We understand moving is stressful and the TxDMV wants to help you to protect yourself. That’s why we say “Don’t Make A Move Without Us!” By law,Texas movers must be licensed with the TxDMV. If you hire one that isn’t, you risk losing your belongings. Keep in mind that the lowest price may not be the best deal – especially those offered on Internetmessage boards or sites. You might fall prey to a dishonest moving company that may demandmore money to unload your possessions or fails to show up for delivery. Before you hire a mover, first check our Truck Stop, the database that can tell you whether acompany is licensed with the TxDMV. A licensed Texas mover will have an “Active” TxDMVcertificate number on file.

Before Your Move – Choose Your Mover Carefully

  • All movers must be properly registered with an “Active” TxDMV certificate number for intrastate moves (moves withinthe state).Ask the mover to provide their TxDMV number and then verify that the number is “ACTIVE” by calling 1-888-368-4689 or go to: Visit This site
  • All registered movers are required to file a listing of their maximum rates (tariff) with the department. Request a from yourmover or contact the department at the toll-free number above.
  • Plan ahead and be prepared. Inform the mover of all items to be moved and services you’re expecting (i.e. intermediate stops,third floor moves, long distance carries, elevators, etc.) as this may impact your charges.
  • Ask questions. Don’t rely on verbal agreements. Make sure all arrangements regarding your move are documented.
  • All movers are required to provide you with a written proposal and contract PRIOR to loading your move. Obtain a signed written contract.
  • All movers are required to provide you with a “Rights and Responsibilities” brochure. Obtain a copy of thisdocument.
  • All movers assume liability for no more than .60 cents per pound per article. Ask your mover if they offer a higher level of liability.Keep in mind, this is not Insurance.
  • If you want to insure your items ask the mover if they offer transit insurance or contact an insurance company.
  • Check the condition of all your items prior to the move and inquire about an inventory with the mover.
  • Read all documents and understand all charges before you sign anything.

During Your Move – Packing & Loading

  • If you’re doing you own packing, pack with appropriate cartons and don’t overload. Label all fragile cartons.
  • Keep all valuables, important documents and medications with you. Remember, the mover’s liability is .60 cents per pound per article.
  • Accompany the mover if an inventory is conducted. Sign and agree to the inventoried items PRIOR to and AFTER the move.
  • Be available to the mover during the move to answer any questions or to give further instructions.
  • All movers are required to obtain your signature on the Moving Services Contract PRIOR to loading your shipment. Read thedocument before you sign it.
  • Take a final look around to make sure nothing is left behind.


  • Supervise the unloading of your shipment.
  • Check the condition of your items. Notify the mover immediately on any damaged items and notate it on all copies of your moving services contract.
  • Be prepared to pay the maximum amount listed on the written proposal.
  • All movers are required to provide you with a completed copy of the moving services contract upon delivery of your shipment,including an itemized billing of all charges.
  • If an inventory document was prepared, the mover is required to have you sign the document at the destinationpoint.
The TxDMV licenses moving companies and provides consumer protection information so you can make a smart move.

Texas law requires movers to give you:

  • A written proposal or estimate that shows either a guaranteed price ora “not to exceed” maximum amount for the move.
  • A written contract before the move.
  • Standard liability of 60 cents per pound per item. (Note: This is not insurance. However, you have the right to obtain insurance to further protect your items during the move.)
  • A brochure that outlines your rights and responsibilities under Texaslaw.
  • A final copy of the contract upon completion of the move that includes the total charges for the move; an itemized list of what the charges are for; and the method used to calculate the charges. If you decide to alter the original contract, you and the moving company representative must sign and date an amended contract.

Always remember:

  • If a moving deal seems too good to be true, it probably is.
  • Never accept a verbal quote or agreement.
  • Never hire an unlicensed mover. Texas movers must be licensed by theTxDMV.
  • Check the company’s license status by going to Moving Companies on www.TxDMV.gov.
  • Read the contract BEFORE signing it.
  • If a truck shows up without the company name and a US DOT orTxDMV number printed on it, be aware of the possible risk. (These numbers verify it’s a licensed moving company.)
  • If a mover attempts to hold your items hostage for additional payment not in your contract or threatens to drive off with your belongings, call your local police.

Charge disputes or damage claims must be fi led with the mover within 90 days after the move date. The TxDMV advises consumers on claims handling procedures, coordinates mediation, and responds to inquiries and complaints. More information is available at www.TxDMV.gov or by calling (888) 368-4689.

Read all documents before you sign your name.

Even though most movers are legitimate and reputable, unwary consumers may fall prey to dishonest moving companies and could lose more than just what they paid to have their items moved.


Once you’ve selected your mover, make sure to get your agreement in writing. A licensed mover will provide you with both a proposal/estimate and a moving services contract BEFORE they begin to load your items. Some will give you a combined form that includes both the proposal and the contract together. Prior to loading, the mover must provide you with a written proposal describing the services to be performed and indicating the maximum amount that you could be required to pay for their services. The proposal may be either binding or not-to-exceed:

  • 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.

To receive an accurate estimate, you must notify your mover of all items to be moved and specify required services such as moving your items up or down several flights of stairs, via long carries to/from your dwelling or using an elevator. Some movers will provide services such as these at an additional cost. The proposal should also indicate when payment is due and what forms of payment are accepted.


Licensed movers will also provide you with a moving services contract prior to loading your items. The items written on your proposal become a part of your contract along with the contract terms and conditions.

Don’t rely on any verbal agreements.

Be sure all agreements between you and your mover are written into the moving services contract. Last, but not least, remember to read all documents thoroughly and carefully before signing them.

You will have many choices when it comes to selecting a moving company. If your mover isn’t licensed to conduct moves in Texas, you could risk losing your material possessions, family heirlooms or other items of personal and irreplaceable value. It is illegal for a mover to operate without a license to conduct moves. You can check that your mover is licensed in Texas by checking our Truck Stop database. An “Active” certificate status means the mover is licensed. If you can’t find a moving company in our database, ask your mover to give you a copy of their TxDMV Certificate number and check that information in our Truck Stop database. Because prices and services offered vary from mover to mover, we recommend you shop around before hiring a licensed mover. Keep in mind that the lowest price may not make the best deal. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and make sure you get everything in writing. Licensed movers are insured and will provide you with the proper documents for your move.

How to Spot an Unlicensed Mover

Low Priced Moves

If it’s too good to be true, it probably is. What may look like a low cost move may not turn out to be a smart move. Unlicensed movers may advertise a very low cost for a move then increase the price once your items are loaded onto their truck. Your items would be in their custody until you pay the higher price.

Generic Contact Information

Unlicensed movers typically have no local business address, use cell phones as their business phones or answer the phone with vague terms as “Movers” or “Moving Company”. Ask questions. Ask the mover to give you their TxDMV certificate number; then check their number in our Truck Stop database.

Unmarked Trucks

Unlicensed movers will typically have no markings on their trucks or use rental trucks. TxDMV requires all licensed movers to have their name, TxDMV certificate number, USDOT number on both sides of their truck either permanently attached or with a magnetic sign.

No Proposal/Contract Documents

Unlicensed movers may not provide you with a proposal or contract document, or, may rush you through a contract form and make you sign it before reading it. A licensed mover will provide you with both a proposal and a contract document and will ask you to sign it at different stages of the move. A licensed mover will not assess additional charges after the contract is signed unless you both agree to them in writing. Please make sure you read any documents before you sign them.

No “Rights and Responsibility” brochure provided

All licensed movers are required to provide you this document prior to loading your items.