The interstate transport of household goods is regulated at the Federal level by the United States Department of Transportation.  

, the rights, obligations and liability of the mover and the shipper are exclusively governed by Federal law, specifically, the Carmack Amendment 1, a subpart of the Interstate Commerce Act.  The Carmack Amendment is presently codified at 49 U.S.C. Section 14706 et seq.  Subsequent regulation can be found at the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) DOT Regulations 370 through 375. The Carmack Amendment, and the tariff under which the carrier operates establishes a procedure which requires prompt payment of freight charges and sets forth a detailed claims handling process which governs the carrier’s investigation, adjustment, and, if warranted, resolution of the shipper’s claim.

 

 



[1] The courts have uniformly held that the Carmack Amendment preempts all state and common law claims and provides the sole and exclusive remedy to shippers for loss or damage in interstate transit. Hughes Aircraft v. North American Van Lines, 970 F.2d 609, 613 (9th Cir. 1992). The preemptive effect of the Carmack Amendment also applies to claims of damage or loss relating to storage and other services rendered by interstate carriers. Margetson v. United Van Lines, Inc., 785 F.Supp. 917, 919 (D.M. 1991).

 

 

However, states may require additional licenses and standards for moving companies operating in their state borders.

To the right are links to various Federal and State agencies.

The state agencies control moves within their borders (intrastate).

National Agencies

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)

Surface Transportation Board (STB)

US Department of Transportation (DOT)

State Agencies

California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC)