We understand moving is stressful and the TxDMV wants to help you to protect yourself. That's why we say "Don't Make A Move Without Us!" By law, Texas movers must be licensed with the TxDMV. If you hire one that isn't, you risk losing your belongings.
Keep in mind that the lowest price may not be the best deal - especially those offered on Internet message boards or sites. You might fall prey to a dishonest moving company that may demand more money to unload your possessions or fails to show up for delivery.
Before you hire a mover, first check our Truck Stop, the database that can tell you whether a company is licensed with the TxDMV. A licensed Texas mover will have an "Active" TxDMV certificate number on file.
We also prepared Moving Tips and a Moving Checklist to help you with your move. If you do have a problem, we'll try to help. Please take the time to read the information below so you know what steps to take before and after the move.
Consumer Protection Guide to Moving – Webinar
This presentation will provide anyone looking to hire a moving company with guidance to help prepare for their upcoming household goods move. Representatives from the TxDMV Enforcement Division will provide valuable information to assist consumers with thoroughly searching for a licensed moving company and will promote awareness of the potential red flags for moving fraud.
Click on the following link to see when the next Training Webinar will occur and sign up.
You will have many choices when it comes to selecting a moving company. If your mover isn't licensed to conduct moves in Texas, you could risk losing your material possessions, family heirlooms or other items of personal and irreplaceable value. It is illegal for a mover to operate without a license to conduct moves. You can check that your mover is licensed in Texas by checking our Truck Stop Motor Carrier Lookup.
An "Active" certificate status means the mover is licensed.
If you can't find a moving company in our database, ask your mover to give you a copy of their TxDMV Certificate number and check that information in our Truck Stop Motor Carrier Lookup.
Because prices and services offered vary from mover to mover, we recommend you shop around before hiring a licensed mover. Keep in mind that the lowest price may not make the best deal. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and make sure you get everything in writing. Licensed movers are insured and will provide you with the proper documents for your move.
How to Spot an Unlicensed Mover
Low Priced Moves
If it's too good to be true, it probably is. What may look like a low cost move may not turn out to be a smart move. Unlicensed movers may advertise a very low cost for a move then increase the price once your items are loaded onto their truck. Your items would be in their custody until you pay the higher price.
Generic Contact Information
Unlicensed movers typically have no local business address, use cell phones as their business phones or answer the phone with vague terms as "Movers" or "Moving Company". Ask questions. Ask the mover to give you their TxDMV certificate number; then check their number in our Truck Stop database.
Unlicensed movers will typically have no markings on their trucks or use rental trucks. TxDMV requires all licensed movers to have their name, TxDMV certificate number, USDOT number on both sides of their truck either permanently attached or with a magnetic sign.
No Proposal/Contract Documents
Unlicensed movers may not provide you with a proposal or contract document, or, may rush you through a contract form and make you sign it before reading it. A licensed mover will provide you with both a proposal and a contract document and will ask you to sign it at different stages of the move. A licensed mover will not assess additional charges after the contract is signed unless you both agree to them in writing. Please make sure you read any documents before you sign them.
No "Rights and Responsibility" brochure provided
All licensed movers are required to provide you the Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move in Texas document prior to loading your items.
Read all documents before you sign your name.
Even though most movers are legitimate and reputable, unwary consumers may fall prey to dishonest moving companies and could lose more than just what they paid to have their items moved.
Once you've selected your mover, make sure to get your agreement in writing. A licensed mover will provide you with both a proposal/estimate and a moving services contract BEFORE they begin to load your items. Some will give you a combined form that includes both the proposal and the contract together.
Prior to loading, the mover must provide you with a written proposal describing the services to be performed and indicating the maximum amount that you could be required to pay for their services. The proposal may be either binding or not-to-exceed:
- A binding proposal states the exact price of the move.
- A not-to-exceed proposal states the maximum price of the move but allows the mover to charge less than the maximum.
To receive an accurate estimate, you must notify your mover of all items to be moved and specify required services such as moving your items up or down several flights of stairs, via long carries to/from your dwelling or using an elevator. Some movers will provide services such as these at an additional cost. The proposal should also indicate when payment is due and what forms of payment are accepted.
Licensed movers will also provide you with a moving services contract prior to loading your items. The items written on your proposal become a part of your contract along with the contract terms and conditions.
Don't rely on any verbal agreements.
Be sure all agreements between you and your mover are written into the moving services contract. Last, but not least, remember to read all documents thoroughly and carefully before signing them.
Mover’s Liability vs. Transit Insurance Coverage
Moving companies conducting intrastate, within Texas or “local” moves, assume partial liability for the value of the household goods transported. Unless the mover and shipper agree in writing to a higher limit of carrier liability, a household goods carrier's liability for loss or damage of property is set at $0.60 per pound, per article. Claims for loss or damage of property may be settled based on the weight of the article multiplied by $0.60. For example, if a 50-pound television is damaged as a result of a move, the mover is only required to reimburse $30.00 (50-lbs. X $0.60 = $30.00). Some movers will agree to assume a higher level of liability, but this must be agreed upon by both parties prior to loading the shipment. Additional fees may be assessed by the mover for increased liability.
As the shipper, you should review the mover’s tariff for any additional fees. You also have the option to obtain additional insurance to protect your items.
Transit Insurance Coverage
Transit insurance can be purchased to help cover loss or damage to your goods. Some movers offer transit insurance, or you can purchase this type of policy from a separate insurance company. The insurance policy must cover loss or damage in excess of the household goods carrier liability as specified above. A copy of this policy or other appropriate evidence of purchased insurance must be issued to the shipper before the shipment is loaded. Policies must be written in a clear and concise manner, specifying the nature and extent of coverage included as well as any deductibles. The policy must also clearly indicate the name, address, and telephone number of the insurance company, the policy number, and a statement of whether claims are to be filed with the insurance company or with the mover.
As the shipper, you should discuss the mover’s liability with the mover prior to signing the moving services contract.