The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has proposed streamlining federal regulations that govern interstate household goods moving and storage companies.
The recommended changes are intended to streamline the documentation requirements and support increased efficiency for the transportation of household goods by interstate carriers and household goods brokers, improve consumer education and protection, and help combat fraud, according to FMCSA’s announcement.
If adopted, the proposed changes would:
• Include virtual surveys as an option for carriers and customers to use live video for goods surveys, rather than requiring carriers to survey in person the household goods that are to be moved
• Require moving companies to conduct virtual surveys beyond a 50-mile radius of the homeowner.
• Make a mover provide to a customer — before a contract is signed –the “Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move” booklet that is required by FMCSA.
• Replace a required freight bill with an invoice to increase clarity for customers regarding any outstanding balances that must be paid while also reducing repetitive paperwork for carriers.
• Remove the ability of mover or customer to revise a binding or a non-binding estimate. Instead, preparation of a new estimate could happen only when the customer tenders additional items to be moved or requests additional services.
The proposed rule incorporates some of the recommendations made by a Department of Transportation’s Household Goods Consumer Protection Working Group consisting of industry executives and federal government officials.