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Licensed Moving Companies in Denver, CO

How to Hire a Good Moving Company in Denver

Over 40 million Americans move homes every year and approximately 82 percent of these relocations occur intrastate. Retaining the services of the wrong moving company to handle your relocation into, within, or out of Denver can lead to loss or damage of your property, or leave you as a victim of a moving scam. To avoid hiring a bad moving companies in the city, you should always check out the competency of your intended mover by getting answers to the following questions:

Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Mover in Denver

  1. Are You Licensed to Practice as a Moving Company in Denver?

    The activities of moving companies in Denver are regulated by Title 40, Article 10.1 of the Colorado Revised Statutes. Per the provisions of this law, these moving companies must obtain a state-issued Household Goods Mover Permit from the Colorado Public Utilities Commission (PUC) before offering their services to interested parties in the city. Failure to comply with this statutory permitting requirement, or any other provision of the aforementioned law, is considered a class 2 misdemeanor. These offenses are punishable by fines of anywhere between $250 and $1,000, imprisonment of three months to one year, or a combination of both.

    Requests for household goods mover permits can be made via an online application portal that the PUC provides and maintains for this purpose. Applicants generally have to meet certain requirements, such as paying an application fee, submitting proof of liability insurance through their insurance companies, and providing any additional information that the commission may require at the time of the application. Additional information concerning the household goods mover permit issuance process and insurance requirements can be gotten by contacting the PUC at (303) 894-2000, or (800) 888-0170 for callers outside Denver. General inquiries can also be directed to the commission at:

    • Colorado Public Utilities Commission
    • 1560 Broadway
    • Suite 250
    • Denver, CO 80202
    • Phone: (303) 894-2070
    • Phone: (800) 456-0858 (for callers outside Denver)

    Note that businesses in Denver, including moving companies, are generally expected to meet certain business requirements before commencing operations in the city. These requirements include registering their business entities and tax filings with the Denver Department of Excise and Licenses and obtaining a Federal Employer Identification Number from the IRS where applicable. Inquiries concerning local business registration requirements for moving companies that wish to operate in Denver can be directed to the city's Department of Excise and Licenses via email or via phone number 311 for callers within the city. This department can also be contacted in person at:

    • Department of Excise and Licenses
    • 201 W. Colfax Avenue
    • Suite 206
    • Denver, CO 80202
    • Hours: 8:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m., Mondays to Fridays

    Parties that wish to contact this office in person will be required to schedule an appointment online before doing so.

    It is always in your best interest to confirm that any moving company you intend to hire in Denver has met all necessary regulatory requirements before you finalize any agreements with them. You can do this online via the PUC's permit search platform. It is important to note that interstate relocations generally fall under the jurisdiction of the United State Department of Transportation's Federal Motor Safety Carrier Administration. Thus, if you intend to move outside the State of Colorado, you should also consider looking up your moving company via this agency's online search portal to equally verify that they have been duly registered to provide interstate relocation services.

  2. How Much Do You Charge Compared with Other Movers in Denver?

    You should always get and compare costs from at least two or three moving companies in Denver when looking to relocate within or out of the city. This not only helps you get the best possible price for your move but also helps you spot movers with rates that are noticeably different from others. In many cases, this is usually an indication of fraudulent behavior on the part of the mover, some of whom deliberately offer low rates to get you to hire them and then subsequently include extra charges once your items are in their moving truck.

    As such, you should always get a written estimate and a written contract for your move at least 24 hours before the scheduled move date. This estimate should include a list of the charges for the move and the basis for these charges. It is also recommended that the mover inspects the items that are to be moved before providing this estimate so that they can make an accurate assessment of the charges. Note that certain factors will generally influence the total amount of money that you will be expected to pay for the move. These factors include, but are not limited to:

    • The size of the items to be moved
    • The distance of the move
    • The accessibility of the move locations
    • The timing and urgency of the move
    • The inclusion of extra services, such as packing and unpacking, furniture disassembly and reassembly, and storage services

    Transportation and material moving workers in Denver earn an average annual wage of $47,780. The list below compares the hourly average wages earned by these workers in the city against those of transportation and material moving workers in other parts of the State of Colorado as well as several other major cities in the country:

    Denver Movers Hourly Average Wage
    $22.97
    Colorado Movers Hourly Average Wage
    $21.88
    New York City Movers Hourly Average Wage
    $23.05
    Los Angeles Movers Hourly Average Wage
    $21.09
    Chicago Movers Hourly Average Wage
    $20.86
    Houston Movers Hourly Average Wage
    $20.53
    Phoenix Movers Hourly Average Wage
    $20.37

    Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

  3. Will You Get a Moving Permit as Required by Denver Regulations?

    A Special Moving Permit is required for moves in Denver that involve the use of vehicles that exceed a total gross weight of 20,000 pounds on any one axle. Special moving permits will also be required if the vehicle exceeds a height of 13 feet 6 inches from the ground to the top part of the load, a length of 35 feet, or a width of eight feet. These permits can be obtained by completing a Special Moving Permit Form and submitting this form to the Permit Operations Office of the Denver Department of Transportation and Infrastructure (DOTI) at:

    • 2000 W. 3rd Avenue
    • Room 107
    • Denver, CO 80223-1027

    The Department of Transportation and Infrastructure also issues several types of Right-of-Way Permits for moving-related activities. These include a Street Occupancy Permit, which is required for any activity that blocks streets, sidewalks, or rights-of-way, and a Truck Load Hangtag Permit, which allows registered commercial trucks to park in loading zones per the requirements of the specific zone. Street occupancy permit requests can be made online via the city's E-Permit platform, and applicants are typically required to upload a DOTI Street Occupancy Request Worksheet as well as any other requested documentation. Likewise, Truck load hangtag permit requests can also be made via a separate online platform. Note that both platforms require first-time requesters to register a user account.

    Finally, your movers will be required to comply with all applicable Denver Parking Ordinances, regardless of whether or not a permit is needed for your move. Some of these ordinances include:

    • Making sure that trucks that are more than 22 feet in length are not parked for more than two hours on public streets
    • Parking vehicles within 18 inches of the curb
    • Allowing at least five feet when parking near driveways or alleys
    • Allowing more than 10 feet when parking near fire hydrants and more than 20 feet when parking near crosswalks or stop signs

    Inquiries concerning Denver special moving permits, right-of-way permits, and the processes and procedures for obtaining these permits, can be directed to the DOTI's Permit Operations Office at (303) 446-3759. Likewise, queries related to the city's parking ordinances can be directed to the DOTI's Parking Violations Bureau at 1-866-280-9988.

  4. What Kind of Moving Services Do You Offer?

    Determining the types of moving services that your preferred mover is equipped to handle goes a long way in ensuring a relatively smooth and satisfactory moving experience. Professional moving companies in Denver generally offer several types of moving services, such as:

    • Local moving services
    • Interstate and international moving services
    • International moving services
    • Special moving services

    Local moving services generally involve moves that take place entirely within Denver and the State of Colorado. On the other hand, interstate and international services moving services, which are sometimes referred to as long-distance moving services, involve moves from Denver to locations outside the State of Colorado. Finally, special moving services refer to moving activities that are tailored to specific items, such as piano moving, antiques moving, and artwork crating and moving.

    To this end, you should always verify that your intended mover offers the types of moving services that you specifically require. You can go a step further by inspecting their moving vehicles and other facilities to confirm that they can adequately handle the job. Finally, you should find out the mover's rates and request a written estimate of the charges for your requested moving services before signing any contracts with them.

    Listed below are cost estimates for some moving services offered by professional moving companies in Denver:

    Local/intra-state residential moving
    $98 - $112.50 per hour (includes cost of labor and moving truck)
    Piano moving
    $275 - $308 (within Denver)
    Mobile home moving
    $2,352 - $2,916 (for single-wide trailer at a distance of no more than 50 miles)
    Moving out of studio/one-bedroom apartment
    $320 - $560
    Moving out of two-bedroom apartment
    $650 - $780
    Moving out of three/four-bedroom apartment
    $850 - $1,600
    Storage services
    $65 - $470 (for 30 days)
  5. Do You Provide Packing and Storage Services?

    Hiring a professional moving company that also provides packing and storage services saves you the time and frustration of hiring multiple companies for these activities while also giving you peace of mind that your items will be handled, moved, and stored safely. Residents of Denver that wish to relocate within or out of the city typically require storage services for a wide variety of reasons, the most common of which are:

    • They are relocating to a smaller residence
    • Their new homes are not ready yet and they require a safe space for their items
    • They require time to settle into their new homes before moving certain items in
    • They wish to declutter their belongings and need a safe location to do so
    • They need to move on short notice and their new living arrangements have not been fully sorted out

    Note that not all movers in the city offer packing and storage services, so you should always get confirmation on this from any mover that you intend to hire. You should also find out the types of packing and storage services that the mover offers. Packing services offered by professional movers in Denver generally include:

    • Full packing and unpacking
    • Partial/customized packing and unpacking
    • Special item packing and unpacking

    Likewise, professional movers also offer fixed location/warehouse storage and mobile/portable storage options. It is important to visit the location where your items will be stored beforehand to ensure that it has the right storage conditions for these items. You should also discuss your accessibility to this location with the mover as well as the liability coverage if these items are damaged while in their custody. Finally, find out how much you will be charged for these packing and storage services and make sure that these charges are duly documented.

  6. What is an Appropriate Tip for Your Movers in Denver?

    While it is not mandatory to tip movers in Denver, it is generally considered a nice way to show appreciation when these movers perform their job professionally. There are no set standards for offering tips, and many homeowners in the city typically utilize a percentage or hourly rate when tipping their movers. To this end, it is common to tip movers in the city anywhere from 5% to 20% of the total cost of your move, or $5 to $10 per hour of work done. Alternatively, you can ask your moving company what they consider to be a good tip for their movers when negotiating your moving costs or before the movers head to your location to pick up your items.

    It is a good idea to pay attention to factors like how the movers handle your items and how quickly and efficiently they perform the job when determining the right tips for them. It should be reiterated that while tipping is customary practice in the city, you are under no obligation to do so. As such, you can adjust your tips appropriately or not tip at all if you notice any of the following behaviors amongst your movers:

    • They show up for the job late
    • They take too many work breaks
    • They do not handle your items carefully
    • They are rude to you or members of your family
    • They do not place your items in their proper locations

    In situations where the actions of your movers result in loss or damage to your property, you should ensure to report the matter to your moving company right away.

  7. Do You Carry the Necessary Insurance Policy for Movers in Denver?

    In 2020 alone, 1,282 fatal and 205,580 nonfatal on-the-job injuries were recorded amongst transportation and material moving workers across the United States. Likewise, it is estimated that road crashes account for more than $380 million of the direct medical expenses made in the country every year. As such, retaining the services of properly insured movers can save you thousands of dollars in out-of-pocket expenses and also insulate you from possible legal liabilities if accidents that result in property damage or bodily injury occur during your move.

    To this end, moving companies in Denver that wish to obtain Household Goods Mover Permits from the Colorado Public Utilities Commission (PUC) are required to comply with the following mandatory insurance requirements:

    • They must carry motor vehicle liability coverage with a minimum limit of $300,000 for vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating that is less than 10,000 pounds and a minimum limit of $750,000 for vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating of 10,000 pounds or more
    • They must carry cargo liability coverage with a minimum limit of $10,000 or $0.60 per pound per article, whichever is greater
    • They must carry general liability coverage with a minimum limit of $500,000

    Always confirm that your intended movers comply with these insurance requirements by requesting copies of their insurance certificates and contacting their insurance companies to validate these certificates. It is also a good idea to discuss the movers' coverage options with them and find out whether their insurance policy will be adequate to cover your move and the items involved. You can also make inquiries concerning the PUC's insurance requirements for movers in Denver or get additional information on this subject by calling (303) 894-2000 if you are within the city and (800) 888-0170 if you are outside the city.

  8. Can You Provide References or Recommendations in Denver?

    Asking moving companies to provide you with references or letters of recommendation from past clients is an excellent way to determine their reliability and service delivery, and professional moving companies readily provide potential customers with this information. Therefore, if your intended movers cannot provide you with verifiable information on at least three satisfied past clients, you should consider this a red flag. In situations like these, it is advisable to seek the services of another moving company.

    Also, when you are provided with the requested references, it is advisable to contact them to get first-hand information on the company's mode of business and service delivery. You can also go a step further by looking up online reviews on the moving company via platforms like the Better Business Bureau and Google Review.

How to File a Complaint Against a Bad Moving Company in Denver

Moving to a new location can be a stressful activity, regardless of whether the move is within Denver or out of town. While hiring a professional moving company greatly reduces the stress of these activities, it is necessary to take precautions against fraudulent movers that take advantage of unsuspecting consumers in the city through various schemes, such as:

  • Deliberately providing low estimates for their services to lure consumers and then withholding or threatening to withhold these consumers' items if they refuse to pay prices that are way above the provided estimates
  • Downplaying the importance of written contracts or deceptively getting consumers to sign fraudulent contracts
  • Intentionally assigning false weights or volumes to a shipment to increase their charges

If you notice any of the following signs, then you may be dealing with a fraudulent mover:

  • The mover does not have any verifiable local contact information
  • The mover claims to have been in business for years but lacks an online presence
  • The mover provides an estimate for your move without offering or agreeing to an inspection of the items to be moved
  • The mover refuses to provide a written estimate for the move
  • The mover demands full payment or a large deposit before the move, usually in cash, direct wire transfers, or postal money orders
  • The mover shows up at your home on moving day with a rental truck instead of a branded company vehicle
  • The mover asks you to sign blank documents

The following tips can protect you against the actions of fraudulent movers when looking to retain the services of a moving company in Denver:

  • Get referrals to moving companies in the city from reliable and trusted sources like family, relatives, close friends, colleagues, trade associations like the Colorado Motor Carriers Association, and consumer-oriented platforms like the Better Business Bureau. The Better Business Bureau also provides client reviews, testimonials, and complaint histories on these companies
  • Get at least three written estimates from different movers and make sure that these estimates are provided after your items have been properly inspected. Be wary of movers that give estimates online or over the phone, sight unseen
  • Always verify the moving company's permit status with the Colorado Public Utilities Commission via its permit search platform. You can also utilize the Uhire online license search platform to verify that the company has met all local business regulatory requirements
  • Never sign any blank documents
  • Take an inventory of your property before the move
  • Never pay the full cost of your move upfront and avoid cash payments
  • Keep records of all contracts, proof of payment, and other relevant documentation between you and the company

Complaints concerning moving companies in Denver can be filed with the Colorado Public Utilities Commission via its Online Transportation Complaint Form. Note that this agency's complaint review process may take up to three weeks. However, if you do not receive any feedback after this time has elapsed, you can check the status of your complaint by contacting the commission via email and providing your first and last name, or by calling (303) 894-2070 and pressing option 2.

Complaints concerning moving scams in Denver can also be filed with the Colorado Attorney General's Office online, while matters involving interstate moves can be filed with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration by calling 1-888-368-7238 or by utilizing its online complaint portal.

Finally, you should consider contacting the Denver Police Department at (720) 913-2000 if any moving company in the city threatens to, or is holding your items hostage and requesting that you pay extra charges before releasing them.