State establishes new tougher permit standards for residential moving companies
Olympia, Wash. – State regulators today adopted new stricter entry requirements for residential moving companies in Washington to protect consumers.
The Utilities and Transportation Commission (UTC) established new guidelines for applicants seeking to provide household goods residential moving services within the state. The one-time permit application fee remains $550.
“The amended rules will allow qualified companies to operate and, at the same time, protect the public from unscrupulous, unsafe, or unfit household goods moving companies,” said the three commissioners in their written order.
Some of the new requirements the UTC adopted for in-state movers include:
• Mandatory criminal background checks.
• No convictions for certain felony crimes in the previous five years.
• Holding a valid Washington state driver’s license.
• Providing evidence of enrollment in a drug and alcohol testing program.
• Owning or leasing proper equipment.
After completing a six-month probationary period with a temporary permit, an applicant may obtain permanent authority to conduct residential moves within the state. Additional requirements the mover must meet to obtain a permanent certificate are:
• Completing a criminal background check on each employee having contact with a residential customer.
• Receiving a satisfactory safety rating review on equipment by UTC safety staff.
• Settling unresolved consumer complaints.
• Attending a UTC-sponsored household goods industry training class.
Before a customer chooses a moving company, he or she should first call the commission and confirm the company’s permit is valid. Consumers also can find out about any complaints filed against a residential mover.
The UTC is the state agency in charge of enforcing consumer protection and safety regulations for more than 200 residential moving companies operating within the state. Movers are required to get a permit from the UTC, charge appropriate rates, carry proper insurance and keep their vehicles safely maintained. The commission does not regulate interstate moving companies.