Shipping your car from OCONUS to CONUS

Mulu Ezell, a Stuttgart military community member, washes her car on Kelley Barracks. Photo by Rick Scavetta

By Vehicle Processing Center

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the Department of Transportation (DOT) have set strict rules for shipping personally owned vehicles (POVs) into the United States.

EPA and DOT Sticker Requirements

The EPA sticker will be located in the motor compartment or the hood itself. It will have the words “Vehicle Emissions Control” or “CATALYST” on it. If this sticker is missing or illegible, you must provide a stateside title, stateside registration, or CARFAX ( report to the EPA in order to get a letter approving your vehicle for shipping. See your VPC for further assistance, or call the EPA Automated Voice System at 202- 564-9660.

The DOT sticker will be located in the driver’s door jamb area, or on the door edge, and will have the VIN number on it (Volvo’s may be located in the left rear door jamb area). If this sticker is missing, or illegible, proof in the form of a stateside title (must state vehicle meets DOT requirements), stateside registration, or CARFAX report must be provided to the VPC on the date of turn-in. More details can be found at

Wash and clean out your vehicle before shipping

Your POV must meet all USDA requirements for cleanliness. Your vehicle will be thoroughly inspected to ensure its cleanliness, and that it is free of all dirt, soil, plant and animal life. This is a “zero tolerance” inspection. If your vehicle fails to meet these standards, you will be provided with an Agricultural Reject Sheet, identifying the areas that need additional cleaning.

Before you turn in your car, please make sure to remove all personal items from compartments, doors, trunk, and under and in between the seats. Remove all accessories not permanently installed, such as all loose audio/video/navigation equipment; any liquids or pressurized cans; any flammable, combustible, or hazardous substances; and citizen band radios.

Also, please do not forget to remove all air fresheners and any items hanging on your rear view mirror.

Exterior – Please wash the exterior of your vehicle. Wipe or spray out your wheel wells and fuel intake area.

Motor Compartment – Ensure all corners of the motor compartment are clean. We recommend using a good vacuum cleaner and flashlight to get out all leaves and dirt. Spray off or wipe down the hood and engine.

Door Jambs – Wipe down all door jambs, to include the trunk seal. For vans and SUVs, do not forget to clean out sliding door tracks and rear hatch area, especially the upper lip where the hinges are. For SUV’s where the rear window opens, open and clean the seal.

Interior – Ensure the entire interior of the vehicle is thoroughly vacuumed, to include top and bottom of floor mats. Rubber floor mats must be wiped off. Vacuum under and between all seats, under seat rails, and between the seats and the center console. Use a flashlight to check everywhere. Vacuum the trunk completely, to include removing the spare tire and cleaning the spare tire well. Also, check the back of the rear seat. If your rear seat lifts up, make sure you lift up the bottom part and vacuum underneath.

For Vans – The easiest way to vacuum the interior of a van is to fold the rear seat down, and take the middle seats out. Now you have a wide-open spot to vacuum. Do not forget to make sure that the seat locking channels are clean. Check under the plastic caps covering the unused channels.

If the interior of the vehicle is shampooed, it must be done at least 14 days prior to allow the vehicle to dry completely. The VPC cannot accept a vehicle with wet carpets.

The VPC will do pre-inspections daily from 3-4 p.m. to let you know where your vehicle stands.

Vehicles cannot have more than a quarter of a tank of gas at the time of drop-off.


Ensure your vehicle does not have an unresolved “Recall Notice” for safety or fire issues. All recalls may be found at If there is a safety or fire issue, the POV may not be accepted for shipment, unless repairs are documented from a certified mechanic or dealership authorized to perform recall-notice repairs.

Schedule an appointment online at or visit the VPC in bldg. 2931 on Panzer Kaserne. Bring a copy of your complete set of orders, vehicle registration, DD1797 personal property counseling checklist (available at the transportation office), and lienholder release letter (if applicable) to your appointment. If there are names listed on ownership documentation other than the entitlement holder, a Letter of Authorization is required, verifying their consent to ship the POV.

Finally, it is recommended to schedule an appointment to turn-in your plates and deregister your car approximately one hour and 15 minutes after your shipping appointment. Visit to do this.