PCS Moves

20 Must-Have Documents for a Stress-Free Military PCS Move

Getting ready for a military PCS move is incredibly stressful for many families. If you’ve ever checked out the Holmes and Rahe Stress scale, you can see that moving even within the same city is considered fairly stressful. One thing that can help reduce stress during a military PCS move is keeping important documents in order and current.

These are the most important documents for a military pcs move. Create a moving checklist for yourself and keep these documents on hand at all times with your military move. #pcsmove #militarymove #oconus #conus #ditymove #militaryfamily #militaryspouse

I always like to keep a file folder locked up that contains all of these documents in one easy-access place. In an emergency, a deployment, a PCS move–those documents are all right there at your finger-tips and there is no stress wasted trying to find things at the last minute.

Here are 20 important documents that are always important for military families to keep on hand for a stress-free PCS .

  • PCS orders (original and several copies)
  • Overseas area clearance/dependent entry approval (original and several copies, if applicable)
  • Family care plan
  • Passports (one for each person traveling, if applicable)
  • Identification card for each person (if applicable)
  • Current drivers’ licenses or permits
  • Immunization records for service members and each family member traveling
  • Medical and dental records
  • Original birth certificates
  • Naturalization paperwork (if applicable)
  • Social security cards (including children)
  • Marriage licenses and/or divorce decrees
  • All education documentation (including kids school transcripts)
  • Deeds and titles to all real estate and other property
  • Shipping and storage documents for your household goods
  • Insurance policies
  • Adoption papers (if applicable)
  • Wills and power of attorney documents
  • State and federal income tax returns
  • Exceptional Family member program (if applicable)

Want more on military life?

Any important documents you would hand-carry during a military PCS move? Let’s chat in the comments!

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  1. Hey Lauren,

    Absolutely love your blog. We just received orders to Italy from San Diego this week, for December… Your blog is organizing my stress and thoughts so well. Thank you for that!
    We haven’t done a Overseas move yet, so your blog is helping tremendously. Especially, in this SUPER SHORT time frame. I’ve already downloaded and printed a few printables from your blog and have taken a multiplicity of notes. Would you happen to have the printable for this page, “20 Must-Have Documents for a Stress-Free Military PCS Move” available? I can’t seem to find the downloadable link. Thanks so much!

    Kindest regards,


  2. this is such a great list thank you so much for doing this for all of our military families! By chance would you have a similar document for PCSing?

  3. Once I’ve completed physicals and gotten everything situated, how long will it take before I’m able to go overseas with my spouse?

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