A mover who transports a shipment of household goods strictly within Texas is required to register with Tx DMV and follow consumer protection guidelines. However, the prices charged by movers, including valuation fees and insurance premiums, are not set by Tx DMV.
You will have many choices of household goods
movers. Since the prices and services offered vary
from mover to mover, you may want to shop around
before hiring a mover. Additionally, you may wish to
call Tx DMV at 888-368-4689 to verify whether your mover is properly
registered. Tx DMV can also give information about
the mover’s complaint history and annual report. You
may also want to contact other sources such as the
Better Business Bureau for information.
Prior to loading, your mover must provide a written proposal. The proposal must provide the maximum amount you will be required to pay at the delivery. The proposal must be one of two types: 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. Informing your mover of all items to be moved and services you expect the mover to provide will assist the mover in making the proposal. If possible, you should find out exactly what services you will need the mover to perform at your destination. Services at the destination may include “stair carries,” “long carries,” and elevator use. Due to the additional labor required to provide these services, additional fees may be charged by your mover. Informing the mover before the move of all items to be moved and services to be provided will help avoid misunderstandings and help prevent the need to amend the proposal.
Your mover has a basic liability of 60 cents per
pound per article. This means if your 50-pound
television is damaged, your mover is liable for a
maximum of only $30. Although your mover cannot
reduce his liability below 60 cents per pound per
article, he may agree in writing to assume a higher
level of liability. Your shipment will be valued at 60
cents per pound per article unless you and your
mover agree to a higher level of liability on your
moving services contract. Your mover may assess
an additional fee (sometimes referred to as a
valuation fee) for assuming the higher level of
liability. Noting a higher level of mover liability
(valuation) is not the same as purchasing transit
You may wish to purchase transit insurance to
cover loss or damage to your goods. Your mover
may offer to sell you this type of policy or it may be
purchased directly from an insurance company.
Transit insurance is not regulated by Tx DMV or the
Texas Department of Insurance, so be sure to read
the transit insurance policy and understand the
coverage and any deductibles. Your mover is
required to provide you with a copy of the policy or
other appropriate evidence of insurance purchased
You should be prepared to pay the maximum
amount of money shown on the written proposal
provided by your mover. The proposal must explain
when you will be required to pay your mover and
what forms of payment are accepted, such as
personal checks or credit cards. Remember that the
last amended contract or written proposal lists the
total price that you may be required to pay at
In scheduling your move, consider the dates and
times for pickup and delivery. Advise your mover of
any deadlines that you might have with regards to
pickup and delivery. To ensure that there is no
confusion, note these deadlines either on your
written proposal or moving services contract. If you
are not available at the agreed times, the pickup
and delivery may be delayed, and you may be
charged additional fees.
Your mover may offer to prepare a descriptive
inventory of the shipment. The inventory will list your
goods and note their condition. The mover may
charge a fee for this service only if you agree to the
preparation of the inventory. The mover will ask you
to sign the inventory after loading and possibly after
unloading. As with any shipping document, you
should review it for accuracy when your shipment is
picked up and delivered.
Important: Since inventories are often used during the claim process, inspect your shipment carefully. Make sure all boxes and items are accounted for at delivery. If there is obvious loss or damage, note this on the inventory at delivery.
Your mover will prepare a moving services contract.
The moving services contract may be in the form of
a bill of lading, work ticket, or other receipt. This
contract lists important information about your move,
including your name, the mover’s name, and the
mover’s limitation of liability for loss or damage to
your goods. The agreements on your written
proposal provided by your mover become a part of
your contract. Be sure all agreements between you
and your mover, including services to be provided at
the destination, are written on the moving services
contract. Do not rely on any verbal agreements.
Make sure all documents offerred by the mover for
your signature are filled out as much as possible
before you sign.