Why Does a Moving Company Need a DOT Number?

When looking for a moving company, you want to be sure the business is properly licensed and in good standing with local and federal governments. The moving industry is a highly regulated industry within the United States. However, there are many companies that fly under the radar by operating their business outside the authority of the government. This is also known as operating illegally, and can be very dangerous for the uninformed consumer who hires them and regrets it later. You may have no recourse for problems that arise before, during, or after the relocation, if you do not check the moving company’s credentials beforehand.

You want to know you’re spending your hard-earned money with a professional mover that is abiding by the law, is properly licensed, and carries the proper insurance coverage to protect you and your belongings. This is why you should only hire a moving company that has either a US DOT number or the proper state registration – whichever is needed (but sometimes both are required).

A moving company’s USDOT number is its U.S. Department of Transportation number, usually called a DOT number, which proves the business has registered its operation with the federal government and is operating legally.

Depending on whether your move is a state-to-state (interstate) move or within the same state (intrastate or local), there are different regulations the moving company must follow. And within each state, there may be an agency that governs the movers located there. Over half of the states require intrastate movers to have a USDOT number in addition to the local and state regulations. You can find the list here.

For example, in Kansas a moving company must register its operation with the federal government (FMCSA) to receive its USDOT number as well as with the Kansas Corporation Commission for a KCC Motor Carrier ID.

In Missouri, the process is very similar. In addition to applying for a USDOT number, moving companies must undergo a rigorous process to gain operating authority with the Missouri Department of Transportation: Motor Carrier Services. In both states, as well as most others in the union, registered movers must adhere to certain safety standards and policies concerning their trucks, drivers, and overall company operations. They must also pass regular vehicle safety inspections.

Rest assured that all our franchise operations are properly licensed and insured. To get a company snapshot, visit the FMCSA’s website and search for our name or any other moving company you would like research.

Feel free to check out ProtectYourMove.gov for more helpful tips.

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