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Moving In-State, or Interstate: What You Need to Know

You're moving, and where you're moving – and how far you're moving – will dictate the way you're charged for your move.

Also, your move will be governed by different entities: if moving in-state, your own state has jurisdiction; between states, it's the federal government.  This will determine how you check on the registration of your mover, as well as how any damage claims are handled.

Types of Moves

Any move under 50 miles is generally considered a local move, while relocating beyond that distance in the same state is an intrastate move.

A local move is commonly charged at an hourly rate and includes charges for additional services. Longer intrastate moves are generally priced on the weight of your shipment. (Always check with moving companies about how you will charged.) A move out of state is an interstate move, also called a long-distance move.

Pricing for a Local Move 

Determining a price for a local move is not so complicated. The size of your current home will determine the number of people needed on a moving crew; here's a rule of thumb:

* 1 bedroom: two movers
* 2-3 bedrooms: up to three movers
* 4 bedrooms: up to four movers
* More than 4 bedrooms: four or more movers

Your mover will have rates for each crew size. Rates are usually on file at the moving company for your review.

This can vary, though, and shouldn't affect the moving price: The more people you have working on your move, the faster the move can be completed. Compare the differences between moving companies to determine what's best. The higher rates of some companies usually reflect the experience and training that they provide to their crew.

For a move in-state, check out your moving company's registration, or if you must file a complaint, check out the regulations for that state. Here's a list of the state moving associations that can help you locate the proper moving authority for you to contact: http://www.protectyourmove.gov/related-sites/movers-association/state-movers.asp

Moving Interstate    

This is an entirely different matter.

Costs will be dictated by how much stuff you're moving, how heavy it is, and the number of miles the shipment will be traveling to your new home.

Cutting the costs for a long-distance move is simple: move less stuff (or less heavy stuff). If you have heavier items that you have not used for a long time, it may be better to dispose of them before moving.

One other factor affecting your move: if you're moving from Kansas to New York, well, you're not in Kansas anymore – the New York end of the journey will cost more because of the difference in labor costs between the two states. Ask the moving companies how this affects the costs.

Legal Stuff

Make sure the interstate mover you select has been assigned a USDOT number, is registered with FMCSA to transport household goods between states, and has the proper level of insurance.

You can determine if a mover is registered with FMCSA by visiting www.protectyourmove.gov or calling FMCSA at (202) 366-9805 for licensing and (202) 385-2423 for insurance.

For an interstate move, FMCSA has no authority to resolve claims. You can file a complaint against the moving company by calling FMCSA's 24-hour toll-free hotline at (888) 368-7238, or go to FMCSA's Web site. This complaint may spark a Federal enforcement investigation against the mover.


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In the Press

A Moving Company's Moving Story
June, 2012

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