Are you preparing for a move from the Dallas-Forth Worth Texas area to a different state? Or are you planning to move to the Dallas-Forth Worth Metroplex for out of state?
Interstate moving is generally more complicated than a local move due to additional federal and state regulations, and there are a few tasks you should prepare for when moving across state lines.
The following guide will outline the key differences, including a number of important federal regulations that will help prepare you for your interstate move.
What is the Difference between Local and Interstate Movers?
There are basic differences of long-distance interstate moves versus local moves are obvious. More time on the road, typically involves more preparation and there are additional risks due to the longer move. Our professional Interstate movers at North Dallas Moving and Storage will often take extra precautions and steps to pad and secure your load to ensure that your belongings arrive intact.
The less apparent differences lie in the details of Federal regulations. Most importantly, interstate moving companies are required to provide customers with a copy of Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move, a booklet published by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. This publication details the policies and procedures that you need to be aware of when contracting an interstate moving company.
What are the Government Regulations for Interstate Moving Companies?
A number of federal and state agencies police interstate moving companies to protect consumers’ property while in transit. As an interstate mover, you or your company accept a considerable burden of risk and responsibility by loading all of your belongings onto one truck. Government regulations are crafted to help minimize this risk by ensuring that the companies that own and operate these trucks abide by certain rules. With that in mind, you must be sure your mover holds interstate operating authority before letting them take possession of your property.
Here’s how to tell if your interstate mover is qualified:
- Your moving company must have been assigned a U.S. DOT. Number. The United States Department of Transportation grants a U.S. DOT. number to interstate moving companies that meet certain standards of safety and financial responsibility. The Department of Transportation also scrutinizes a moving company’s service record and compliance with consumer protection regulations.
- Your moving company must be registered with the FMCSA to transport household goods across state lines. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires interstate moving companies to update their registrations every two years.
- Your moving company must also carry adequate insurance. Interstate moving companies are required to hold BIPD and Cargo Insurance Policies at a minimum.
How to Find the Right Interstate Movers for Your Needs
At North Dallas Moving and Storage (NDMS) you can rest assure that you will encounter superior service as our professionals are all fully-qualified, registered and operating within the bounds of the law. We encourage you to perform your due diligence, as some moving companies on the Internet are not fully-qualified nor operating within the bounds of the law.
First and foremost, you should be wary of those companies with exceptionally low bids. These lowball bids are often too good to be true and are used to hook unsuspecting movers into bait and switch schemes. At NDMS, we encourage you to research your prospects’ moving testimonials, and customer reviews on Google, Yelp and the Better Business Bureau to find evidence of past performance.
After you’ve qualified a handful of moving companies, you should ask them to provide evidence of legitimate practices.
Your moving company should freely provide information about remediation and compensation in the case that your possessions are lost or damaged. A legitimate interstate moving company will provide you with information about its dispute settlement program and how to access its company claims forms. By law, you have nine months from the move date to file a claim of lost or damaged goods.
If a moving company hesitates to provide information about customer reviews, dispute settlements and claim forms, or fails to prove that they hold valid operating authority with the U.S. Department of Transportation, you should seriously consider walking away.
How to Prepare for Your Moving Day
Once you’ve decided to move with us at NDMS, there are several additional things that you can do to make sure the whole process goes as smoothly as possible.
Here are a few additional steps you should consider taking:
- Be sure to inquire about your estimate. You want a “binding estimate,” which means the amount you are quoted can not adjust at the end of the move, despite any changed circumstances. For example, you should only be charged what you were originally quoted for the back end of your move.
- Consider purchasing full-value protection if you feel the minimum liability protection is insufficient. The minimum liability an interstate moving company provides is .60 per pound, which is potentially inadequate for movers with high value antiques and fine art.
- Ask your NDMS moving company representative to explain your valuation options. It’s your responsibility to understand the terminology including minimum carrier liability, declared value, lump sum value and full-value protection coverage.
- Prior to moving day, double check the details of your move with your moving coordinator. Confirm your timeline, including when they expect to arrive on moving day and when they expect to unload belongings at your new home.
- Our NDMS moving coordinator will maintain regular contact with the driver and will provide you with regular updates on your shipment and delivery.
- Write down contact information for your NDMS coordinator, so you know how to get in touch with them before, during and after the move. You can always contact us at NDMS for that information if misplaced. Also make sure they have contact information for you, including your current address, new address and how to reach you while in transit.
- Create an inventory of your household goods and make sure our Dallas movers sign off on an official inventory on the load day. This document will be your primary account of belongings and their condition. If items are not listed or their conditions are improperly documented on this list, they may not be eligible for claims compensation.
- Read all documents before signing them. This includes the estimate, order for service, inventory and Bill of Lading. Also be sure to keep these documents until all charges and claims are paid and settled.
- When you are moving with NDMS we provide peace of mind, as the last thing you need to worry about is move-in day. Set aside time to review the move-in plan, the inventory and payment terms before unloading the truck. Make sure you have a check ready before your movers arrive.
You can be certain that the extra time you spend planning and preparing will return dividends in the form of peace of mind.