Checking Credentials of Moving Companies

Checking Credentials of Moving Companies

To wrap up this series on hiring reputable movers, we want to cover the most vital information we could possibly provide. When you hire a moving company, the first step you should take is checking credentials. Check their licensing, insurance, reviews, complaints, etc. This information means everything. If your moving company isn’t properly licensed or insured, then get a new one ASAP.

U.S. DOT# – What is it, and what does it mean?

A DOT# serves as a unique identifier for a company. This number collects information and monitoring when dealing with safety, compliance reviews, crash investigations, and inspections. When a company receives a DOT#, it’s registered with the United States Department of Transportation. Bottom line, it lets people know that a company is legal. Safe. Professional. And in compliance with all federal guidelines. It should be your first step in checking credentials.

All moving companies should have their DOT# posted on their company website. And you shouldn’t have to search for it in the fine print. Once you know the company’s number, visit the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Website and enter the number. You’ll find all the information about the company you could ever want. This includes a safety rating, location, contact information, registration status, type of authority, and complaints.

A screenshot of our website showing out DOT# - all insurance companies should have one - checking credentials is crucial
Our DOT# in the footer of our website

Note, if a company has no DOT#, or is not currently registered with the Department of Transportation, run the other way; find a new company ASAP.


One huge measure of a company’s trustworthiness is that they provide insurance to their customers. If a company has no insurance, you will be left with the entire bill to replace lost or damaged items. For example, if your 65” flat screen TV cracked during the move, you would pay out of pocket for that damage yourself. If a company is insured, they would foot the bill for the damage  they incurred.

Even more important than that – it’s actually illegal for a moving company not to be insured. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, all interstate movers are required by law to offer two types of insurance. These are Full Value Protection, and Released Value Protection insurance. Full Value Protection means that the company must reimburse you for the full value of any item that was lost or damaged during the move. This plan varies by mover. On the other hand, Released Value Protection provides reimbursement of $0.60 per pound of any item lost or damaged. This is the most economical protection available for movers. To read more about these insurance options, read the FMSCA’s article.

To check whether or not your moving company is properly insured, please visit the FMSCA Safe System. This is a great tool to look up other information as well. You can use the company’s DOT# or the company name with this tool.

Two mover helpers moving a large china cabinet into the back of a moving truck - checking credentials for insurance is vital!
Check for insurance!

Reviews and Complaints

Testimonials and stories serve as a great way to check whether or not a moving company is legitimate. This is a key step to hiring your next mover. If you search Google for the moving company, you’ll find plenty of reviews. You can also check their website for testimonials – but keep in mind that companies can cherry pick these to show themselves in the best possible light. Other great tools to use are Facebook, Yelp!, and word of mouth.

Another way to check the official complaints and ratings is to visit the Better Business Bureau’s website. The BBB assigns ratings based on complaints they have received from the public. The ratings are assigned an A+ through an F, just like the moving company was back in high school. 

Summing it all up

When you hire a company to move everything you own, it’s crucial that you both get a good vibe from them and check their credentials. If you ask all the right questions, and they can’t or won’t answer, be very wary and do your own research. Use the tools we’ve provided above to look up the DOT#, insurance information, reviews, and complains.

We want to make sure everyone is educated about hiring reputable movers. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to  contact Theresa Meyer, the owner of Move It With M & S, LLC at 816-689-2627.

For more information about hiring reputable movers, please visit our other blog posts. We’ve posted multiple articles about avoiding moving scams and hiring legitimate moving companies.