PCS Travel Allowances
You can travel from your old duty station to the new one via common carrier (air, rail, etc.) or privately owned vehicle (POV). The rules and reimbursements are different for each, so we will discuss them separately:
Common carrier (air, rail, etc.): You must normally use a government-provided ticket when you travel by common carrier. You are authorized transportation from the airport/train station to and from your old and new permanent stations. If this is not provided, you will be reimbursed -- as always, save your receipts. You and your dependents receive per diem for the actual travel time and authorized delays.
Privately owned vehicle: You will be paid mileage between your old and new duty station. The reimbursement rate changes every year. The official distance is determined by the Defense Table of Official Distances. If you travel with your dependents and use more than one vehicle, you may be authorized mileage reimbursement for each vehicle. You will also be reimbursed for any tolls incurred during the trip -- save your receipts, just in case. You will be authorized one day of per diem for each 350 miles of official distance. For more information about mileage reimbursement, see our PCS: How to Calculate Mileage Rates page.
Per diem: You and your dependents are authorized per diem for the allowed travel time. If you are traveling with your dependents, they are also authorized per diem but at a reduced rate: Dependents 12 and older receive 75% of the authorized per diem; dependents under the age of 12 receive 50% of the authorized per diem. Additional per diem also covers your hotel expense along the way -- receipts are needed for reimbursement.
Dependents authorized to travel separately: Sometimes dependents are authorized to travel separately. For example, if you receive orders to a deployed ship or unit, your family may be authorized to delay their travel until you return from deployment. In these cases, the dependents will receive full travel allowances including per diem at the 100% rate for your spouse and applicable rates for children.
Retirement: A member who retires is authorized travel for themselves and their dependents to anywhere in the U.S., their home of record outside the U.S., or anywhere in the world if the cost does not exceed transportation to a continental U.S. location.
Separation from active duty: A member who separates from active duty is authorized travel for themselves and their dependents to their home of record or any other location, not to exceed the cost of travel from their old permanent station to their home of record.
Overseas dependents: In some cases, overseas dependents may be authorized to travel back to the U.S. alone and receive full travel allowances. This may happen in the case of divorce, custody proceedings, legal situations, or dangerous conditions.
Keep Up-to-Date for Your Next PCS
Get the inside information from those who know. Get PCS help and all the news and benefits information you need delivered straight to your inbox. Subscribe to Military.com now.