Relocation Guidelines

Does the Employee Qualify?

The State of Washington allows agencies to assist newly hired or transferred permanent employees with relocation expenses, if a hiring department chooses to do so. Payment of expenses is normally limited to executive, professional, or administrative personnel in supervisory positions, or other personnel having both executive and professional status. Click this link to the Washington State website for further explanation. If a new hire terminates, or causes termination of, employment with the University within one year of the date of appointment or transfer, the University is entitled to reimbursement for paid moving costs and may withhold such sums as necessary from any amounts due the employee.

What are Allowable Expenses?

The state allows the agency to pay for moving up to 16,000 lbs. of household goods. The agency may pay a state-contracted commercial mover directly, or the employee may be reimbursed for expenses related to a self-move.

The Washington State Moving Expense Regulations is very specific about what types of expenditures are allowed. The hiring department may limit the type of allowable expense it will reimburse, but it cannot pay more than is permitted by state regulations.

Because the 16,000 lb. limitation is often exceeded, an alternative method can be used to help reduce overall costs. If it is practical, and authorized by the hiring department, the employee can "self-move" the possessions they require immediately to establish temporary residence. Then, if the subsequent move turns out to be less than 16,000 lbs., they can be reimbursed for the self move up to the amount it would have cost to move a full 16,000 lbs.

A good hiring letter is critical to the success of relocation. Please see hiring information on the HR website

Reference State Administrative and Accounting Manual (SAAM) policy 60.20 Allowable Moving Costs and 60.10 Moving Expense Policies

Reference RCW 43.03.125 for more information. 

Relocation Procedures for Both Commercial and Self Moves

  • The hiring department will complete the top portion of the A-33 form. It is not necessary to fill in the "Payroll Number." Estimate the month of the move in the space for "Pick-up Date." If necessary, the "Storage Point" should be Yakima, WA. Be sure to include the estimated value of household goods and any additional required insurance coverage.
  • The hiring department will provide the new employee with a copy of the State "Moving Expense Regulations and Guide" along with the hiring letter.
  • Regardless of the method chosen for relocation, contracted carrier or self-move, the hiring department will send a copy of the hiring letter to Purchasing. Purchasing will provide the new hire with a separate letter outlining the relocation process.
  • The new employee will complete the A-33 form and return it to the hiring department. The Budget Authority in the hiring department will select appropriate insurance coverage when necessary and countersign the A-33 form.


  • After the move has been completed, the hiring department will submit:

Commercial moves:

  • The hiring department will submit the A-33 form to Purchasing along with a requisition (leaving the vendor blank);
  • Purchasing will issue a Purchase Order to the designated carrier;
  • Once the move is completed, the carrier will send the invoice to CWU who will audit the invoice for compliance with contracted rates and differentiate between allowable expenses and personal ones. The University will pay the carrier for the entire move and collect any personal expenses not covered by the state from the new hire.

Working with the Carrier:

Notify Purchasing as soon as it is determined that relocation expenses will be paid. If the new hire is moving in June, July or August, tentative dates should be set as early as possible. Agents' schedules become booked during these months and there may be less flexibility in accommodating specific moving days.

The carriers on contract with Washington State provide significant discounts from tariff rates.

Once the designated carrier receives a PO, they will contact the new hire. Thereafter, the carrier's contact and the new hire will communicate with each other directly regarding specific arrangements related to the move.

Insurance Coverage Options:


The carrier will provide household valuation coverage up to $100,000, with zero deductible and zero depreciation. Replacement is at $5.00 per pound per item. This valuation shall be at no additional charge to the state. Valuation for a higher dollar limit requested by a new hire will be billed back to the new hire.


The carrier will provide household valuation coverage up to $75,000. The agency/employee shall be given value protection options:

Option 1: $0.60 per pound, free of charge. This is great if there is homeowners insurance that covers the employees goods in transit.

The department may offer to pay for the additional coverage to a maximum replacement value of $75,000, or the employee may choose to pay for it on his or her own. The choice of insurance rate and coverage, and whether the department or employee will pay, must be indicated on the A33 form and requisition.

Option 2: Depreciated value protection. This coverage is reasonably priced and is determined by fair market value of an object.

Option 3: Full replacement cost insurance. This coverage can be pricey, but it provides the best coverage.

Insurance available through Carrier Max. Payout Valuation (replacement value) Cost to Agency (or employee)
Interstate 100,000 $5 per lb. per article None
Intrastate (Washington Only) 9,600 .60 per lb. per article. None
Intrastate 75,000 Depreciated value of item, or $2 per lb. per article, whichever is less. $159 to $267
Intrastate 75,000 Full replacement value of item or $3.50 per lb. per article, whichever is less. $480 to $803
International Check with the carrier

Rates are discounted based on the maximum rates outlined in Tariff 15A which can be viewed at:

The department should check with the carrier for insurance options for international moves.

The state recommends that the employee allow the carrier to pack all high-value items and note their condition in the moving papers prior to the move. The employee should consult the Guide for specific information about how to properly receive and check the goods upon delivery. If loss or damage has occurred, the employee may contact Purchasing for claim forms.


If the new hire chooses to make their own arrangements with a non-contracted carrier, they may do so. They must pay the full bill, and will only be reimbursed for up to the amount that the contracted carrier would have charged for the move. The university does not assume any responsibility for loss or damage to the new hire's household goods.

If you have any questions, please call the CWU Purchasing Office at 509-963-1002.

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