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Travel and Transportation Information

Be aware that data entered on the electronic forms will not be saved and your input will be deleted when you exit the form. If you have any questions, please call (301) 763-HR4U.

We would like to assist you with your first major task -- relocating to the Washington, D.C. metro area. The Bureau pays certain amounts for the cost of travel, transportation, and temporary storage of household goods to the first duty station of persons appointed to certain positions such as the one you have accepted.

To help you make this move, we have prepared this website outlining the procedures involved. Please read through the contents carefully and note the information requested on the Form CD-150 PDF [317.67 KB], "Request for Authorization of Travel and Moving Expenses." YOU MUST HAVE AN APPROVED AUTHORIZATION BEFORE YOU INCUR ANY TRAVEL EXPENSES. It is very important that you fill out the CD-150 PDF [317.67 KB] completely, except for sections 20 through 23.

NOTE: You should allow 30-45 days, if possible, for the Government to make arrangements for your move. This is especially true if you are moving under the CBL Method (See 3A below). Please keep this in mind when you are determining a beginning employment date with the Census Bureau.

What Expenses are Reimbursable? The travel order authorizes the Government to reimburse new appointees for the following expenses:

  1. Travel to first duty station - You may be reimbursed for the travel expenses associated with your trip to your first duty station. If you travel by air, you must use a Government contract carrier when available. Travel arrangements must be made through our Travel Management Center, if not, reimbursement will be limited to $100. Please contact your hiring division for reservation information. Again, be sure to keep your copy of the tickets. If you drive, the Government will reimburse you .19 per mile.
  2. Per Diem En route - The Government will reimburse you a per diem allowance for daily living expenses to cover the costs of lodging and meals while you are traveling to your first duty assignment. To be eligible for this type of reimbursement, you must have an approved authorization to travel and you must be in a travel status in excess of 12 hours, and travel at a minimum of 350 miles per day (when driving), lodging must be 50 miles from duty station. Remember to keep lodging receipts if you have to stay at a hotel or motel overnight while en route. Please note, however, that per diem can only be paid for the new appointee, and not for a spouse or children. Therefore, if your travel requires overnight lodging and you have a family, be sure to record the lodging rate applicable for a single person, so that the correct per diem rate can be calculated for you.
  3. Transportation and Temporary Storage (up to 90 days) of Your Household Goods - If your CD-150 PDF [317.67 KB] is properly completed and returned to us at least 30 days prior to your anticipated beginning work day, the Census Bureau's Conference and Travel Management Services Branch (CTMSB) will be able to assist you in transporting your household goods. In all cases, the Conference and Travel Management Services Branch (CTMSB) obtains from the General Services Administration a cost comparison to determine the method of shipment.

Commercial Bill of Lading (CBL) Method - The Conference and Travel Management Services Branch (CTMSB) can make arrangements with a contract mover to have household goods shipped to your new location and authorize payment on a CBL. You do not have to call any moving companies to have them give you estimates, or get involved in billing and payment. All of this is taken care of for you.

After you have returned the CD-150 PDF [317.67 KB] and allowed sufficient time for the hiring division to prepare your travel order, you may call the Census Bureau HRD Call Center at 1-800-871-5816 and ask to be transferred to Conference and Travel Management Services Branch (CTMSB), if you want to have your household goods moved under the CBL method.

Commuted Rate Method - Under this method of moving, you must make your own arrangements with the van carrier. Articles are usually transported uncrated.

You will be reimbursed on the basis of the weight of your goods and the distance traveled as indicated in a Government commuted rate table. You will not be reimbursed on the basis of the fee charged by the carrier. Since most carriers charge a separate fee for packing, it is difficult for the commuted rate schedule to completely anticipate this cost. As a result, some new appointees have not been reimbursed for all the charges when transporting their household goods by this method. Therefore, if you are authorized to move under this method, it is to your advantage to obtain moving costs estimates from several carriers before choosing one. 

Weight Limitations and Insurance - The Government is responsible for paying the carrier for your household goods. The allowable maximum weight is 18,000 pounds. If the shipment exceeds the maximum weight, the employee must reimburse the U.S. Census Bureau for the excess shipment.

Estimating Weight - A reasonable estimate of the weight of your household goods may be made by multiplying the rooms of furniture to be moved by 1,000 pounds (excluding bathrooms and closets). Liberal estimates should be made of the weight of such articles as garden tools, game room equipment, work benches, etc. The carrier's representative will assist you in determining weights.

The Government may reimburse a new employee up to $25,000 for household goods shipped by the CBL method which are damaged by a carrier. Additional insurance is available through most carriers but this extra cost is not reimbursable. 

What Can and Cannot be Shipped:

CAN
CANNOT
Furniture Motor Vehicles (4-wheel)
Clothing Boats
Books Wines & Liquors
Baggage Pets
Dishes & Flatware Explosives & Inflammables
  Perishable Articles
  1. Carrier Service at Origin and Destination and Damage Claims: Whether you move your household goods under the CBL method or the commuted rate method, the van carriers or their local warehouse representatives will pack your dishes, linens, clothing, etc. They will provide acceptable containers for your articles.

Make sure both you and the carrier are in agreement regarding the place and approximate time the goods are to be delivered. When the goods are delivered, the carrier will make one placement in the appropriate room for each piece of furniture. Containers will be unpacked in the location of your choice. Examine your goods carefully as they are unpacked to see if there is any damage. If you find any damage to your articles, note this in the space entitled "Receipt of Delivery" on the bill of lading or delivery receipt and sign it. Have the carrier's agent countersign the notation.

If you move by the commuted rate method, you must contact the carrier's agent to file a damage claim. If you are moving under the CBL method, the Census Bureau's Conference and Travel Management Services Branch (CTMSB) will assist you in making your claim for damage to your household goods. 

  1. Storage of Household Goods - You may wish to have your goods stored while you seek permanent housing at your new duty station, or the carrier may have to put your household goods in storage while waiting for another shipment of goods to accompany yours on the moving van. In any case, the Government will reimburse you for the temporary storage of your household goods for up to a 90-day period.
  2. Use of Rental Vehicle in Transporting Household Goods - You may use a rental vehicle to transport your household effects to your official duty station. If you elect to do this, you will be reimbursed based on actual cost. To properly certify the cost,

You must weigh the vehicle when it is empty and after it is fully loaded with your household goods. You must obtain certified receipts clearly indicating these weights.

or

You must obtain certified receipts indicating the cubic foot capacity of the vehicle and indicate how much of the capacity of the vehicle was used by describing the size and weight of each article placed in the vehicle.

If you move yourself instead of using the CBL method, the Government will repay you only for the actual cost of the move.

NOTE: This cost cannot be more than those authorized under the CBL method. If you move yourself instead of using the commuted rate system, repayment will be based on the allowances on the commuted rate schedule

No Reimbursement for Temporary Lodging - The Government cannot reimburse you for temporary lodging while you look for an apartment or home at your duty station. Once you arrive at you new duty station, en route per diem ends and you cannot be reimbursed for any personal living expenses that you incur.

Reimbursement - After you arrive at the Census Bureau to begin your career with Federal Government, you must submit a CD-370 PDF [104.10 KB] (Instructions PDF [50.55 KB]) "Travel Voucher," to claim the your authorized allowable expenses incurred in moving to your new duty station. Each phase of the move must be submitted on a separate CD-370 PDF [104.10 KB] (Instructions [50.55 KB]). The administrative office of the division that hired you will assist you in completing this form.

If you have any questions on this information, you may contact the Conference and Travel Management Services Branch on 301-763-2308.

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Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Human Resources Division | (301) 763-4748 |  Last Revised: April 08, 2013