Search Movers

Search Suppliers

(562) 865-2900
(800) 672-1415

Consumer Assistance
Selecting a Mover
Moving Tips
Moving Forms
Pinnacle Award
Avoid Rogue Operators
International Moving
Glossary of Terms

Selecting a Mover


Be sure you check that the mover is licensed with the Bureau of Household Goods and Services (BHGS) when you are moving within the state of California. This license number is a Cal-T (6-digit number) and is to be shown on all documentation and advertising materials. Please feel free to call the California Moving and Storage Association (CMSA) or the Bureau of Household Goods and Services (BHGS) to check license status. The CMSA consumer hotline number for calls within California is (800) 672-1415. Never move with a mover whose license is non-existent, revoked, and or suspended.


Make every effort to arrange for your move well in advance of moving day. If you have more than a couple of rooms of furniture to move, it is advisable to call two or more movers to obtain written estimates for moving within California. Yes, it is important to evaluate rates/prices, but you also want to evaluate the company through their representative to be sure they are qualified to move your personal possessions. The carrier may also want to see your belongings to be sure they send out the right equipment and personnel to handle your move.

Find prospective movers in your area:

Find prospective movers in your area by contacting the CMSA (800-672-1415) within California, personal referrals, real estate brokers, and the yellow pages. Be wary of companies advertising on the internet, in certain local newspapers and/or handbills talking "cheap" price. Be especially careful in selecting movers over the internet. You want to make sure that you have a local address for the mover so that you know in fact that they are who they say they are and that they are a viable business in your community. Check to make sure that they are licensed and carry the required insurance coverage. Be sure they have evidence of workers' compensation insurance as well as cargo insurance. If they injure themselves at your residence and do not have the required workers' compensation coverage, you may be held liable. If they break or lose something, you want it fixed or replaced to the limits of their liability.

Carrier/Mover Liability:

Make sure the mover explains their basic liability and transit protection options and be sure to ask questions.


While always a factor in buying anything, do not select a mover on price alone. Permitted carriers are obligated to carry the above referenced insurance, to provide trained personnel, and clean and safe moving vans. That all costs money. Extremely cheap rates are a red flag that the service will be less than adequate, and the carrier will not have the mandated insurance and/or trained moving personnel.


This company is sending movers into your residence to handle and move your personal possessions. The lowest price, especially if it is far below the average price of other movers, may be a red flag. Be careful! Don't move priceless heirlooms on the cheap!


If you require storage space for your household effects for a short period of time prior to moving to a new residence, your CMSA member mover can assist you. The Bureau of Household Goods and Services regulates storage rates for short-term storage, less than 90 days, through a maximum rate tariff.

Long Term Storage (more than three months) is not regulated and rates can vary. Most household goods storage facilities store personal effects in wooden containers referred to as vaults. Common industry practice is to charge by the vault or by weight per month plus valuation protection.

Some self-storage companies offer storage and require you to load/unload your own vaults. This widely advertised service sounds inexpensive. However, be sure to check the monthly vault storage rates with those of a conventional household goods storage warehouse. Conventional storage facilities pricing is often far more reasonable. The possessions are stored in the same manner as self-storage vaults and you can access your belongings in the same manner as self-storage.

If you need information on reputable, safe, clean, and reasonably priced storage facilities, call or write the California Moving and Storage Association.

Not to Exceed Price:

For moves within California, the Bureau of Household Goods and Services (BHGS) regulations require all movers to provide each consumer with a written "not to exceed price" before the move commences. This price will be clearly disclosed on your Agreement For Service. The mover will have you sign this form before the move begins.

Important Information for persons moving within California:

This is a booklet mandated to be provided at the first-person contact between the consumer and the mover, unless the consumer has received the booklet from another mover.

Evaluate Service Presentations:

Listen and evaluate the mover's presentation of services and price. Usually, an individual presentation stands out in clarity, and your questions and concerns are professionally answered to your satisfaction.

Visit the Mover:

Drive by, stop in the office and buy a box. Make sure the mover has a business. See the trucks at the business site. Look around to make sure these are the kind of people you wish to invite into your residence to handle/move your personal possessions.


A CMSA Member:

Select a mover with the CMSA designation. You should want a mover who abides to a code of ethics, operates clean and safe trucks, and utilizes trained personnel. They will provide the quality service at fair and competitive prices.

For more information or assistance call
(562) 865-2900 or (800) 672-1415

Updated: June 2021

California Moving & Storage Association 1998-2013
10900 E. 183rd St., Ste 300, Cerritos, CA 90703-5370
(562) 865-2900 - (800) 672-1415 - (562) 865-2944 Fax