TxDMV warns Texas residents about unlicensed moving companies

The Texas Department of Motor Vehicles (TxDMV) has issued a consumer alert advising residents who may be looking to hire a moving company for an upcoming move to be smart and protect themselves against unlicensed companies adding that moving companies are required to have a license with TxDMV.

The alert stated that in 2017, Texas had 875 licensed moving companies and TxDMV had received complaints involving 379 of them. It was found that 169 of the complained about movers were unlicensed.

“Hiring an unlicensed moving company is like inviting a burglar into your house, showing him which of your possessions are the most valuable and watching him load them into a truck and drive away, perhaps never to be seen again. Don’t make a move without us! The first thing you should do before hiring a mover is check with TxDMV,” said TxDMV Executive Director Whitney Brewster.

These tips were given by TxDMV to help those who are planning to move spot an unlicensed moving company.

  • Don’t Make a Move Without Us: Check TxDMV’s Truck Stop database at www.TxDMV.gov online to verify whether a company is properly licensed.
  • Low Price Moves: What looks 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 such as “Movers” or “Moving Company.” Ask questions. Ask the mover to give you their TxDMV certificate number then verify that number with TxDMV.
  • 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 and 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 the changes in writing. Please make sure you carefully review 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.

Brewster adds, “The Texas Department of Motor Vehicles does not tolerate unscrupulous moving companies ripping of innocent Texans. Our goal is to protect Texas consumers and get crooked operators off the streets and out of business for good.”

The TxDMV has the authority to assist residents with verifying a mover’s license and negotiating the release of undelivered goods, mediating disputes about damage claims, and informing local law enforcement about suspected criminal activity involving a moving company.

To file a complaint about a mover that is allegedly not following rules and regulations, or to verify the legitimacy of a moving company, visit www.TxDMV.gov.

Consumers are advised to call their local law enforcement if a hired mover may be holding items hostage for additional payment or if they threaten to drive away and keep your things.