PCS Weight Allowance and Limits [by Grade and Dependents]

Understanding Your PCS Weight Allowance and Limits 

When a service member is being relocated for a timespan of longer than 20 weeks, this is considered a permanent change of station or PCS. These moves happen all the time and military service members are called upon to relocate to new assignments as frequently as once every couple of years. 

If you or a member of your staff are going through a PCS, it’s important to understand your PCS weight allowance to make sure you stay compliant so you don’t have to pay any extra money out of pocket. 

Moving is never an easy thing and the costs can quickly add up so it’s essential that you have a plan and you’re aware of everything involved. This guide will help you understand your military move weight limit.  

What is Your PCS Weight Allowance? 

A PCS weight allowance is the amount of pounds you can move when going through a permanent change of station. You’ll be provided with a predetermined allowance based on factors such as: 

  • Marital status
  • Number of dependents 
  • Years of service
  • Military grade

Everyone who is issued a PCS is eligible for the allowance and as soon as you receive the order you’ll want to go to your local transportation office to determine how much the allowance will add up to. 

Knowing this as early as possible will give you time to plan and coordinate the move. If you’ve been living in the same place for a number of years, you may have accumulated a lot of stuff you won’t want to bring with you. 

A DITY move calculator can help you determine how much the total cost of relocation will add up to. When handling the move yourself, you’re free to keep whatever portion of your allowance you don’t spend on the move so cutting costs and lowering your expenses is a great policy. 

Military Weight Limits 

The weight limit generally runs between 350 to 1800 pounds depending on various factors. For most, the military move weight limit can run up to 2,000 pounds for UAB. 

Unaccompanied baggage includes household personal items you may need at your new station while you await the arrival of the rest of your things. These items include things like clothes, toiletries, and personal care items. 

Military Move Weight Allowances by Grade 

The chart below will help you understand your military moving weight allowance

Grade PCS Without Dependents PCS With Dependents
0-10 18,000 18,000
0-9 18,000 18,000
0-8 18,000 18,000
0-7 18,000 18,000
0-6 18,000 18,000
0-5/W-5 16,000 17,500
0-4/W-4 14,000 17,000
0-3/W-3 13,000 14,500
0-2/W-2 12,500 13,500
0-1/W-1/Service Academy Graduates 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 and Below 5,000 8,000
Aviation Cadets 7,000 8,000
Service Academy Cadets/Midshipmen 350 TDY Weight Allowance  

(additional info here)

Closing Tips 

Keep in mind that these numbers may seem like a lot but your belongings will quickly add up to a lot of weight. These few final tips will help ensure you stay below your allowable weight. 

  • Figure out the total weight of each room
  • Make sure to declutter as much as possible, get rid of anything you don’t need
  • If you’re not active or reserve duty military and are moving as part of a relocation package, don’t be afraid to negotiate
  • Understand that your PCS weight allowance can be split into multiple shipments

Lastly, USAA used to provide services to military members and their families offering a rebate and assistance in hiring a realtor and finding a home in your new location. ARC offers the same program to help you with the entire relocation process from A to Z. 

Click here to schedule a free consultation today to learn more about this great program!