Skip to Main Content

PCS Checklist

Two soldiers laughing

At Service Credit Union, we honor your service in protecting our great nation and know that you and your family may need to move many times throughout your military life. That’s why we’ve created a Relocation Kit to help you with your PCSing process.

Download the entire kit here, or see below for our PCS-ing tips.

12 Weeks Before You Move

  • Create a PCS expense log and receipt folder.
  • Create a relocation budget, and learn about any special savings programs you may qualify for.
  • Begin tracking moving expenses for federal income tax and budgeting purposes.
  • If you have pets, you will need to plan ahead. Check to be sure they can accompany you overseas. You may need to find a temporary place for them while you wait for housing. Check with your veterinary services for immunization requirements and shipping costs. Most importantly, don’t forget to call the airline to reserve a space!
  • Depending on where you are going and whether temporary furniture is available, you may need to begin the shipping process early. Begin choosing what you will ship via a large shipment of household goods (HHG) which can require 60 days to deliver, or unaccompanied baggage, which requires about 30 days.
  • Prepare, update and execute wills and powers of attorney, or letter of authorization, if needed.

Eight Weeks Before You Move

  • Call your Personnel Action Clerk (PAC) or Finance Office for details on a Temporary Lodging Allowance (TLA). Make TLA entitlements or billeting arrangements.
  • Schedule a pre-termination inspection if you live in government quarters.
  • Notify your lender if a loan is outstanding on a vehicle you plan to ship overseas.
  • Homebuyers: Arrange to finance and schedule tentative closing dates. Service Credit Union has a wide variety of mortgage programs with great rates available across the continental U.S.
  • If you need extra cash for your move, inquire about Service Credit Union’s Relocation loan.

Six Weeks Before You Move

  • Organize your family records in a travel records kit, instead of shipping them (e.g. birth certificates, military ID cards, insurance cards, PCS cards, marriage papers, immunization records, etc.)

Four Weeks Before You Move

  • Schedule to have your current utilities canceled the day after you move and forward the final bills to your new address.
  • If you are moving, get written estimates from several moving companies.
  • Buy packing supplies: boxes, packing and masking tape, markers, newspapers, and twine.
  • Get rid of any unwanted items around your house Keep any receipts from donations for tax purposes.
  •  Fill out an IRS change of address Form 8822 at
  • Inventory your possessions. Take pictures of items and assign values for your records.

Three Weeks Before You Move

  • Notify your credit card companies of your renewed or temporary address.
  • Check expiration dates on major credit cards you plan to use during travel.
  • Check the expiration date on your family’s ID cards and renew them if they are about to expire.
  • Notify your stock broker, investment counselor, or financial institution of your new or temporary address. Log on to or call our Contact Center to notify Service Credit Union of your change of address.
  • Settle outstanding bills. Be sure to stop/cancel any Repeat Payment Orders (RPOs) you may have, to ensure no payments go out after you depart.
  • Schedule connection dates for new utilities. Some may require deposits.
  • Set up new accounts with Service Credit Union’s online bill pay from your checking account.

Two Weeks Before You Move

  • Contact your PAC or Military Pay to re-certify Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) and have the PCS checklist signed off.
  • Arrange vehicle rental, if necessary.
  • Contact your local employment office to determine whether your relocation qualifies your spouse for unemployment benefits, if appropriate.

One Week Before You Move

  • Plan what goes with you, including activities for kids, if you’re traveling with children.

The Day Before You Move

  • If you are moving, make sure you have payment ready for the mover, most will not unpack without a check.
  • Make sure that cash, jewelry, important documents, your checkbook, and other valuable items are secure and placed with the suitcases and other items you are hand-carrying.

The Day After You Move