Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) regulations protect consumers of interstate moves and define the rights and responsibilities of consumers (shippers) and household goods carriers (movers).
The household goods carrier will give you a booklet, “Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move”, to provide information about your rights and responsibilities as an individual shipper of household goods. Your primary responsibilities are to ensure that you understand the terms and conditions of the moving contract (bill of lading), and know what to do in case problems arise.
The primary responsibility for protecting your move lies with you in selecting a reputable household goods mover or household goods broker, and making sure you understand the terms and conditions of your contract and the remedies that are available to you in case problems arise.
FMCSA’s regulations apply to motor carriers that engage in the interstate transportation of household goods and brokers that arrange for such transportation. These regulations require your mover to perform certain services and provide you with specific documents. The regulations only apply to your mover when the mover transports your household goods by motor vehicle in interstate or foreign commerce – that is when you move from one state to another or internationally. The regulations do not apply when your move takes place within a commercial zone (defined at the end of the booklet) or between two points in the same state.
Legitimate movers and brokers are registered with FMCSA to engage in interstate operations involving the interstate transportation of household goods. A legitimate mover explains whether they are a broker or a mover. A household goods broker arranges for the transportation of your shipment but does not provide line-haul transportation. A household goods mover actually transports your shipment.
Household goods brokers or movers must provide you with basic information before you move. You should expect to receive the following information:
- A written estimate
- The “Ready to Move” Brochure (or a web link, if you prefer)
- Information about the mover’s arbitration program
- Written notice about access to the mover’s tariff
- The process for handling claims
- The booklet, “Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move” (or a web link, if
- you prefer)
You should avoid brokers and movers that are not registered with FMCSA, refuse to perform a physical survey of your household goods, and require cash only transactions. You can determine if your broker or mover is registered with FMCSA by accessing www.protectyourmove.gov, or calling FMCSA at (202) 366-9805 for licensing and (866) 637-0635 for insurance information.