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state seal 60.10
Moving Expense Policies


January 1, 2018

Agencies may pay moving expenses under certain conditions

Paying moving expenses

An agency may pay the moving costs of qualified or transferred employees subject to requirements and restrictions in this chapter. (RCW 43.03.110 and RCW 43.03.120).

Tax code change effective January 1, 2018:

All moving expenses, whether paid directly to the employee or to a vendor on behalf of the employee, are considered taxable income.  Employees and agencies should consult Internal Revenue Service regulations for further guidance.


Relocation compensation

An agency director may authorize a lump sum relocation compensation payment to an employee under certain circumstances. Refer to Subsection 25.30.60.a.(1).


January 1, 2000

Qualified employees transferred employees

Relocation expenses may be paid to current employees who are being transferred at the request of the agency. However, the agency is responsible for ensuring that the transfer of a new employee is not used as a means to avoid other aspects of the moving expense regulations.


January 1, 2012

Qualified employees new employees

Any agency may pay the moving expenses of a qualified new employee hired in a permanent position who must move to accept state employment, pursuant to mutual agreement with the employee in advance of such employment. The payment of moving expenses for a new employee is normally limited to applicants for the position of director, deputy director, assistant director, state supervisor or equivalent or higher position, engineers or other personnel having both executive and professional status.

In the case of institutions of higher education, prospective employees are limited to applicants being considered for academic positions above the rank of instructor, or professional, or administrative employees in supervisory positions.

Community and technical colleges may pay moving expenses for prospective employees being considered for full-time faculty positions or administrative employees in supervisory positions.

The Washington State Investment Board may pay moving expenses for employees being considered for investment officer positions.


When there is an inability to fill a lower level exempt or classified position, and the filling of the position is essential to carrying out the critical work of an agency, the agency can pay moving expenses as a recruiting aid. The requesting agency director is accountable for the action and required to have appropriate documentation.

The documentation should include:

  • Prior recruiting efforts made to fill the position,
  • The number of candidates available,
  • Salary differences between the state position and comparable positions in industry or other states,
  • The distance the applicant needs to move in order to accept state employment,
  • Other related evidence which supports the need to pay moving expenses,
  • The critical nature of the work, and
  • The financial ability of the agency to pay the moving expenses.

If a new employee terminates or causes termination of his/her employment with the state within one year of the date of employment, the state shall be entitled to reimbursement for the moving costs which have been paid and may withhold such sum as necessary from any amounts due the employee. (RCW 43.03.120)


January 1, 2012

Agency head responsibilities

The agency head or authorized designee is responsible for:

  1. Authorizing the move and approving the expenses to be allowed by the agency under the rules described in this section.
  2. Utilizing mandatory state contract(s) as obtained and managed through the Department of Enterprise Services.
  3. Completing and signing the A33 Relocation Authorization Form.

The Agency Guide on Moves and the A33 Relocation Authorization Form are available online at:


January 1, 2012

Responsibilities of the state employee

The employee is responsible for:

  1. Reading the Department of Enterprise Services' Employee Moving Guide.
  2. Signing the completed A33 Relocation Authorization Form.
  3. Paying moving expenses not reimbursable within these regulations. (A payroll deduction authorization is part of the A33 form.)

The Employee Moving Guide and A33 Relocation Authorization Form are available online at:


January 1, 2012

Responsibilities of the Department of Enterprise Services

All agency requests for the purchase of materials, supplies, equipment and services must be processed through the Department of Enterprise Services (RCW 43.19), unless it has assigned mandatory state contract(s) or has specifically delegated your agency direct authority to do so. 


The Department of Enterprise Services is responsible for:

  1. Obtaining, managing and maintaining mandatory state contract(s) for the transportation of household goods for agency direct usage.
  2. Arranging for the transportation of household goods, when necessary, upon receipt of an approved A33 Relocation Authorization Form.
  3. Receiving and reviewing carrier invoices prior to payment and reimbursement by the agency for an employee not yet a member of a classified service.

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