Mover News - Fall 2022

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Fall 2022


UTC to update motor carrier safety rules

Last July, the commission announced plans to update its motor carrier safety rules, a process that will align its rules with those of other state and federal transportation agencies. The UTC anticipates having draft rules available for public comment by the end of 2022.

The commission started the rule review in response to a report from its Transportation Safety staff that identified UTC rules that either overlapped, were inconsistent with, or created confusion alongside commercial vehicle rules from the Washington State Patrol (WSP) and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).

In addition to household goods movers, the UTC plans to consider changes to existing safety rules for passenger transportation carriers and solid waste collection companies.

The team held its first workshop on Oct. 11. Download the workshop recording (mp4).

For more information, visit our website.


Common Violations

Our goal is to inform regulated companies about potential problem areas and provide regular technical assistance. Since the start of 2022, the top violations cited in Washington are:

  1. Not responding to commission requests in time. When commission staff refer a complaint to a carrier, the carrier must respond to requests for information within five business days (WAC 480-15-890).
  2. Not following the requirements of Tariff 15-C. (WAC 480-15-490)
  3. Incorrect or missing signatures on estimates. All estimates must be signed and dated by both the carrier and the customer. Tip: If a written estimate is completed on the day of the move, the carrier cannot charge the customer for travel time to the point of origin, or the time spent completing the estimate (WAC 480-15-630).
  4. Incomplete information on the bill of lading. Carriers must include all the information on the bill of lading as described in the commission's tariff (WAC 480-15-710).

For clarifications, please review Tariff 15-C or email


Tips for Household Goods Movers

Tip 1: Written estimates are required, even with last-minute bookings.

Estimate with clipboard

WAC 480-15-630 requires carriers to issue a written estimate before beginning a household goods move, without exceptions. The estimate must include all elements required by Tariff 15-C, Item 85. Both parties–the carrier’s representative and the customer–must sign and date the written estimate prior to the carrier beginning work.

In addition, all estimates require:

  • Visual inspection of the goods to be moved. The carrier must either: (1) visually inspect the goods (in-person or real-time virtual is allowed, pictures and video are not allowed), or (2) obtain a hard-copy or web-based inventory from the customer of their goods.
  • Completed cube sheet inventory, which includes the cubic footage of each item. Note: the customer’s inventory must also include the cubic footage of each item to be transported by the carrier.

Tip 2: Quotes aren't the same as estimates!

Moving Estimate

WAC 480-15-630(4) allows carriers to provide prospective customers with either:

  • the rate per unit and the total weight it believes a shipment weighs, or
  • the hourly rate and the amount of time it believes it will take to complete the move.

This quote information helps customers understand if they can afford to hire a mover and decide which movers to ask for a written estimate. Remember that before beginning work, a quote doesn’t take the place of a proper written estimate!

Tip 3: Complaint and damage claims happen. How a carrier responds is important.

Damage Claim

WAC 480-15-800 requires that carriers give customers all information and forms necessary to file a complaint or claim.

Customers have nine months from the date their goods are delivered to file a loss or damage claim. WAC 480-15-810 includes all necessary steps and timelines for responding to a complaint or claim.

Carriers must provide written acknowledgement upon receiving the complaint or claim, and must advise the customer of the availability of the commission and provide our contact information.

Tip 4: Don’t forget to include the commission’s consumer guide with your estimate!

UTC Consumer Guide to Moving

It’s required by WAC 480-15-620 as well as Tariff 15-C, Item 85, 2. You can find the guide on our website in several languages. Your customer must acknowledge receiving the brochure in writing.

Tip 5: The weight of a shipment is important for long-distance moves.

Moving Truck on Road

For moves of more than 55 miles, weight is how you determine the cost of transportation and other costs, such as Storage-in-Transit.

Tariff 15-C, Item 115 requires that carriers obtain a certified tare weight–either prior to loading the customer’s goods, or immediately after the shipment is unloaded.

A quick internet search will help you find the scales nearest to your move origin or destination. Constructive weight may be used only if there are no weigh scales along the route.

The weight tickets must include the carrier’s and the customer’s names and be maintained with the rest of the customer’s moving documents for three years from the date the goods were delivered.


Upcoming Training

The commission offers free training for household goods moving companies, to help you understand your rights and responsibilities.

Each person named in the carrier's application must attend the course as a condition to receive permanent authority.

Participants can choose to take either a live or virtual training to meet this requirement.

Live Trainings

Live trainings are a one-day course led by an instructor. Currently, all live trainings are being held on Microsoft Teams.

  • Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2022, held virtually on Microsoft Teams. *Attendance limited to 35 participants

To register for trainings, email

Virtual Trainings

Virtual trainings are online trainings that you can take at your own pace, without an instructor. You can stop and start the virtual training at any time, but you must complete every module within 30 days to meet the training requirement, including the final knowledge test.

The non-facilitated training uses a platform called UTC Academy. For more information on how to sign up, visit

If you have any questions about UTC Academy, contact

Need forms or more information?

Visit the commission’s website to get information or copies of documents such as laws, tariffs and rules.

There are also commission-approved bill of lading, estimate and cube sheet inventory forms available. Failure to use correct forms can result in violations or penalties.

Find everything you need at