Reputable moving companies in Houston tend to have a few things in common, including proudly displaying their U.S. DOT numbers, advertising their insurance, providing testimonials, being accredited with the Better Business Bureau (BBB), providing on-site quotes and mentioning details about the training given to their employees. With so many less than professional moving companies offering their services, the only way to protect personal belongings, prevent scams, and receive fair rates is to locate some reputable moving companies in Houston to choose from. It is always a good idea to compare multiple businesses in order to have a good idea of the quotes that are available.
Required Licensing For Movers In Houston
An independent branch of the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), is responsible for overseeing compliance with the interstate requirements, rules and regulations for reputable moving companies. The purpose of this administration was primarily for consumer protection and safety. For this reason, commercial motor carriers must be registered with the FMCSA and obtain a U.S. DOT number. This number allows its motor carrier holders to conduct interstate commerce and transport hazardous chemicals within a state, so long as the drivers are qualified and have the proper license.
In addition to FMCSA federal regulations, commercial motor carriers must adhere to the regulations, taxes, registration requirements and procedures of every state their business passes through in order to be a reputable moving company. Regulations vary depending on the state in which the carrier operates and on whether they are providing intrastate moving or interstate moving services. For example, in Texas all commercial motor vehicle registrants are required to obtain a U.S. DOT number and operators of commercial motor vehicles must also have a commercial driver’s license (CDL).
To protect consumers, the FMCSA requires interstate motor carriers to offer liability options in the form of either full value protection or released value. The basic released value option only covers 60 cents per pound if there is damage, regardless of the personal property value. For those who would like additional coverage, some motor carriers may give customers the option of purchasing additional third party liability insurance.
The FMCSA website provides a great deal of information about consumer protection from fraud. They suggest getting written estimates done on-site, using the FMCSA site to verify the business has the required U.S. DOT number and insurance, check complaint history with the Better Business Bureau and refer to a booklet published on the aforementioned website that federal law requires be supplied when in the planning stages of a move. It outlines the rights and responsibilities of consumers.
The American Moving & Storage Association (AMSA) is a trade association that administers the ProMover certification program. It is not a government agency, but uses public information to verify member adherence to its policies. Interstate businesses with this certification must pass a criminal background check and have a satisfactory or better rating with the BBB. Certified businesses must also sign a contract requiring their compliance with FMCSA and Surface Transportation Board regulations and the AMSA code of ethics. The ethics code basically requires those with certification to strive to improve quality of service and integrity. Failure to do so results in the loss of certification and AMSA membership.
There are plenty of reputable moving companies in Houston, and finding one only requires a little bit of research that is well worth the effort.