One-step checklist for PCSing to Germany

One-step checklist for PCSing to Germany

by Stripes Europe
Stripes Europe

Welcome to Germany! Here is a one-stop checklist to help get you settled in a timely manner:


  • Attend in-processing briefings, including housing brief.
  • Attend newcomer orientation.
  • Obtain ID card, as needed, and enroll/update in DEERS/IACS.
  • Ensure passport has SOFA stamp.
  • Enroll or update Tricare and complete medical in-processing.
  • Visit Airman & Family Readiness Center (AFRC) or Army
  • Community Service (ACS) for transition assistance.


  • Determine entitlements with Finance Office.
  • Establish account with installation financial institution.
  • Get Electronic Cash (EC/Giro) card.
  • Withdraw euros.
  • Research online bill-pay options.
  • Contact U.S. banks to close accounts, as needed.


  • Schedule and study for driver’s exam.
  • Pass exam and get USAREUR license.
  • Pick up a copy of the Stripes Road Guide.
  • Get rental car.
  • When car arrives or is purchased, get insurance, register and pass inspection.
  • Enroll in fuel ration program.
  • Sign up for roadside assistance program, such as ADAC.
  • Obtain International License.


  • Establish TLA and OHA.
  • Visit Housing Office for list of approved homes.
  • Schedule appointments to tour homes.
  • Ensure Housing Office inspects property and reviews contract.
  • Obtain VAT form for finder’s fee, if applicable.
  • Sign paperwork after review by Housing Office and completion of VAT form.
  • Establish utilities with VAT/UTAP Office.
  • Sign up for communication services.
  • Use VAT form for approved services only.
  • Purchase liability and home insurance.
  • Contact FMO and browse AFRC/ACS lending closet, thrift stores, flea markets and classifieds for household items.


  • Locate nearest emergency room.
  • Add emergency numbers to cellphone.
  • Establish relationships with local medical providers.
  • Pick up a copy of the Stripes Germany Health & Medical Guide.


  • Have vaccination records, transcripts, PCS orders, passports and birth certificates readily available.
  • Contact Enrollment Office to begin application process for DODEA-Europe.
  • Contact SLO for information about home schooling, referrals and transition assistance.
  • Visit installation child care facilities to apply and get on waitlist.
  • Ensure vaccinations are current and schedule wellness exams.
  • Purchase child care and school supplies.
  • Consult with other parents about school and child care experiences.


  • Ensure pet has international microchip and register with
  • Register pet at installation vet clinic.
  • Find German vet clinic that provides emergency care.
  • Maintain annual rabies vaccinations during overseas tour.
  • Get updated ID tags with local contact information.
  • Obtain pet passport.
  • Purchase pet insurance (including liability).
  • Use monthly flea/tick preventive medication.
  • Register dog at Rathaus, if required.
  • Find boarding center or pet sitter.
  • Understand and adhere to local German pet laws.


  • Update résumé and research job/volunteer opportunities.
  • Visit Education Center to learn about course offerings.


  • Make copies of important phone numbers and program cellphone.
  • Start recycling according to local requirements.
  • Adjust routines to observe quiet hours.
  • Keep sidewalks and gutters clear of snow and debris.
  • Carry euros and VAT forms when shopping and traveling.
  • Learn basic German phrases.
  • Get to know your neighbors.
  • Join spouses’ club, German-American club or other activities.
  • Plan trips to explore Europe with the help of

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