government would have had to spend to move the individual's personal belongings, up to but not over their authorized weight allowance.

A DITY move is highly recommended by experienced service members and personnel, for several reasons. First of all, nobody is going to take better care of your personal belongings than you are! Additionally, move rates are favorable to those who pack up and move their own household goods (instead of leaving it to a government contracted moving company). So, if you are keeping a close eye on your finances, this is definitely the way to go. DITY move rates include travel allowances, a per diem, and vehicle mileage. Another benefit is $25,000 insurance coverage. In many cases, you can even ask for an advance on your entitlements before your move even takes place.

Even if government contracted movers are picking up and moving your household belongings, you should still file for a partial DITY - this means you will be reimbursed for putting it into your car. You might as well get something back for the work you are going to be doing anyway! Your local transportation office can give you lots more information about the DITY move program.

If you are relocating for the first time, you may not be familiar with all the terms and different procedures. Don't worry - it's really not as complicated as it sounds! By speaking to someone who knows what they are talking about, you will be put at ease and feel confident that you are on the right path. The first thing you need to do is estimate the total weight of your shipment; then, you need to apply for both the HHG shipment and the DITY move.

Next, you will be contacted by a counselor from the Personal Property Office (by phone). You will be faxed or emailed a DD Form 2278 (Application for DITY Move and Counseling Checklist), which you must check, sign and fax or email back to the counselor. You will then receive a travel voucher (DD Form 1351-2) that you must hold on to, so that you can make your claim at the end of the process. Other steps you need to take include getting a certified empty weight ticket for your vehicle - this must contain certain information such as your name and Social Security number.

When it comes to your moving day, you need to pack your allowable items into your car and get hold of a certified loaded weight ticket (with a full tank of gas and no driver inside) from a national truck stop. Hold onto this receipt, as you will need it to make your claim. The claim must be made within 45 days of your move, and you need certain documents for this to be processed, including receipts for fuel and tolls and a copy of your vehicle title or registration as well as the DD forms mentioned above.

Remember that the DITY move program is 100% voluntary, and you can choose to make your move complete DITY, partial DITY or have no DITY element at all. By becoming aware of what the differences are, you can work out what is best for you, your family, your relocation process, and your finances. Knowing the benefits that are available to you as a military member can really help make your relocation much easier, and less stressful. Why not consider using Housing 1 Source services to take some of the pressure off your shoulders?