This blog offers comprehensive guidance for service members PCSing to Germany with their vehicle. The ultimate goal is to assist service members in transitioning smoothly to their new location in Germany with their vehicles.

Selling a Car:
Relocating overseas can come with many challenges, and one of the biggest concerns for many military families is the cost of shipping a vehicle. While the military typically covers the cost of shipping one vehicle, families must make decisions about any additional vehicles they own.

Getting Your Vehicle Ready for Shipment:

  • To make the process of shipping your vehicle as smooth as possible, you’ll want to have all your documentation organized. This includes:
    Proof of entitlement: a copy of your official orders and amendments
  • Proof of identity: a VALID government- or state-issued ID
  • Proof of ownership: either a copy of your vehicle registration and a lien holder authorization letter or your title and registration, with the vehicle in your name.
  • Shipping Instruction Form: download, complete, and bring with you when dropping off your vehicle.

Additional documentation may be required, including:

  • Lien holder authorization letter, if your vehicle has a lien and is being exported outside of the country of origin.
  • Letter authorizing the exportation of your leased vehicle.
  • Certified power of attorney, if someone other than the service member will be shipping the vehicle (not required for spouses on official travel orders).
  • Valid email address, destination address, notification address, and emergency contact information.

Note: For U.S. imports, a valid street address (no APO or P.O. Box) is required for delivery. The address can be a relative or friend’s and must include street name and number, city, and zip code.

Vehicle preparation/cleaning:
To ensure a safe and successful shipment of your car from the US to Germany, it’s important to prepare it properly before shipping. Check with the shipping company and confirm any preparation requirements for shipping. 

Cleaning the car thoroughly and removing personal belongings are basic shipping requirements, but each shipping company’s policies will vary.

After Shipping Your Vehicle:
You can easily track your privately-owned vehicle (POV) throughout its transport by visiting the International Auto Logistics website and entering either your confirmation number or last name and order number. The destination vehicle processing center will keep you informed of your vehicle’s progress at various stages of its transport, including:

Scheduling Arrival: You will be notified approximately three days before your vehicle is scheduled to arrive at its destination.

  • Arrival Confirmation: Upon arrival, you will receive notification that your vehicle has made it to its destination safely.
  • Pick-Up Availability: The processing center will inform you when your vehicle is ready for pick-up and no appointment is necessary.

When Picking Up Your Vehicle:
To ensure a smooth pickup process, make sure to bring the following documents with you:

  • Proof of Identity: Bring your valid government-issued photo ID. 
  • Inspection Form: Bring your vehicle inspection and shipping form. If you are unable to pick up the vehicle in person, provide your designated agent with a notarized power of attorney or letter of authorization.

Upon arrival at the destination vehicle processing center (VPC), you will be asked to sign in and present your documents to the customer service representative followed by an inspection of your vehicle for any damages that may have occurred during transportation.

German Vehicle Registration:
Each vehicle you own in Germany must be registered there. The cost of registration is approximately $40 per vehicle, and the process can be handled on-post. The process typically involves submitting the necessary documentation, including proof of ownership and vehicle insurance.

Once your vehicle is registered, you’ll be able to enjoy the convenience and freedom of having your own transportation in Germany. 

Final Thoughts:
In conclusion, shipping a car to Germany during a PCS can be a complex process, but with the proper preparation, it can be done smoothly and successfully.