United States Code

USC most recently checked for updates: Oct 29, 2020

§ 476.
Travel and transportation allowances: dependents; baggage and household effects
(a)
(1)
Except as provided in paragraph (2), a member of a uniformed service who is ordered to make a change of permanent station is entitled to transportation in kind, reimbursement therefor, or a monetary allowance in place of the cost of transportation, plus a per diem, for the member’s dependents at rates prescribed by the Secretaries concerned, but not more than the rate authorized under section 474(d) of this title. The Secretary concerned may also reimburse the member for mandatory pet quarantine fees for household pets, but not to exceed $550 per change of station, when the member incurs the fees incident to such change of station.
(2)
(A)
Except as provided in subparagraph (B), a member who—
(i)
is separated from the service or released from active duty; and
(ii)
on the date of his separation from the service or release from active duty, has not served on active duty for a period of time equal to at least 90 percent of the period of time for which he initially enlisted or otherwise initially agreed to serve,
may be provided transportation under this subsection for his dependents only by transportation in kind by the least expensive mode of transportation available or by a monetary allowance that does not exceed the cost to the Government of such transportation in kind.
(B)
Subparagraph (A) does not apply to a member—
(i)
who is retired, or is placed on the temporary disability retired list, under chapter 61 of title 10;
(ii)
who is separated from the service or released from active duty for a medical condition affecting the member, as determined by the Secretary concerned;
(iii)
who is separated from the service or released from active duty because the period of time for which the member initially enlisted or otherwise initially agreed to serve has been reduced by the Secretary concerned and is separated or released under honorable conditions;
(iv)
who is discharged under section 1173 of title 10; or
(v)
who is involuntarily separated from active duty during the period beginning on October 1, 1990, and ending on December 31, 2001.
(3)
The allowances authorized under this subsection may be paid in advance.
(4)
In this section, the term “involuntarily separated” has the meaning given that term in section 1141 of title 10.
(b)
(1)
(A)
Except as provided in paragraph (2), in connection with a change of temporary or permanent station, a member is entitled to transportation (including packing, crating, drayage, temporary storage, and unpacking) of baggage and household effects within the weight allowances listed in subparagraph (C), without regard to the comparative costs of the various modes of transportation. Temporary storage in excess of 180 days may be authorized. Alternatively, the member may be paid reimbursement or a monetary allowance under subparagraph (F).
(B)
Subject to uniform regulations prescribed by the Secretaries concerned, in the case of a permanent change of station in which the Secretary concerned has authorized transportation of a motor vehicle under section 2634 1
1
 See References in Text note below.
of title 10 (except when such transportation is authorized from the old duty station to the new duty station), the member is entitled to a monetary allowance for transportation of that motor vehicle—
(i)
from the old duty station to—
(I)
the customary port of embarkation which is nearest the old duty station if delivery of the motor vehicle to the port of embarkation is not made in conjunction with the member’s travel to the member’s port of embarkation; or
(II)
the customary port of embarkation which is nearest to the member’s port of embarkation if delivery of the motor vehicle to the port of embarkation is made in conjunction with the member’s travel to the member’s port of embarkation;
whichever is most cost-effective for the Government considering all operational, travel, and transportation requirements incident to such change of station; and
(ii)
from the customary port of debarkation which has been designated by the Government as most cost-effective for the Government considering all operational, travel, and transportation requirements incident to such change of station to the new duty station.
Such monetary allowance shall be established at a rate per mile that does not exceed the rate established under section 474(d)(1) of this title. If clause (i)(I) applies to the transportation by the member of a motor vehicle from the old duty station, the monetary allowance under this subparagraph shall also cover return travel to the old duty station by the member or other person transporting the vehicle. In the case of transportation described in clause (ii), the monetary allowance shall also cover travel from the new duty station to the port of debarkation to pick up the vehicle. In the case of the transportation of a motor vehicle arranged by the member under section 2634(h) 1 of title 10, the Secretary concerned may pay the member, upon presentation of proof of shipment, a monetary allowance in lieu of transportation, as established under section 474(d)(1) of this title.
(C)
Under regulations prescribed by the Secretary of Defense, the weight allowance in pounds to which a member is entitled under subparagraph (A) is determined in accordance with the following table:

Pay Grade

Without

Dependents

With

Dependents

O–10 to O–6

18,000

18,000

O–5

16,000

17,500

O–4

14,000

17,000

O–3

13,000

14,500

O–2

12,500

13,500

O–1

10,000

12,000

W–5

16,000

17,500

W–4

14,000

17,000

W–3

13,000

14,500

W–2

12,500

13,500

W–1

10,000

12,000

E–9

13,000

15,000

E–8

12,000

14,000

E–7

11,000

13,000

E–6

 8,000

11,000

E–5

 7,000

 9,000

E–4

 7,000

 8,000

E–3

 5,000

 8,000

E–2

 5,000

 8,000

E–1

 5,000

 8,000

(D)
(i)
In connection with the change of temporary or permanent station of a member in a pay grade below pay grade O–6, the Secretary concerned may authorize a higher weight allowance than the weight allowance determined under subparagraph (C) for the member if the Secretary concerned determines that the application of the weight allowance determined under such subparagraph would result in significant hardship to the member or the dependents of the member. An increase in weight allowance under this clause may not result in a weight allowance exceeding the weight allowance specified in subparagraph (C) for pay grades O–6 to O–10, unless the additional weight allowance in excess of such maximum is intended to permit the shipping of consumables that cannot be reasonably obtained at the new station of the member.
(ii)
In addition to the weight allowance authorized for such member with dependents under paragraph (C), the Secretary concerned may authorize up to an additional 500 pounds in weight allowance for shipment of professional books and equipment belonging to the spouse of such member.
(iii)
The Secretary of Defense shall prescribe regulations to carry out this subparagraph.
(E)
Under regulations prescribed by the Secretary of Defense, or the Secretary of Homeland Security for the Coast Guard when it is not operating as a service in the Navy, cadets at the United States Military Academy, the United States Air Force Academy, and the United States Coast Guard Academy, and midshipmen at the United States Naval Academy shall be entitled, in connection with temporary or permanent station change, to transportation of baggage and household effects as provided in subparagraph (A). The weight allowance for cadets and midshipmen is 350 pounds.
(F)
A member entitled to transportation of baggage and household effects under subparagraph (A) may, as an alternative to the provision of transportation, be paid reimbursement or, at the member’s request, a monetary allowance in advance for the cost of transportation of the baggage and household effects. The monetary allowance may be paid only if the amount of the allowance does not exceed the cost that would be incurred by the Government under subparagraph (A) for the transportation of the baggage and household effects. Appropriations available to the Department of Defense, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Department of Health and Human Services for providing transportation of baggage or household effects of members of the uniformed services shall be available to pay a reimbursement or monetary allowance under this subparagraph. The Secretary concerned may prescribe the manner in which the risk of liability for damage, destruction, or loss of baggage or household effects arranged, packed, crated, or loaded by a member is allocated among the member, the United States, and any contractor when a reimbursement or monetary allowance is elected under this subparagraph.
(G)
Under regulations prescribed by the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary concerned may pay a member a share (determined pursuant to such regulations) of the savings resulting to the United States when the total weights of the member’s baggage and household effects shipped and stored under subparagraph (A) are less than the average weights of the baggage and household effects that are shipped and stored, respectively, by other members in the same grade and with the same dependents status as the member in connection with changes of station that are comparable to the member’s change of station. The total savings shall be equal to the difference between the cost of shipping and cost of storing such average weights of baggage and household effects, respectively, and the corresponding costs associated with the weights of the member’s baggage and household effects. For the administration of this subparagraph, the Secretary of Defense shall annually determine the average weights of baggage and household effects shipped and stored in connection with a change of temporary or permanent station.
(H)
(i)
Except as provided in paragraph (2) and subject to clause (iii), in connection with an evacuation from a permanent station located in a foreign area, a member is entitled to transportation (including shipment and payment of any quarantine costs) of family household pets.
(ii)
A member entitled to transportation under clause (i) may be paid reimbursement or, at the member’s request, a monetary allowance in accordance with the provisions of subparagraph (F) if the member secures by commercial means shipment and any quarantining of the pets otherwise subject to transportation under clause (i).
(iii)
The provision of transportation under clause (i) and the payment of reimbursement under clause (ii) shall be subject to such regulations as the Secretary of Defense shall prescribe with respect to members of the armed forces for purposes of this subparagraph. Such regulations may specify limitations on the types, size, and number of pets for which transportation may be provided or reimbursement paid.
(2)
The transportation and allowances authorized under paragraph (1) may be paid or provided to a member upon his separation from the service or release from active duty only if the member applies for the transportation and allowances not later than 180 days after the date of his separation or release from active duty. If a member to whom this paragraph applies has been authorized nontemporary storage under subsection (d), the 180-day period shall not begin until such authorization for nontemporary storage expires. This paragraph does not apply to a member to whom subsection (g)(1) applies.
(c)
The allowances and transportation authorized by subsections (a) and (b) are in addition to those authorized by sections 403(c), 474, and 475 of this title and are—
(1)
subject to such conditions and limitations;
(2)
for such grades, ranks, and ratings; and
(3)
to and from such places;
prescribed by the Secretaries concerned. Transportation of the household effects of a member may not be made by commercial air carrier at an estimated over-all cost that is more than the estimated over-all cost of the transportation thereof by other means, unless an appropriate transportation officer has certified in writing to his commanding officer that those household effects to be so transported are necessary for use in carrying out assigned duties, or are necessary to prevent undue hardship and other means of transportation will not fill those needs. However, not more than 1,000 pounds of unaccompanied baggage may be transported by commercial air carrier, without regard to the preceding sentence, under regulations prescribed under the authority of the Secretary of Defense.
(d)
(1)
is retired, or is placed on the temporary disability retired list, under chapter 61 of title 10; or
(2)
is retired with pay under any other law, or, immediately following at least eight years of continuous active duty with no single break therein of more than 90 days, is discharged with separation pay or severance pay or is involuntarily released from active duty with separation pay or readjustment pay.
Except in the case of a member who, on the date of his separation, discharge, or release, or at any time during the one-year period following that date, is confined in a hospital, or is in its vicinity, undergoing medical treatment, the cost of the storage, for the period that exceeds one year, shall be paid by the member.
(e)
When orders directing a change of permanent station for the member concerned have not been issued, or when they have been issued but cannot be used as authority for the transportation of his dependents, baggage, and household effects, the Secretaries concerned may authorize the movement of the dependents, baggage, and household effects and prescribe transportation in kind, reimbursement therefor, or a monetary allowance in place thereof (as the case may be), plus a per diem, as authorized under subsection (a) or (b). This subsection may be used only under unusual or emergency circumstances, including those in which—
(1)
the member is performing duty at a place designated by the Secretary concerned as being within a zone from which dependents should be evacuated;
(2)
orders which direct the member’s travel in connection with temporary duty do not provide for return to the permanent station or do not specify or imply any limit to the period of absence from his permanent station; or
(3)
the member is serving on permanent duty at a station outside the United States, in Hawaii or Alaska, or on sea duty.
(f)
(1)
Under regulations prescribed by the Secretary concerned, transportation for dependents, baggage, and household effects of a member, plus a per diem for the member’s dependents, is authorized if the member dies while entitled to basic pay under chapter 3 of this title.
(2)
The Secretary concerned shall give the dependents of a member described in paragraph (1) a period of not less than three years, beginning on the date of the death of the member, during which to select a home for the purposes of the travel and transportation allowances authorized by this section.
(g)
(1)
Under uniform regulations prescribed by the Secretaries concerned, a member who—
(A)
is retired, or is placed on the temporary disability retired list, under chapter 61 of title 10;
(B)
is retired with pay under any other law, or, immediately following at least eight years of continuous active duty with no single break therein of more than 90 days, is discharged with separation pay or severance pay or is involuntarily released from active duty with separation pay or readjustment pay; or
(C)
is involuntarily separated from active duty during the period beginning on October 1, 1990, and ending on December 31, 2001,
is, not later than one year from the date he is so retired, placed on that list, involuntarily separated, discharged, or released, except as prescribed in regulations by the Secretaries concerned, entitled to transportation for his dependents, baggage, and household effects to the home selected under section 474(c) of this title, and to a per diem for his dependents. In addition, baggage and household effects may be shipped to a location other than the home selected by the member.
(2)
If baggage and household effects of a member are shipped to a place selected by a member as his home under section 474(c) of this title that is not a place described in clause (A) or (B) of section 474(c)(2) of this title or to a location other than the home selected by the member, or if transportation is provided for a member’s dependents to a place selected by the member as his home under section 474(c) of this title that is not a place described in clause (A) or (B) of section 474(c)(2) of this title, and the costs of that shipment or transportation are in excess of those that would have been incurred if the shipment had been made or the transportation had been provided to a location in the United States (other than Alaska or Hawaii), the member shall pay that excess cost.
(3)
If a member authorized to select a home under section 474(c) of this title accrues that right or any entitlement under this subsection but dies before the member exercises the right or entitlement, that right or entitlement accrues to and may be exercised by the surviving dependents at any time before the end of the three-year period beginning on the date on which the member accrued that right or entitlement. If there are no surviving dependents, the baggage and household effects of the deceased member may be shipped to the home of the person legally entitled to such baggage and effects. However, if baggage and household effects are shipped under circumstances described in paragraph (2) in which the member would have been required to pay the excess costs of that shipment, the surviving dependents or the person legally entitled to the baggage and household effects, as the case may be, shall pay that excess cost.
(h)
(1)
If the Secretary concerned determines that it is in the best interests of a member described in paragraph (2) or the member’s dependents and the United States, the Secretary may, when orders directing a change of permanent station for the member concerned have not been issued, or when they have been issued but cannot be used as authority for the transportation of the member’s dependents, baggage, and household effects—
(A)
authorize the movement of the member’s dependents, baggage, and household effects at the station to an appropriate location in the United States or its possessions or, if the dependents are foreign nationals, to the country of the dependents’ origin and prescribe transportation in kind, reimbursement therefor, or a monetary allowance in place thereof, as the case may be, plus a per diem, as authorized under subsection (a) or (b); and
(B)
in the case of a member described in paragraph (2)(A), authorize the transportation of one motor vehicle, which is owned or leased by the member (or a dependent of the member) and is for the personal use of a dependent of the member, to that location by means of transportation authorized under section 2634 1 of title 10 or authorize the storage of the motor vehicle pursuant to subsection (b) of such section.
If the member’s baggage and household effects are in nontemporary storage under subsection (d), the Secretary concerned may authorize their movement to the location concerned and prescribe transportation in kind or reimbursement therefor, as authorized under subsection (b). For the purposes of this section, a member’s unmarried child for whom the member received transportation in kind to his station outside the United States or in Hawaii or Alaska, reimbursement therefor, or a monetary allowance in place thereof and who, by reason of age or graduation from (or cessation of enrollment in) an institution of higher education, would otherwise cease to be a dependent of the member while the member was serving at that station shall still be considered as a dependent of the member.
(2)
A member referred to in paragraph (1) is a member who—
(A)
is serving at a station outside the United States or in Hawaii or Alaska;
(B)
receives an administrative discharge under other than honorable conditions; or
(C)
is sentenced by a court-martial—
(i)
to be confined for a period of more than 30 days,
(ii)
to receive a dishonorable or bad-conduct discharge, or
(iii)
to be dismissed from a uniformed service.
(3)
If a motor vehicle of a member (or a dependent of the member) that is transported at the expense of the United States under this subsection does not arrive at the authorized destination of the vehicle by the designated delivery date, the Secretary concerned shall reimburse the member for expenses incurred after that date to rent a motor vehicle for the dependent’s use. The amount reimbursed may not exceed $30 per day, and the rental period for which reimbursement may be provided expires after 7 days or on the date on which the delayed vehicle arrives at the authorized destination (whichever occurs first).
(4)
(A)
If a determination described in subparagraph (B) is made with respect to a dependent of a member described in that subparagraph and a request described in subparagraph (C) is made by or on behalf of that dependent, the Secretary may provide a benefit authorized for a member under paragraph (1) or (3) to that dependent in lieu of providing such benefit to the member.
(B)
A determination described in this subparagraph is a determination by the commanding officer of a member that—
(i)
the member has committed a dependent-abuse offense against a dependent of the member;
(ii)
a safety plan and counseling have been provided to that dependent;
(iii)
the safety of the dependent is at risk; and
(iv)
the relocation of the dependent is advisable.
(C)
A request described in this subparagraph is a request by the spouse of a member, or by the parent of a dependent child in the case of a dependent child of a member, for relocation.
(D)
Transportation may be provided under this paragraph for household effects or a motor vehicle only if a written agreement of the member, or an order of a court of competent jurisdiction, gives possession of the effects or vehicle to the spouse or dependent of the member concerned.
(E)
In this paragraph, the term “dependent-abuse offense” means an offense described in section 1059(c) of title 10.
(i)
A member traveling under orders who is relieved from a duty station is entitled to transportation for his dependents, baggage, and household effects, plus a per diem for the member’s dependents, regardless of the time the dependents, baggage, or household effects arrive at their destination. Appropriations of the Department of Defense available for travel or transportation that are current when the member is relieved may be used to pay for the transportation.
(j)
Under uniform regulations prescribed by the Secretaries concerned, a member with dependents who is ordered to make an overseas permanent change of station and who, in anticipation of his dependents accompanying him overseas, ships baggage and household effects to that overseas station, may be authorized a return shipment of the baggage and household effects if, after the shipment, the member’s dependents are unable to accompany him overseas and the Secretary concerned determines that such inability was unexpected and uncontrollable.
(k)
A member of the armed forces who relocates from leased or rental housing by reason of the foreclosure of such housing is entitled to transportation of baggage and household effects under subsection (b)(1) in the same manner, and subject to the same conditions and limitations, as similarly circumstanced members entitled to transportation of baggage and household effects under that subsection.
(l)
(1)
A member described in paragraph (2) is entitled to the travel and transportation allowances, including allowances with respect to dependents, authorized by this section upon filling a vacancy as described in that paragraph as if the member were undergoing a permanent change of station under orders in filling such vacancy.
(2)
A member described in this paragraph is a member who is filling a vacancy in a Selected Reserve unit at a duty station that is more than 150 miles from the member’s residence if—
(A)
during the three years preceding filling the vacancy, the member was involuntarily separated under other than adverse conditions (as characterized by the Secretary concerned) while assigned to a unit of the Selected Reserve certified by the Secretary concerned as having been adversely affected by force structure reductions during the period beginning on October 1, 2012, and ending on December 31, 2018;
(B)
the involuntary separation occurred during the period beginning on October 1, 2012, and ending on December 31, 2018; and
(C)
the member is—
(i)
qualified in a skill designated as critically short by the Secretary concerned; or
(ii)
filling a vacancy in a Selected Reserve unit with a critical manpower shortage, or in a pay grade with a critical manpower shortage in such unit.
(3)
Any allowances authorized by this section that are payable under this subsection may be payable in advance if payable in advance to a member undergoing a permanent change of station under orders under the applicable provision of this section.
(m)
For the purposes of this section, the residence of a dependent of a member who is a student not living with the member while at school shall be considered to be the permanent duty station of the member or the designated residence of dependents of the member if the member’s dependents are not authorized to reside with the member.
(n)
No carrier, port agent, warehouseman, freight forwarder, or other person involved in the transportation of property may have any lien on, or hold, impound, or otherwise interfere with, the movement of baggage and household goods being transported under this section.
(o)
No transportation, reimbursement, allowance, or per diem may be provided under this section—
(1)
with respect to a change of temporary or permanent station for which orders are issued after the travel authorities transition expiration date; or
(2)
in a case covered by this section when such orders are not issued, with respect to a movement of baggage or household effects that begins after such date.
(p)
(1)
From amounts otherwise made available for a fiscal year to provide travel and transportation allowances under this chapter, the Secretary concerned may reimburse a member of the uniformed services for qualified relicensing costs of the spouse of the member when—
(A)
the member is reassigned, either as a permanent change of station or permanent change of assignment, from a duty station in one State to a duty station in another State; and
(B)
the movement of the member’s dependents is authorized at the expense of the United States under this section as part of the reassignment.
(2)
Reimbursement provided to a member under this subsection may not exceed $1,000 in connection with each reassignment described in paragraph (1).
(3)
Not later than December 31, 2021, the Secretary of Defense, in consultation with the Secretary of Homeland Security with respect to the Coast Guard, shall submit to the congressional defense committees, the Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs of the Senate, and the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform of the House of Representatives a report—
(A)
describing the extent to which the reimbursement authority provided by this subsection has been used;
(B)
containing a recommendation by the Secretaries regarding whether the authority should be extended beyond the date specified in paragraph (4); and
(C)
an analysis of whether the maximum reimbursement amount under paragraph (2) is sufficient to cover the average costs of relicensing described in paragraph (1).
(4)
No reimbursement may be provided under this subsection for qualified relicensing costs paid or incurred after December 31, 2024.
(5)
In this subsection, the term “qualified relicensing costs” means costs, including exam and registration fees, that—
(A)
are imposed by the State of the new duty station to secure a license or certification to engage in the same profession that the spouse of the member engaged in while in the State of the original duty station; and
(B)
are paid or incurred by the member or spouse to secure the license or certification from the State of the new duty station after the date on which the orders directing the reassignment described in paragraph (1) are issued.
(Pub. L. 87–649, Sept. 7, 1962, 76 Stat. 473, § 406; Pub. L. 88–431, § 1(a), Aug. 14, 1964, 78 Stat. 439; Pub. L. 89–101, § 2, July 30, 1965, 79 Stat. 425; Pub. L. 89–680, § 1(2), (3), Oct. 15, 1966, 80 Stat. 957; Pub. L. 89–718, §§ 58, 59, Nov. 2, 1966, 80 Stat. 1123; Pub. L. 90–623, § 3(6), Oct. 22, 1968, 82 Stat. 1314; Pub. L. 96–107, title VIII, § 814, Nov. 9, 1979, 93 Stat. 817; Pub. L. 96–513, title V, § 506(7), Dec. 12, 1980, 94 Stat. 2919; Pub. L. 97–60, title I, § 121(b), Oct. 14, 1981, 95 Stat. 1000; Pub. L. 97–86, title IV, § 404, Dec. 1, 1981, 95 Stat. 1105; Pub. L. 97–258, § 2(i)(1), Sept. 13, 1982, 96 Stat. 1061; Pub. L. 97–295, § 3(4), Oct. 12, 1982, 96 Stat. 1303; Pub. L. 98–94, title IX, § 909, Sept. 24, 1983, 97 Stat. 638; Pub. L. 99–145, title VI, §§ 612(b), 614(a), 617(a), title XIII, § 1303(b)(9), Nov. 8, 1985, 99 Stat. 639–641, 741;
cite as: 37 USC 476