Do Movers Need a License?

When it comes to any service, the word “license” gives us the peace of mind that the company is guaranteed to meet certain standards of quality. With a moving company, you are basically entrusting a group of strangers to your belongings, so making sure you hire a licensed move is vital.

License Plates on Wall

But the question of whether a mover is licensed can be confusing. What if the mover is licensed in one state but not another? Do all states require movers to be licensed? We break down the licensing requirements for movers below.

If You Are Moving Across State Lines (Interstate)

If a moving company performs a move between state lines, then they must be registered with the United States Department of Transportation. This includes getting a USDOT number, which is used for regulatory means.

In order for a national mover to obtain a USDOT number, the mover must show proof of insurance and bonding, as well as contact information.

To check and see if an interstate moving company has a USDOT, visit the Interstate Movers Search from the U.S. Department of Transportation.

If You Are Staying in One State (Intrastate)

For movers that operate in one state only, requirements vary from state to state. Some states, such as Texas, still require movers to have a USDOT number, even if they perform moves in just one state. This excellent chart from provides a detailed overview of the different licensing requirements for each state.  For example, the State of Texas requires a TX Department of Transportation number (TXDOT #).

The following states have no local licensing requirements when it comes to Intrastate moving: Alaska, Arizona, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Utah, Vermont, Washington D.C.

If You Are Moving Internationally

All moves outside of the North American continent are regulated by the Federal Maritime Commission. Their website has a database of licensed carriers for international moves

Moving Associations – Providing Additional Peace of Mind

In addition to basic licensing, there are several moving associations that moving companies can join. These have more stringent requirements for their members.

The American Moving and Storage Association is an association for interstate movers. All of their members have passed background checks with government authorities, as well as with the Better Business Chapter for their area. You can see the list of AMSA members here.

In addition, several states have their own moving associations, all with vary requirements for membership. The links to these associations are below

California – California Moving & Storage Association

Florida – Florida Movers and Warehouseman’s Association

Georgia – Georgia Movers Association

Illinois – Illinois Movers’ and Warehousemen’s Association

Iowa – Iowa Motor Truck Association

Kansas – Kansas Movers Association

Kentucky –  Kentucky Household Goods Carriers Association, Inc.

Maryland – Maryland Motor Truck Association

Massachusetts – Massachusetts Movers Association

Michigan – Michigan Movers Association

Minnesota – Minnesota Transport Services Association

Missouri – Missouri Movers Association

New Jersey – New Jersey Warehousemen & Movers Association

New York –  New York State Movers & Warehousemen’s Association

North Carolina – North Carolina Movers Association

Ohio – Ohio Association of Movers

Oregon – Oregon Moving & Storage Association

Pennsylvania – Pennsylvania Moving & Storage Associates

South Carolina – South Carolina Trucking Association

Texas – Southwest Movers Association

Virginia – Virginia Movers & Warehousemen’s Association

Washington – Washington Movers Conference

Wisconsin – Wisconsin Movers Association

If you are looking for movers, give Garrett’s Moving & Storage a call at 972-487-5843  for a free quote. We have done thousands of local Dallas-Fort Worth moves as well as long distance moves from New York to Los Angeles. We have been doing moves since 1992 and are a proud member of the Southwest Movers Association.

If you would rather get a quote online, click here to fill out our estimate form, and we’ll be in contact with you within the next business day.

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