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Does Your Moving Company Need a License? A Statewide Guide

a young woman in the kitchen cutting open a moving box

Finding a moving company you trust can be hard — especially if you don’t know what you’re looking for. Personal recommendations, online reviews, and consumer reports are a good place to start, but they’re not the end of the road. In most states, moving companies must also be officially registered or licensed in some way.

You’ll want to make sure your movers of choice are in compliance. Not only does proper licensing prove a company’s legitimacy, but it may also give you more leverage if you need to file a complaint or challenge your final invoice later.

Licensing requirements vary significantly from state to state. Some states have loosey-goosey rules, while others mandate a license number with specific agencies. Any company that is moving interstate must have a registered number with the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT), and some states require all local movers to obtain one as well. Find your state below to see what is required where you’re hiring a mover.

No Local License Required

A few states don’t require any local registration or license for moving trucks or drivers. If you live in one of the following states, don’t be alarmed if your moving company isn’t registered with the regional department of transportation.

States that only require a USDOT license:

  • Alaska (only USDOT)
  • Arizona (only USDOT)
  • Delaware
  • District of Columbia
  • Maine (only USDOT)
  • Maryland (only USDOT)
  • Rhode Island
  • South Dakota (only USDOT)
  • Utah (only USDOT)
  • Vermont

Local Registration Required

In addition to registering with the federal DOT, many states mandate local movers to be on file with regional travel authorities. This helps states make sure moving trucks are up to par for safety, and that drivers have the appropriate licensing as well. If you are planning a move in one of the following states, you can check with the associated DOT or regulating agency to make sure the company is properly registered.

States that require local registration for moving trucks and drivers:

  • Alabama: Alabama Public Service Commission number required
  • California: California Public Utilities Commission number required
  • Colorado: HHC license and PRC license required
  • Connecticut: Connecticut Public Transportation Commission number required
  • Florida: Intrastate Movers number required
  • Georgia: Georgia Public Service Commission number required
  • Hawaii: Public Utilities Commission number required
  • Idaho: Idaho DOT registration required
  • Illinois: Illinois Commerce Commission number required
  • Indiana: Intrastate Household Goods certificate required
  • Iowa: IOWAMC permit number required
  • Kansas: Motor Carrier Identification number required
  • Kentucky: KYU number, KIT number and IFTA license required
  • Louisiana: Common Carrier certificate required
  • Massachusetts: MDPU number required
  • Michigan: Michigan Public Service Commission number required
  • Minnesota: MNDOT registration required
  • Mississippi: Mississippi Public Service Commission number required
  • Missouri: MODOT number required
  • Nebraska: Approved “Form A” and “Form H” required
  • New Hampshire: NHPC number required
  • New Jersey: NJPC number required
  • New Mexico: Public Regulatory Commission number required
  • New York: NYDOT number required
  • North Carolina: Intrastate Moving number required
  • North Dakota: State number required
  • Ohio: PUCO number required
  • Oklahoma: Intrastate number with PIN required
  • Pennsylvania: PUC number required
  • South Carolina: SCP-SC number required
  • Texas: TXDOT number required
  • Virginia: VA DMV permit required
  • Washington: WTC number required
  • West Virginia: Certificate of Convenience & Necessity – Household Goods required
  • Wisconsin: Local Cartage number required
  • Wyoming: DOC number required

Bingo Stamps

Bingo stamps used to be a common type of licensing. Under this type, trucks had to have a stamp for each state where they would travel on their cab and each sticker cost money. In the mid-90s the practice largely fell by the wayside to make room for other regional regulations. Some states still use them, though.

States that still require bingo stamps:

  • Arkansas
  • Louisiana
  • Tennessee