List of Important Moving Documents

Moving can be hectic. If you could afford to put the time aside for good planning you might have reduced most of the chaos. But when the moving day comes, inevitably you will be in a rush. After all with all the things to remember, who wouldn’t be? This is precisely why it’s important to keep close tabs on your important moving documents. Losing an item as important as that is simply something you can’t afford. Knowing this we’ve compiled a list of those important moving documents and some techniques to ensure you don’t end up in such a bad scenario. So, here it is, hope you find it useful.

What are important moving documents?

As the name implies, important moving documents are all the important move-related documents you will need to have at hand during the move. Most of them should be provided to you by the moving company. When we talked to our friends at movers Chicago they emphasized the importance of these very documents. After all, they will ensure your move goes smoothly. Here is a quick rundown of all of them:

Your moving estimate

One of the more important moving documents is the moving estimate. This is an estimate of all the moving costs from packing to transportation, storage or any other services your movers will conduct. Typically the moving company of your choice will provide you with such an estimate after going through all the items you will be taking with you. However, there are three types of these estimates and what kind you got could impact your moving costs. These are:

  • A binding estimate – this is the most straightforward type of the three. Having a binding estimate means you will be paying exactly the stated cost in the estimate. The weight of your items plays no role here as if it’s greater or lower than estimated, it still doesn’t affect the cost
  • A non-binding estimate – The cost in this estimate is closely tied to the weight of your items. If you exceed the estimated weight you will be paying more than in the estimate. Maybe even a lot more. If you’re not willing or able to weigh each individual item you will be moving, it can be a bit of a risk. Additionally, if the weight of your items is lower than estimated, the cost isn’t reduced.
  • A binding not-to-exceed estimate – with this estimate, if you exceed the estimated weight you still pay only the cost from the estimate. However, if your items weigh less, you will pay a reduced price!

Bill of Landing and Order of Service

Now, these two are the most important moving documents. Luckily, they usually come bundled together. The bill of lading is, in essence, a contract between you and the moving company. It is a legally binding document that contains a lot of information that is important for the move. These include:

  • Payment method and moving rate
  • Insurance information
  • Information about your moving company
  • The place you are moving from and the place you are moving to

On the other hand, the order of service is a list of all the services that will be provided by your mover during the move. Things like pick-up dates, dates when the move will be complete, any special services you might have opted for etc.

Person signing a contract
A Bill of Landing is a legally binding contract between you and the movers.

The documents required by the FMCSA

The United States Department of Transportation Federal Motor Carrier Administration has a set of rules for your mover, if you are moving interstate. One of them is providing you with two brochures, the “Consumer Rights and Responsibilities” and the “Ready to Move” brochures. This will help you get to know your rights and responsibilities in an interstate move. The “Ready to Move” pamphlet contains a very useful checklist as well as a Q&A section that can help you with your move.

Inventory list

Another item on the list of important moving documents is the inventory list. This list is a document containing all of the items you will be moving and their condition. You should look through it and sign it only if you agree with your movers on the condition of all your items. It will come into play in case any of your items get damaged during the move. It too is listed on the “Ready to Move” brochure, so be sure you show that to your movers if they avoid providing you with one. However, this very fact could be a major red flag. Just keep in mind that it should be signed after all of your items have been loaded.

Statement of Services

If you’re moving long-distance, your movers should provide you with a Statement of Services after completing the move. This document will include the actual cost of your move with the added tariffs that depend on the weight of your items. Als,o these can be influenced by the services you opted for, so bear that in mind too.

The 3903 tax deduction form

One important moving document you probably won’t get from your mover is the “Form 3903, Moving Expenses” that can be used to deduct your moving expenses. In certain cases the IRS allows tax deductions for people that moved recently. However, you will have to obtain the form from their website yourself. These deductions apply to people moving for work and include a list of requirements that can be found on the IRS website.

A man writing on several papers
Some moves may qualify you for a tax deduction!

How you can keep track of your important moving documents

During the move, it will be important to keep track of all these, unfamiliar, documents. International movers Indiana advised us that the best way to do it is print yourself a checklist of all of them. This way you will be able to keep track of all the important moving documents you received or need to receive yet. Another smart idea is to get a folder or, even better a file briefcase. This way you can keep them in one place for easier access and overview. Getting a file briefcase has an added bonus. That’s is the ability to store all your important documents, not only move-related, in one place. Then you can bring it with you during the move and keep it safe.

A man holding a file briefcase
A file briefcase is a great way to keep all your important moving documents in one place!

Handling the important moving documents

We are aware that this list may seem alien and complicated to someone outside the moving industry. However, it is very useful in that it will help you during the move itself. All the documents we listed are important. Knowing which ones they are and what they do will help you make the stress of your move easier. Just remember to check if you have all the important moving documents and you should be set!