Choosing a Reputable Mover


Here’s an important “to do” list to help you select a reputable mover to move you across state lines:

  1. Get a written estimate from several movers.
    The estimate should be based on an actual inspection of your household goods.
    Note: Movers are legally permitted to offer an estimate without doing an in-home “visual” estimate, and oftentimes these are legitimate and fine. But, if the mover does not do a visual estimate, they must get a waiver signed by the shipper if the address is located within 50 miles from the movers office/warehouse.
  2. Make sure the mover has insurance and is licensed by the proper authority.
    For moves from one State to another, a U.S. DOT number is issued by FMCSA. You can double-check a mover’s license on For moves within a State, requirements vary. Check with your State, county or local consumer affairs agency or your State attorney general.
  3. Remember your priorities when choosing a mover.
    If you hire a mover based solely on the cheapest price, you may be sacrificing other things that are actually more important, such as getting your possessions moved and delivered on time. And remember, movers are required by law to deliver your goods for no more than ten percent above the price of a non-binding estimate. This is known as the 110 percent rule.
  4. Do your homework.
    Read “Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move,” a booklet from the Federal government that your mover is required to give you if you are moving from one State to another. This booklet also has information you’ll need if your goods are lost or damaged during the move. Finally, check the mover’s complaint history with local consumer advocacy organizations, such as the Better Business Bureau.

The Law Office of David Piotrowski assists moving companies with publishing their tariff and creating required documents such as as the Bill of Lading.

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