How to Verify a Moving Company’s Credentials

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If you have narrowed your moving company choices down to one, but you still are wary of signing a contract because of all the scam horror stories you have heard and read about, there is a website you can visit to better set your mind at ease that the company you are hiring is honest and reliable.

This website is safersys.org and it can provide you with the information you need to verify a movers' credentials and licenses. This is the website for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCA) and researching this site is the final step you should take before signing a contract with any moving company.

When you get to the site, enter the movers company's USDOT number into the search box and click "search". It is also possible to search by the company's name or MC number. As long as the number you use is valid, you will be taken to a screen filled with information about the company. To make the process easier, here is what you should look for on the screen.

1. Verify that the company's name, phone numbers, and address are identical to the information given to you by the company.

2. There should be a "no" in the "Out of Service" field, which is located in the upper left portion of the screen.

3. Look at the "Power Units" field to see how many trucks the company owns and the "Drivers" field to see how many drivers the company employs. This will give insight into the volume of business they do each month.

4. In the "Operation Classification" section, an X should be next to the "Auth. for Hire" field.

5. In the "Carrier Operation" section, there should be an X next to the "Interstate" field if you need to move out of state.

6. In the "Cargo Carried" section, there should be an X next to the "Household Goods" field.

7. In the "Inspections/Crashes" section, the company's average should be in line with or under the national average. In the "Safety Rating" section, the results of any review should be "Satisfactory."

8. Click on the "FMCSA Licensing & Insurance Site" link located at the bottom of the page. Then click on the "Report" link which will take you to the "Motor Carrier Details" screen. There will be three listings under the "Authority Type" section, which are "Common," "Contract," and "Broker." At a minimum, the "Common" listing should show as active in the "Authority Status" column. Under the "Application Pending" section, there should be a "No."

9. In the "Household Goods" column in the next table, there should be a "Yes."

10. The last table on this screen is where the company's insurance information is held. Movers must have at least $750,000 of property damage (BIPD) insurance and bodily injury insurance and cargo insurance.

Once you decide which company you want to use to move your precious belongings, this website can confirm that you are making the right choice. Visit it now to ensure your company is in business to move your household safely and professionally to your new home. 

John is a shrewd consumer who writes about personal finance, finding deals, and local consumer home services like: mover Denver and mover NYC.

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