Check Them Out
Once you’ve compiled a list of potential moving companies, you can use the Internet as a tool for researching the companies on your list.
Check with the Better Business Bureau (www.bbb.org) or other consumer organizations in your local area for feedback from those who have previously used the moving companies you've selected.
State Moving Associations
Another way to check on movers in your area is to contact your state moving association. Ask them if your potential moving company is a member and what kind of reputation the mover has. While not every state has such an association, most have either a moving association or a warehouseman’s association. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration maintains an online directory of state associations at: www.protectyourmove.gov/related-sites/movers-association/state-movers.asp.
The American Moving and Storage Association
Check to see whether the moving company is a member of the American Moving and Storage Association (“AMSA”). Many AMSA members are also participants in the AMSA Certified Mover and Van Line Program. AMSA-certified moving companies and van lines have voluntarily agreed to abide by a Code of Conduct that requires complete disclosure of moving information to consumers, written estimates of charges, timely service, and prompt response to claims and complaints. They have also agreed to arbitrate disputes of up to $10,000 arising from loss or damage to articles in your shipment. To learn more about AMSA, or to find out whether the companies you are considering are certified members visit their Web site at: www.moving.org
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
All interstate moving companies are required to be licensed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (“FMCSA”), the U.S. Department of Transportation (“DOT”) division that regulates moving companies. Call the moving company’s office and ask for their DOT number. If they are affiliated with a van line then ask for the van line’s DOT number. Although this does not guarantee that you have found a reputable company, you certainly do not want to choose a company that doesn’t have DOT number
You can learn valuable information about your potential moving company. once you have its DOT number. Visit the following FMCSA web site to check whether your moving company has the license authority to perform your interstate move as well as the required levels of insurance: http://li-public.fmcsa.dot.gov.
Select “Carrier Search” from the drop-down menu and press GO. Next enter your moving company’s DOT number and press Search. Once you have located the FMCSA carrier report on your moving company, look for the following information:
- You will see three listings in the “Authority Type” row: Common, Contract, and Broker. Your company should at least have “Common” marked as ACTIVE. Also, “Household Goods” should be marked YES.
- The next row is entitled “Insurance Requirements.” Your company should have both BIPD and Cargo insurance on file with the DOT. Moving companies are required to have at least $750,000 in BIPD insurance and $5,000 in Cargo insurance on file.
- If your moving company does not have valid authority to transport household goods or adequate insurance then you need to look for a different company.