Docket numbers: TV-190833 and TV-191056
State takes action against two illegal moving companies
OLYMPIA, Wash. – State regulators took action against two residential moving companies that have been operating without permits in Washington.
In February, an administrative law judge at the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission ordered the companies to stop providing residential moving services until they obtain the required permits.
Tacoma-based Santamaria Transport, owned by Ricky Santamaria, received a $5,000 penalty for operating as a moving company before receiving the required permit. The commission suspended $4,500 of the $5,000 penalty on the condition the company refrains from operating until it receives a permit.
Tacoma-based Mark Alberto Marrero, d/b/a Mark the Mover, owned by Mark Marrero, received a $5,000 penalty for operating as a moving company before receiving the required permit. The commission suspended $4,500 of the $5,000 penalty on the condition the company refrains from operating until it receives a permit.
The commission urges consumers to use caution before hiring a residential moving company. Prior to making a hire, consumers should:
• Call the commission at 1-888-333-WUTC (9882) or visit www.utc.wa.gov/movingtips to verify the company’s permit status and check its complaint history;
• Compare costs by getting at least two written estimates;
• Check online reviews and complaints about the companies; and
• Know the full name, address, and phone number of the company.
The UTC is the state’s watchdog agency in charge of enforcing consumer protection and safety regulations for more than 260 residential moving companies operating within the state. Movers must charge approved rates, background check and drug test employees, maintain minimum insurance levels, and conduct regular vehicle safety inspections. The commission does not regulate interstate moving companies.