Safe Shipping Guide
Selecting a Service Provider

Carriers, service providers and movers that operate for hire across state lines are required to have a Motor Carrier (MC) number and be USDOT (Department of Transportation) licensed, which is issued by the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration). The USDOT Number serves as a unique identifier when collecting and monitoring a company’s safety information acquired during audits, compliance reviews, crash investigations and inspections. Also, commercial intrastate hazardous materials carriers who haul quantities requiring a safety permit must register for a USDOT Number. They must also have a commercial driver’s licenses (CDL), which includes testing requirements for drugs and alcohol.

The regulations only apply to a mover when the mover transports your goods by motor vehicle in interstate commerce. In other words, they move from one state to the next. These regulations do not apply to those carriers who move items within a single commercial zone - defined roughly as a local metro area such as New York City or Dallas-Ft. Worth commercial zone.

What is a Non-Compliant Service Provider?

A non-compliant carrier, sometimes called an "illegal carrier", is a service provider that may not be fully licensed to operate for hire across state lines. Often, these carriers can offer their services at a lower price and are sometimes less experienced than a compliant carrier, but this isn’t always the case. Know that uShip does not prequalify or validate the claims of service providers with respect to their license, insurance or other operating authority. While uShip does not, in fact, cannot legally qualify movers on your behalf, we do identity verification and fraud detection, and work with SaferWatch, a third-party service that verifies that the business, authority, licensure and insurance information listed on service providers’ uShip accounts is consistent with FMCSA records. SaferWatch also monitors whether a service provider's authority and insurance is active or inactive.

What is a Rogue Mover?

A rogue mover is not really a mover at all. These are con-artists or scammers who pose as carriers but take advantage of unwitting customers who don’t do their homework, use common sense or listen to their instincts. Remember, fraud takes place all across the Internet - the moving and shipping industries are not immune. Be sure to follow all recommended steps to make sure you are protected.

Which Service Provider is Right for You?

Understanding the difference between compliant and non-compliant carriers is vital when doing your homework before selecting a service provider. You, as a uShip customer, have the right to choose whichever carrier is appropriate for your move. By and large, the items people move tend to be important to them; so selecting a licensed, experienced carrier is usually preferred and something uShip highly recommends.

It’s important to know that even though a service provider may be fully licensed with a USDOT Number, it does not guarantee customer satisfaction. This is where uShip’s Feedback and Customer Reviews systems can really help identify both positive and negative trends in a service provider’s service.’s “To Do” List, a government website created to inform people of their rights and responsibilities when moving goods, has provided this important "to do" list to help you select the right mover for you:

  1. Get a written estimate from several movers
    The estimate should be based on an actual inspection of your household goods. Note that on uShip, the accepted quote price of your shipment is an all-inclusive estimate provided by your service provider.
  2. Make sure the mover has insurance and is licensed by the proper authority
    For service providers who provide services from one State to another, a USDOT number is issued by FMCSA. You can double-check a mover’s license on For moves within a State, requirements vary. Check with your state, county or local consumer affairs agency or your State attorney general.
  3. Remember your priorities when choosing a mover
    If you hire a mover based solely on the cheapest price, you may be sacrificing other things that are actually more important, such as getting your possessions moved and delivered on time. And remember, movers are required by law to deliver your goods for no more than ten percent above the price of a non-binding estimate. This is known as the 110% rule. Note that on uShip, the accepted quote price of your shipment is an all-inclusive estimate provided by your service provider.
  4. Do your homework
    Read "Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move", a booklet from the Federal government that your mover is required to give you if you are moving from one state to another. This booklet also has information you’ll need if your goods are lost or damaged during the move. Finally, check the mover’s complaint history with local consumer advocacy organizations, such as the Better Business Bureau.

For additional resources on protecting your move, as well as your rights and responsibilities, refer to

Carrier Fact:
With 3.2 million jobholders, trucking is one of the largest occupations in the country.(Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics)