Moving Documents And Paperwork You’ll Need When Moving

Moving Documents And Paperwork You’ll Need When Moving

If you hire a moving company for relocation, what moving documents and paperwork do you have to deal with?

Before you sign any deal with any professional moving company, and after you do, odds are you’ll be given several moving documents and paperwork. It’ll be easier to deal with whatever is in any document you’re given when you already know what to expect and what they all mean.

Here are the necessary moving documents and paperwork the moving company you hire will provide:

Moving Documents And Paperwork

Moving Estimates

The moving estimate as the name implies is the estimated cost of what it’ll takes to move your household goods. Before you sign any contract with any moving company, the company must provide you with an estimate. The estimate will indicate the type of move and how the charges are arrived at. There are 3 types of Moving estimate and you can choose which one is right for you.

You may request for an in-home estimate which requires the moving company’s representative to visit your home and inspect what you intend to move before coming up with an estimate. When you get a moving estimate, feel free to ask any question about what is on the estimate and how it was arrived at.

Also, do not hesitate  to tell the movers about any other service you may need during the move or about any item that may require special packing or moving. It will help the movers come up with a more accurate estimate and give you a better idea of what to expect on your final quote. Read more about fragile items you shouldn’t pack yourself.

Order for Service

If you agree to the estimate the movers provide, the next document they’ll offer you is the Order for Service. The Order for Service is your agreement and permission that the moving company can move your household items.

take inventory of your moving items
The Order for Service is your agreement and permission that the moving company can move your household items. Photo by Morgan
@ Flickr / CC BY

The Order for Service provides all the necessary information you’ll need to be aware of before you move.  The document will indicate the terms of the contract, pick-up date, the estimated delivery date, (for a long-distance move the delivery date is often a range of possible dates), the estimated charges, and insurance coverage.

The terms of contract will indicate the type of moving truck to be used for the move, cancellation policy, types of goods the moving company will not move, and extra charges your type of move may incur etc.

Before you sign any moving contract, read the Order for Service carefully. Ask questions if you don’t understand anything on the document. If you don’t agree with any thing on the Order for Service and if you’re not satisfied with the answers you get after asking questions, don’t sign to it.

Bill of Lading

The moving company you hire will provide the Bill of Lading on the moving day. The Bill of Lading will highlight your agreement to the moving contract. Without this document, the movers cannot move your household items.

All the terms you agree to on previous forms must tally with the ones on the Bill of Lading. If you observe any irregularities, notify the movers. Make sure you carefully take note of the listed fees and observe if they match what was quoted earlier. Do not sign the form if you don’t agree to any part of the deal.

If you agree to the deal and sign the form, the movers will also sign to it and give you a copy. Keep your copy of the document with you at all times. The document signifies your official record of the move and its your receipt of the moving company’s service.

Home Inventory Sheet

The home inventory sheet is the document that indicates a list of all your household items the moving company will be responsible for moving. The list can contain items such as furniture, appliances, clothes, kitchen utensils etc. The moving company will fill out the home inventory sheet as they move items out of your home. Each item will be tagged and noted on the sheet.

It’s absolutely important for you to pay attention to the inventory taking process. Make sure each of your household items is tagged and documented on the inventory sheet properly. Most often, the movers may insist that you take record of the tag number to guarantee your full agreement and to ensure none of your items are missing.

This moving document is a proof and a guarantee that your items have been loaded in the mover’s truck and inventoried. Also, the inventory sheet will be used to record the arrival of your items in your new home. The movers will ask you to sign the sheet after your items have been delivered and accounted for.

Before you sign the inventory sheet at the point of delivery, observe any damage or missing item and note it. Such items must be flagged and the movers must sign that such items are actually damaged or missing. Such acknowledgement would make it easier for you to make claims.  Here is how you can file claims for lost or damaged items while moving.

High Value Inventory Sheet

You may own items of high value or precious items which you intend to move. Such items could be artworks, jewelries, or a musical instrument such as a piano. The moving company will offer you a separate list of high value items and the cost of moving each.

Make sure your high value items are tagged appropriately and the costs tally with your previous agreement.

Some moving companies may choose to pack such items themselves. But if you insist on packing them, take adequate safety measures to avoid damage and preserve their value. Make sure you carefully inspect such items upon delivery. If you observe any damage, notify the moving company.

Your rights and responsibilities when you move

Moving companies are mandated by the FMCSA to give you a booklet titled “Your rights and responsibilities when you move.” If the moving company you hire couldn’t provide this document, odds are you’ve hired a rogue moving company. The booklet contains your rights as a moving consumer and the responsibilities of whatever moving company you hire.

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