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Long Distance Movers

Congratulations on deciding to move to another state! Long distance moving can no doubt be stressful, but it's easier if you know the rules and if you can find a reliable long distance moving company.
Learn the rules for long distance moving
If you're moving state to state, there are special regulations that apply to your move. In the United States, all long distance movers are regulated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). The FMCSA maintains a web site especially for those who are working with long distance movers at

The first thing to know is that long distance moving is different from local moving in many ways. It is much better regulated. Each state, for example, sets its own rules for local movers. Some states don't have any licensing requirements. But when it comes to interstate movers, the regulations are federal - which means that every long distance moving company in every state must abide by them.

These added regulations are helpful for you, the consumer, since they offer many extra protections. The important piece is to know what's available and how it can be used.
Licensed long distance movers
All long distance movers in the United States must be licensed by the US Department of Transportation. If you found a state to state moving company that doesn't have a license, you're probably dealing with a moving scam. Any moving company that provides interstate moving services must have a US DOT number.

If you'd like to check if your long distance movers are licensed, go here. For some interstate movers registered with US DOT, you'll also be able to get a safety rating. However, please note that safety ratings aren't available for many reliable long distance movers simply because the government hasn't collected enough information. Not finding a safety rating is not an indication that the long distance movers you selected is somehow unreliable.
Long distance moving documents
Binding vs. non-binding moving estimates
Once you select a licensed long distance moving company, you can ask them to provide you with a written moving estimate. If you'd like to know exactly how much you'll need to pay, ask for a binding moving estimate. A non-binding estimate will also be a good approximation, but as the name implies, it won't be exact.

If your long distance movers provide you with a binding moving estimate, they must charge you that exact amount once the move is complete. Please note that long distance movers, unlike local, usually don't charge by the hour. Instead, interstate movers set their prices based on the number of miles and the weight of your shipment. All long distance movers must publish their rates in a tariff schedule. You can ask your long distance movers to see their tariffs. This should give you a good idea of how much additional services cost as well.

Order for Service
Your long distance movers will probably provide you with an "Order for Service" document. This document details all the services your long distance movers will be providing as well as the dates for pickup and delivery of your goods. If your interstate movers don't offer you this document, you can request it.

Bill of Lading
This document is simply the contract between you and your long distance moving company. Make sure you receive a partially completed copy before your interstate movers leave with your goods.

Inventory List
Your long distance movers will detail the condition of each item being moved in the inventory list. Make sure you review it for accuracy and bring up any items you don't agree with.

Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move
Your long distance movers are required to provide you with a copy of this brochure from the FMCSA. It has tons of important information on regulations and what to do in case something goes wrong.
Long distance moving disputes
Hopefully, your interstate move will go completely smoothly. In the unlikely event that something goes wrong, the FMCSA has a few rules in place. First, your long distance movers must provide you with information on dispute resolution with their company before you begin your move. That's usually the best place to start if something doesn't work out.

You can also file a complaint against a long distance mover with the FMCSA by visiting the web site or calling 1-888-DOT-SAFT (1-888-368-7238).
Getting a long distance moving quote
We invite you to fill out our free online moving quote form. We can help you select reliable long distance movers because we work only with licensed moving companies throughout the United States.
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