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Thursday, May 23, 2013

Virginians Urged To Do Their Homework Before Hiring a Moving Company
DMV Website Lists Properly Licensed Transportation Services

RICHMOND (May 15, 2013) - Today, Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, alongside the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and the Virginia Movers and Warehousemen's Association (VMWA), advised Virginians to do their homework before hiring moving companies. With moving season just around the corner, the attorney general warned consumers to protect themselves from fraudulent or "rogue" movers of household goods. While most moves go smoothly, some moving companies may try to take advantage of customers.

"I appreciate the opportunity to join forces with the DMV and VMWA in protecting Virginia citizens from those who might try to exploit them," said Cuccinelli. "We want to make sure consumers know how to best protect themselves from fraud or a bad move experience, and the best way to do that is through consumer education."

If you are planning a move within Virginia, any moving company offering its services should be listed as a licensed transportation service on the DMV website. A list of licensed transportation service providers is available at

There are two types of movers you should know. Under "Carrier Type", if the distance of your move is not more than 30 miles, it may be performed by a mover licensed under "property carrier non-bulk". If your move is farther than 30 miles, it must be performed by a mover licensed as a "household goods carrier".

If you are moving outside the state of Virginia, the transporter must be registered with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. You can check the status of interstate movers on the American Moving & Storage Association's website at

"If you hire a mover not listed on the DMV website, you may be at risk for non-delivery of your household items," said DMV Commissioner Richard D. Holcomb. "There are many great moving companies in Virginia that work hard to meet customer needs every day, and they are all listed on DMV's website. Any properly licensed mover should welcome the opportunity to provide references and meet with you before your move so you know with whom you are dealing.¿

Below are tips and information you should know before hiring a moving company:

  • Ask for three written estimates to compare prices and services. Confirm with the movers if the estimates are binding or non-binding.
  • Moves of 30 miles or less within Virginia may be charged by the hour taking into consideration the number of movers and/or the size of the vehicle needed.
  • For moves more than 30 miles within Virginia, the estimate and bill of lading should provide a line item list of charges.
  • Upon the issuance of any written estimate for a move more than 30 miles within Virginia, the mover should provide you with a booklet published by the VMWA entitled Making a Better Move in Virginia.
  • Before signing a contract, make sure you read it fully and understand all of the terms and conditions.
  • Ask if a company representative will conduct a visual or in-home survey that will list the items to be moved. This is important since your shipment charges will be based mainly on quantities of weight and cartons packed and unpacked plus other associated services.
  • Ask the mover about insurance valuation options to cover your personal belongings.
  • Find out in advance the company¿s policies for the deposit and types of acceptable payment methods.

For more information about movers in Virginia, visit the VMWA's website at

To file a complaint about a moving company, contact the Office of the Attorney General's consumer protection hotline, either at (804) 786-2042 or (800)-552-9963, or the DMV at (804) 249-5130. To file a complaint online, visit or, then click on Consumer Protection.

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