Who regulates moving companies?
The moving industry has to be highly regulated. These regulations are primarily made to protect customers. When hiring a moving company, you are permitting their staff to come inside your home. They will handle your property and transport it. So, for sure, you will feel much better knowing that the law backs you. In every move, there is a danger of damaged property. Or a company may hold your property hostage, asking for additional payments. Thus, in many states, moving companies must hold moving company licenses. In case you are moving out of state, the company must have a valid USDOT number. As you can see, there are two levels of regulations. And they are in general answering the question of who regulates moving companies. However, by hiring the Best Long Distance Movers, you can be sure you are safe.
It is good to know who regulates moving companies while you are preparing to move
When you are planning to move, you would like to find a trusted and reliable moving company. However, we are lately hearing scary stories about scummers. So, to avoid such things happening to you, check your moving company licenses. If you are moving locally, you will look for a company providing local moves. Keep in mind that the companies providing local moving services in Arkansas must hold state licenses. The Arkansas Department of Transportation is issuing them. And, they are valid only in the territory of Arkansas. But, what if you have to cross the state border to move from one Arkansas town to another? Well, then your moving company must have the USDOT number.
If you plan to move to another state, you need to hire long-distance Arkansas movers. Every company providing interstate moves must have the USDOT number. That is very important. The USDOT is the nationwide license. And all commercial vehicles that are operating across the borders must have it. The US Department of Transportation is in charge to issue it on request. And they will, but only if the company meets the requirements. So, when you are hiring a moving company, check if they have this number. Also, the USDOT number must be in the visible place. Thus, the movers are usually putting it on the truck’s door. Or at the rear side of the truck.
Is the moving company obliged to have more than one USDOT number?
The moving company can apply for one USDOT number. This one, it can use on all its moving trucks. But the number must be valid. The bodies regulating the work of the moving companies may check the number at any time. So, the company must take care to follow the regulations. And in case the regulations change, they have to act. Also, the company must inform the FMCSA in case it changes:
- Company name
- Other company details
In case the company needs to change any data regarding USDOT, it must apply to FMCSA in a timely manner. If not, the data on their USDOT will not match. Thus, the USDOT will not be valid. That’s why it is important to make checks.
How often does the moving company have to update its USDOT number?
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requests that the details should be updated every two years. FMCSA is also requesting the following updates:
There are four reasons to update the USDOT number:
- Routine Updates – conforms company’s current information
- Biennial Updates – it is obligatory and also subject to fines
- Inactivating/Deactivating – you must report when you stop to provide the interstate services
- Reactivating – in case the company restarts with providing the interstate services
As routine updates can be done online. So, the interstate movers in Florida are usually using this option.
Exceptions to the rules regulating work of the moving companies
In certain cases, the locally operating moving companies must obtain the USDOT number. This rule is valid for any commercial vehicle transporting hazardous materials. Also, 35 US states request the local moving companies to have the USDOT number. And this is regardless that they provide only local moves. So, they have to request the USDOT number even for the ordinary, local household, or commercial moves. Only in 15 US states, the local moving companies don’t need to request the USDOT number. So, it is up to State Transportation Department to regulate this issue.
Difference between the MC and USDOT number
We can often hear that some companies need an MC number. So, what is the difference between the MC and USDOT numbers? And who regulates this issue? The MC or Motor Carrier license is actually required for companies transporting commodities across the state borders. Also, all companies that are transporting passengers in interstate commerce must have it.
The moving companies providing interstate transportation of household goods must have the USDOT number. However, such long-distance moving companies in New York don’t need the MC number. The thing MC and USDOT have in common is that both numbers identify interstate commerce.
Who is regulating the work of moving brokers?
Simply said – the same body that regulates the work of moving companies. In fact, the brokers also have to register with FMCSA. However, the brokers are providing different types of services. Moving companies are physically transporting the goods. The brokers are arrangements necessary things for relocating your household or office goods. But the rest of the rules is the same. The brokers also have to follow regulations. And in case of changes, they have to update their information. If they miss doing so, they risk fines or even closure.
However, regardless of whether you are hiring a moving company or a broker, you must request a written cost estimation. Also, they have to present to you any license you are asking to see. They have to explain to you all types of moving insurances they offer. And they have to explain the ways how they deal with possible disputes. And, regardless if you are dealing with a moving company or a broker, you have to be wise. Never sign any empty agreement. Also, both of them have to provide you with the Bill of Landing.
Why USDOT is important for moving companies?
The USDOT is not invented just for fun. There are reasons behind this registration number. And also, the company holding the valid USDOT number is accountable for the smooth transport of your goods. So, this number will actually protect you as the customer. Here are some of the ways how the USDOT number can help:
- Monitoring the truck
- Collecting safety information
- Data related to USDOT is used for audits
- Helping in solving compliance reviews
- Shows company status in case of inspections
- It can give valuable information in case of a crash investigation
By checking the USDOT number, you can learn a lot about the moving company. And you can be sure that the company complies with the state and federal regulations. Accordingly, you can have trust in such a company. And you can be calm knowing they are disciplined. And sure that your belongings are safe with such kind of people.
When you are hiring movers, avoid those that are not following regulations
By doing so, you can be sure that you are hiring a safe moving company. They know the rules and regulations. And they know who regulates moving companies. By following the rules, they are already showing discipline. And it also shows respect towards the state and the customers. So, when you are looking for a good and reliable moving company to transport your good, check their USDOT number. The check is simple. The site of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration will offer you possibilities to check the company by name and by USDOT. In both cases, you will learn a lot about the moving company. And after you confirm that the company has a valid USDOT identifier, you can hire it.