car shipping for militaryAre you in the military and need to ship your car, or a dependent’s car, to your new command? Your 1st shipment is paid for by the US Military, but the 2nd one is not. Whether free or paid, you will need to have a few things prepared before your car is shipped.

We will use an example for a person in the US Army who is stationed in Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas and is being transferred to Germany. The car will need to be put on a ship in Galveston, TX and arrive in Bremerhaven, Germany. So how does car shipping from Texas to Germany work?

 For these vehicles to be exported the following has to occur. The vehicles have to be exported on a Title of Ownership. If this is not available because the bank has a lien on the vehicle, then the following has to be obtained.

  1. Copy of Military Orders
  2. Letter from Bank or Lien Holder Authorizing shipment
  3. Notarized Copy of Title of Ownership, Back and Front from Bank. If this is not available the Bank must apply for an Electronic Print out from the Department of Motor Vehicles

Following our example, these documents will have to be presented to USA Customs in Galveston, TX for export. The military member can take the car to Galveston, TX or have it transported from El Paso to Galveston at an extra charge. Each port in USA has there own peculiarities and it is strange that there is NO uniformity with all the ports (Galveston, Miami, Newark, Long Beach, etc). Some ports require Bills of Sales with the Titles if the vehicles are three years old or less while other ports require a Notarized Power of Attorney for export.

Collection at Destination in Europe or other Countries.

The procedure here is that Military Members and Government Workers have to contact the Officer in charge of Transport at their Base at their new command. Advise him that you are importing your vehicle. He will give you some documents to complete and then issue you with the equivalent of Military Tags, which you can attach to your vehicle.
This will exempt you from paying import taxes. The only charges that you will have at the ports of destination will be Terminal Handling fees which in the case of roll on roll off vessels be E150.00 to E250.00, depending on country and size of vehicle. Exclusive or shared containers are more than this and pricing for charges are dependent on the volume of freight in the container.

If you need military car shipping rates, click the green “Free Quote” button and fill out the quote form for pricing.

If you have questions or comments, ask below!

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Important info to Ship a Car Overseas:
  • No car can leave USA if it has a lien on it. What does this mean? Your car must be paid in full. The only people who can ship a car overseas and still carry a lien on the car are US Military and Government employees/contractors. For those people a letter of authorization from the lender will need to be issued to pass US Customs. Otherwise the car may be considered stolen.
  • A clear Title of Ownership with no Liens on the Title.
  • If you bought a car new, then your name must be listed on the front of the Title as the registered owner.
  • If the vehicle has been sold, then both the Seller and Buyer have to sign the back of the Title in the spaces as detailed on the back of the Title.
  • For safety reasons, the vehicle cannot have more than a ¼ tank of gas.
Import Duty for Destination Country:
  • Import duty is NOT collected by Ship Overseas. It must be paid at the arrival port by whoever is picking up the car. We wrote a blog post about vehicle import duty here. It talks about how to find out import duty for your country.
Travel & Living Abroad:
  • Most countries will allow a traveler to temporarily import their car for up to 6 months. After the 6 months is up, import duty will be charged. For many travelers going to Europe and taking their car, a deposit is paid up front. When the car goes back to it's destination country, the deposit is refunded. If a person has lived in USA for 1 or more years, most countries will allow that person to bring their car back duty free! The car must not have any liens on it. Please check with your Customs Department first.