From your first PCS to your last, you’ll learn tricks to make the moves easier on your family. For a lot of us, staying organized and having checklists can make the transition a little smoother.

Whether you are moving to the next state, or to a foreign country, you’ll want quick access to these 9 documents (as well as ensure that they do not get misplaced or lost) and the best way is to keep them with you!


1. Your marriage license- (and if you or your spouse have previously been divorced, a copy of your divorce decree and marriage license from that marriage too).
2. Birth certificates-For the entire family.

3. Social security cards-  for each member of your family.

4. Vehicle registration- and title documents. Also any loan documents and insurance paperwork/cards – especially if you are driving or think you may need to rent a vehicle.

5. Immunization & medical records- Particularly important for your kids who you may be enrolling in school or daycare at your new location.

6. Pet vaccination records- You’ll want to be sure your pets are up to date on all their shots before you leave your current duty station.

7. Passports– For everyone, if you need them or even if you have them – you don’t want these to get lost in a move!

8. PCS orders– And LOTS of copies!

 9. Anything irreplaceable or that you think you’ll need right away at your new duty station. For example, college transcripts or resumes or irreplaceable kid art!.

As you know, all of these documents are very important and you’ll want to take every precaution to safeguard them. We all know that sometimes things can be misplaced or lost during a PCS and these are documents that you certainly do not want to leave in the hands of anyone but yourself! It would be wise to keep a copy of them in another safe place just in case anything gets lost, then at least you have a copy of the original document. Also, having something to organize all the paperwork will help you keep track of everything. An expandable file folder works well or a soft zip-able binder keeps paperwork from falling out. I like to carry a large purse when we are PCSing, and my zip-able binder fits perfectly inside!

What other documents do you hand carry during a PCS?

image1Alyssa is an Army wife from Ohio who has lived in Washington, Germany and Colorado. She is a mom to a toddler and finds so much joy in being a stay at home mom right now. Alyssa has a bachelor’s degree in Globalization and International Affairs and a master’s degree in Business Administration. With a background in finance, she hopes to one day make a career out of helping military families with their finances. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with family, music, traveling and baking.



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Krystel is the mom of two and an Army Wife. In addition to Army Wife 101 she is the Co-Founder of a digital media agency that connects brands with the military market. She has appeared on MSNBC ,FOX LA and formerly was a weekly contributor to HLN's "Raising America". She has written for various outlets including Sheknows and Lifetime and is a big fan of cupcakes and french fries.

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