Interstate Movers

Moving is already a stressful process, even if you’re only moving a few blocks. But interstate moving or moving cross-country? That can be double the stress if you’re not prepared. Read on for some tips to get you started on a happy long distance move!

Make sure your mover can handle a long distance move

Interstate Movers are less common in large states like Texas, and almost a necessity in areas like the Northeast where states are small. The words "Van Line" in the company name indicate the mover is a long distance, interstate specialist.

Van line is the name the moving industry designates for a large semi truck. Commonly, local intrastate movers act as "Agents" of a van line so they can refer their interstate customers to a partnered company.

Some movers are considered "Independent," which means they do both intrastate (local moves) and interstate moving themselves.

Make sure your mover is authorized and active

All interstate movers in the U.S. must have an MC (motor carrier) number. However, roughly 25% of the MC numbers of active moving companies are currently "Not Authorized."

This is likely due to mergers, acquisitions, or a change in company offering away from interstate and toward intrastate. All moving company listings on have a link to the USDOT/MC registration page, so you can verify, if needed, that the:

  • Operating Status says: Registered ("Active" means applying or intrastate only)
  • Operation Classification says: Auth. For Hire
  • Carrier Operation says: Interstate
  • Cargo Carried says: Household Goods
  • Power Units is at least: 1 (Number of trucks owned)

Requirements your interstate mover must meet

  • Be licensed with the US Department of Transportation
  • Give you a written estimate
  • Base a non-binding estimate on weight alone
  • Tell you if they are a broker/middleman
  • Give you a copy of the U.S. DOT publication, “Your Rights and Responsibilities when you move”.
  • Provide dispute resolution/arbitration information
  • Give you a Telephone number
  • Movers are entitled to payment before unloading the truck at your new address. However, if you agreed to a non-binding estimate (which must be based solely on weight), and the weight is heavier than estimated, causing the final price to be higher than the original estimate, you do not have to pay more than 110% of the original estimate at that time. The remainder can be invoiced for the balance in 30 days.