Federal Rules for Interstate Moves

When you move from one state to another, it is referred to as an interstate move. Unlike moves within a state, interstate moves are governed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). This applies whether the property is being moved by truck, plane, or rail. The following scenarios are considered interstate moves:

  • The move starts at a location in one state and ends at a location in another state. Whenever property is crossing state lines and involves a moving company, like a moving company. at any point during the move, it is legally considered an interstate move and the regulations and rules issued by the FMCSA apply.
  • The move starts at a location in one state and ends at a location outside of the United States. In this type of move, the property will end up in a warehouse before it is shipped out of the country. Although this warehouse or other holding facility will not be the final destination, it is still classified as an interstate move.
  • The move starts at a location in one state, passes through another state, and ends up at a location back in the original state. Although the starting and end destinations are in the same state, because the property went through a second state, it is classified as an interstate move.

Finding an Interstate Moving Company

Not every moving company offer interstate moving services so it is important to do some research on any company you are considering. Unfortunately, there are many rogue moving companies who are dishonest and conduct one scam after another on unsuspecting customers. The following steps can help ensure that you are not a victim to one of these companies:

  • Make sure to get a written estimate from all companies you are considering hiring. This estimate should be given after a company representative has actually come to your location to assess how much property you have and what the move will entail. A company who claims they can give you an estimate over the phone or online should raise a red flag.
  • All legitimate interstate moving companies are required to register with the federal government. They are all required to have a U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) number. There may or may not be state regulations that the company is required to adhere to, depending on the state you live in.
  • If you are considering hiring an interstate moving company, it is important to check out their reputation. Make sure to check the Better Business Bureau, as well as any other consumer protection agencies that are in your state. The FMCSA also has database accessible to the public that will reveal any issues or complaints that have been filed against interstate moving companies.

The FMSCA also provides a free booklet that is downloadable directly from their website. This booklet includes information about what a moving company is required to give customers who are moving interstate, as well as what steps a customer should take should any of their property become damaged or lost during the move.