March 8, 2013
For more information:
Dave Thompson, ODOT, 503-860-8021, David.H.Thompson@odot.state.or.us
Lt. Steve Alexander, MCSO, 503-988-4300, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Oregon Department of Transportation partnered with Multnomah County Sheriff’s Deputies this week on an undercover enforcement operation focusing on unlicensed and/or uninsured moving operations.
Consumer protection is a key goal of the operation. Illegal household goods movers often advertise on websites or bulletin boards, offering to help people move for a fee. Many consumers don't realize these companies don't have legal operating authority or insurance and, in some cases, safe vehicles and drivers.
In Tuesday’s operation, ODOT Motor Carrier staff pre-identified eight non-certified moving companies and made appointments to meet at a decoy house in Gresham. Movers were met by ODOT and law enforcement officers who checked drivers and equipment for possible violations:
Inspectors found 40 violations and issued 25 citations to the eight moving companies. Two citations, for driving uninsured, demonstrate how risky using noncertified movers can be.
Moving is a regulated industry in Oregon. Any company or person that offers household goods moving services must be certified by ODOT. Certified movers are trained to follow industry standards for loading, moving and unloading property and are required to charge approved, reasonable rates. They must carry liability and property damage insurance, and their vehicles must meet federal safety standards.
Consumers who hire an unlicensed mover may have little or no recourse for loss or damage to their property; they may be charged higher than normal fees; and they may be at higher risk for property or identity theft. The best way consumers can protect themselves during the moving process is to hire a certified moving company. A list of certified companies is available online at http://egov.oregon.gov/ODOT/MCT/MOVING.shtml.