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Friday, July 10, 2009

Before Your Move

Choosing Your Mover

You will have many choices of household goods movers. Since the prices and services offered vary from mover to mover, you may want to shop around before hiring a mover. Don't be afraid to ask questions, and make sure you get everything in writing, including the company's full name, physical address, and telephone number.You can also check the history of complaints, filed with TxDOT, on specific movers by using our Complaint Management System (CMS).

Under Texas law, anyone offering to perform a moving service for hire must be registered with TxDOT. To verify whether your mover is properly registered, check the status of the mover's motor carrier registration or contact TxDOT at (800) 299-1700 (select Option 3 from the automated menu). TxDOT can also provide you with a copy of a mover's annual report. You may also want to contact other sources such as the Better Business Bureau for information.

Proposal for Moving Services

Prior to loading, your mover must provide a written proposal describing the services to be performed, goods to be moved and what is being charged, as a binding or not-to-exceed fee. 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.

Inform your mover of all items to be moved and services to be provided, such as stair carries, long carries and elevator use. Due to the additional labor required to provide these services, additional fees may be charged by your mover.

Your mover is responsible for providing you with a pamphlet entitled Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move in Texas prior to moving.


Your mover should prepare a descriptive inventory of the shipment. The inventory will list your goods and note their condition. The mover may charge a fee for this service only if you agree to the preparation of the inventory. Since inventories are often used during the claim process, inspect your shipment carefully before signing anything. Make sure all boxes and items are accounted for at delivery. If there is obvious loss or damage, note this on the inventory at delivery. If any items are damaged during the move, the inventory should be used to determine when the damage occurred. If you discover lost items or hidden damage after signing the inventory, you may still file a claim with the mover.

Moving Services Contract

Your mover is required by law to prepare a moving services contract, which may be a bill of lading, work ticket or other receipt. This contract lists important information about your move, including your name, the mover's name, and the mover's limitation of liability for loss or damage to your goods. The agreements on your written proposal provided by your mover become part of your contract. Be sure all agreements between you and your mover, including services to be provided at the destination, are written on the moving services contract. Do not rely on any verbal agreements. Make sure all documents offered by the mover for your signature are filled out as much as possible before you sign. Read the documents before you sign your name.

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