Moving

Find resources to help you when you're moving.

Avoid Moving Fraud

While most moving companies are reputable businesses that do quality work, some companies use fraudulent practices. They may:

  • Demand cash upfront before the move
  • Avoid giving you a written estimate
  • Ask you to sign a blank contract in advance
  • Only have one cell phone number as a contact and no local physical address
  • Show up to your house with a rental truck with no company logo on it
  • Give you a quote over the phone without any onsite inspection of your goods
  • Give you a low price and change the estimate substantially at your destination
  • Hold your belongings hostage until you pay more money

Report moving scams

How to protect yourself

Get tools from Protect Your Move to help you protect yourself against moving fraud. And keep these tips in mind to avoid moving scams:

Do

  • Get a company representative to come to your home for a realistic estimate of the move.
  • Get a written estimate from several movers. In general, estimates are based on time, the number of movers needed, who does the packing, and the number of rooms to be moved.
  • Verify that the company is insured in case your goods are damaged during the move.
  • Ask for the company’s U.S. Department of Transportation DOT number and use the FMCSA database to check if the company is registered.
  • Reach out to your local, county, or state consumer affairs agency or state attorney general to see if there is a complaint record.

Don’t

  • Don’t accept an estimate over the phone.
  • Don’t sign a blank contract.
  • Don’t pay for the move in advance or in cash.
  • Don’t let movers start packing your goods into the truck without reviewing the contract and estimate again before the move starts.

International Move

Get tips and resources about moving to another country:

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Change Your Address

Are you moving? Report your change of address to continue receiving mail and government benefits.

Change Your Address with the Postal Service

  • Go to USPS.com/move to change your address online. This is the preferred method for speed and convenience, and you immediately get an email confirmation of the change.
  • Go to your local post office and request a Movers Guide.

You can also ask the USPS to temporarily change your address or hold your mail.

Change Your Address with Other Government Agencies

Other federal and state agencies to contact when changing your address include:

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Utility Services

When moving into a house or an apartment, you may have to pay for utility services like gas, electricity or water. You can apply for these services on the phone, online, or in person. 

Starting Utility Services

Your city or county government may handle some utility services like water, sewage, and garbage collection. In many states, you can choose your telephone and energy service providers. Contact your state utility commission for a list of service providers and advice on making a choice.

  • Letter of guarantee: If you are a new utility customer or have a poor payment history, the utility company may require you to pay a deposit or get a letter from someone who agrees to pay your bill if you don’t. 

Switching Utility Providers

Your state's public utilities company may allow you to "unbundle" your electric (or gas) service, so you can purchase the utilities from one company and the delivery of them from another. For more information on switching utility providers, contact your state's public utilities commission.

Billing

Once you have established service, you should start receiving your bills at regular intervals, usually monthly or quarterly. Utility bills are based on the amount of energy or water you actually use. However, if you live in an apartment complex, the amount you pay for some utilities may be prorated or split. Contact the service provider if you see charges you do not understand or didn't authorize on your bill.

To Lower Your Utility Costs:

File a Complaint

File a complaint with the company If your utility company fails to meet its service requirements. Contact your state's utility commission If that does not work. 

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Last Updated: September 19, 2017

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