Moving is a big investment of both your time and your money. In a perfect world, you wouldn’t have to spend your valuable time vetting potential Houston moving companies. However, you do need to do some homework in order to properly protect your move. And for every great moving company that exists, there’s at least one disreputable mover — or worse, a total scam.
But all of that is no reason to get frustrated. You can protect your move by verifying your movers’ credentials and looking out for red flags. This process is straightforward and only takes a few minutes. And with a few tips, you’ll easily recognize the scammers. Keep reading to learn about the verification process and the red flags to look out for.
How To Verify Movers’ Credentials and Protect Your Move
A few simple searches and some time are all you need to ensure you’ve found a good moving company.
Red Flag: They don’t have a valid USDOT or TXDMV number.
Every moving company or commercial vehicle has to have a US DOT number, which is a registration with the Department of Transportation. This number can be a clue into the reputation of the company and its drivers.
Professional moving companies must register with the United States Department of Transportation as a commercial vehicle hauling cargo. In addition, they must also register with the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles. Most companies display these numbers directly on their websites. If not, the office staff should provide them when you ask. Be sure to follow up with an online search to make sure the numbers are valid.
Houston Moving Companies And DOT Number
If you are planning a move, you should not only read company reviews, but you should also look up the company’s DOT number. Read on to find out what these numbers mean, how they’re relevant, and how you can benefit from understanding how they work. Check out the infographic below for a quick snapshot.
What is a DOT Number?
As a means of regulation, the US Department of Transportation requires that any company crossing state lines to transport people or cargo have a DOT number. Any moving company operating in multiple states is required to have a DOT number, which tells consumers plenty about who’s caring for their precious belongings.
Why DOT Numbers Matter for Consumers
Like a CarFax report, looking up a moving company’s DOT number can give you unique insights.
DOT numbers track numerous company metrics and records, such as vehicle and driver inspections, previous collisions, vehicle repairs, and federal safety ratings. This information is invaluable when you’re trusting someone else with your belongings.
How To Check a DOT Number
The easiest way to check your moving company’s DOT number is by checking online. The US Department of Transportation keeps these records in the Safety and Fitness Electronic Records (SAFER) system. Simply enter the moving company’s name and a list will appear. Click on the correct company, and you can access their information.
The first section is the company snapshot, which is “a condensed view of the company’s profile as maintained by the Motor Carrier Management Information System (MCMIS).” In the snapshot, you’ll discover where the company can travel, the limitations of its cargo, and other legal information.
The information on inspections, crashes, and safety ratings are located below the snapshot. Don’t forget that you can always request a Company Safety Profile (CSP) online if you want even more information. If you have trouble with some of the complex terms used on the company snapshot, you can refer to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) general page.
Watch the video below to learn about moving insurance and checking your movers’ DOT number.
Red Flag: They have no online presence.
Nowadays, having a website is an important part of doing business. Not every professional company has a cleanly designed website with all the bells and whistles, and that’s okay. But they should maintain some sort of digital presence, whether it’s a website, Yelp, or Facebook. If they don’t, consider it a sign of a possible moving scam.
Red Flag: They have negative feedback on consumer protection sites.
Thanks to organizations like Movingscam, you can easily weed through unprofessional movers. This volunteer-run site is filled with articles, reviews, message boards, and professional recommendations.
Consumer advocates screen moving companies through:
- The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
- Various state associations
- Independent sites
- Word of mouth
- On-site surveys
A simple search should tell you whether your prospective movers are reputable.
Don’t let the thought of dishonest moving companies get you down. You can find excellent professional movers right here in Houston. In fact, Ameritex Movers is the top choice for a safe, reliable move.
Ameritex - Stress-Free Services From Your Favorite Houston Moving Company
At Ameritex, we are proudly registered with US DOT. You can find our number on the bottom of every page of our website. We are located in the heart of Houston, and we love the community we serve.
We are dedicated to providing a Stress-Free Move. We provide each of our customers with a safe, successful, and completely customized moving experience. Whether you’re moving into an apartment, home, or setting up a new office, our knowledgeable staff will be with you every step of the way.