Thinking about moving from one state to another? Worried about hiring a moving company?

We asked the U.S. Department of Transportation to help us with a few important questions.

We know: Tips for Hiring an Interstate Mover

How do I find a legitimate interstate mover?

Interstate movers are required to show an ĎMCí number in their advertising. If a mover does not show an MC number (which is from 3 to 6 digits) in the ad, ask the mover for the number when you phone.

If you want to find out whether the mover (or broker) you are considering has active authority and insurance to make the move, you can use the MC number to check with the Licensing and Insurance Division of the Department of Transportation.

Also, call the local Chamber of Commerce to see if there are complaints against the mover.

Do interstate movers have to publish their rates?

Yes, interstate movers are legally obligated to publish their rates, related rules, and practices. The document is called a tariff. Ask for it when you speak with the mover.

Must the mover give me an estimate?

No. Movers do not have to provide estimates. However, you will probably want to ask for an estimate.

If you get an estimate, it must be in writing. Verbal estimates do not count for anything. The written estimate must state whether itís binding or nonbinding.

Whatís a nonbinding estimate?

If the estimate is nonbinding, that means you are only getting an approximate cost. The nonbinding estimate must be in writing and state that it is nonbinding. The final rate will be based on the actual weight or volume measure of the load, plus the moverís other charges.

If the final charges exceed the estimate, the mover has to deliver your goods if you pay him 110% of the estimate. The mover must defer the balance you owe for 30 days.

Whatís a binding estimate?

With you get a binding estimate or set price, in writing, you can only be charged the price in the estimate. Remember, even if the weight or volume of your load is lower than the estimate, you must still pay the agreed upon price.

Binding estimates only cover the goods and services listed on the estimate, so if you add items or services after the estimate, it could void the estimate, or those charges could be added on top of the set price.

What information and paperwork is the interstate mover required to give me?

At the time of the estimate:

  1. Copy of the estimate
  2. Copy of the brochure: Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move
  3. Neutral dispute settlement/arbitration program information
  4. Telephone number of the mover for inquiries and complaints

Next, you should receive the Order for Service, signed and dated by you and the mover.

At the time of pick up, you should receive a copy of the bill of lading/freight, with the moverís name and inventory.

At the time of delivery, you should receive a copy of the completed bill of lading/freight.

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