Thirty-nine percent of complaints made to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration involve property loss or damage during household moves. With thousands of North Carolinians changing homes every year, it is important to take steps to ensure that you end up with a reliable and professional moving company to handle your relocation activities in Charlotte. You can determine the proficiency of moving companies in the city for your intended moves by asking the following questions before reaching any hiring arrangements with them:
- Are You Licensed to Practice as a Moving Company in Charlotte?
- How Much Do You Charge Compared with Other Movers in Charlotte?
- Will You Get a Moving Permit as Required by Charlotte Regulations?
- What Kind of Moving Services Do You Offer?
- Do You Provide Packing and Storage Services?
- What is an Appropriate Tip for Your Movers?
- Do You Carry the Necessary Insurance Policy for Movers in Charlotte?
- Can You Provide References or Recommendations in Charlotte?
Individuals or businesses that wish to transport household goods and items into, within, or out of Charlotte for compensation must obtain a state-issued certificate from the North Carolina Utilities Commission (NCUC) before they can do so. Interested parties that wish to obtain this certificate may do so by completing an Application for Certificate of Exemption to Transport Household Goods Form and subsequently submitting the original completed form and two additional copies to:
- Office of the Chief Clerk
- North Carolina Utilities Commission
- 4325 Mail Service Center
- Raleigh, NC 27699-4300
Applicants are typically required to pay a stipulated application fee, provide proof of insurance coverage, undergo a criminal history background check, and comply with any other relevant requirements that the commission may have at the time of the application. Moving companies that fail to undergo proper certification with the NCUC before offering their services to residents of Charlotte can face fines of up to $1,000, as well as other statutory and administrative penalties. Inquiries concerning the application process can be directed to the commission at (919) 733-4036.
It is always in your best interest to ensure that your intended movers have been duly certified by the NCUC before you conclude any negotiations with them. You can do this by assessing the List of Certified Carriers that the commission makes available to members of the public. Note that this list is updated monthly and new-issued certificates, as well as canceled or suspended certificates, are typically not reflected until the list is updated. Nonetheless, you can subsequently confirm the current certification status of your intended mover by calling (919) 733-4036 or (919) 733-7766.
Note that moving companies that wish to provide interstate relocation services are required to register at the federal level with the Federal Motor Safety Carrier Administration. Thus, if you wish to relocate outside the State of North Carolina, then it is a good idea to confirm that your mover is authorized to provide this service by utilizing this agency's online search portal. Likewise, even though moving companies that operate in Charlotte are primarily regulated at the state level, they also have to meet certain local-level requirements before conducting business in the city. These typically include:
- Contacting the city's Zoning Department to ensure that they conform with all necessary zoning regulations for their intended business location
- Registering their business with the Mecklenburg County Register of Deeds, or with the North Carolina Secretary of State if they intend to operate as a corporation, a limited liability company, or a limited liability partnership
- Obtaining a Federal Tax Identification Number from the IRS as well as a Sales Tax Number from the North Carolina Department of Revenue
Additional information concerning local business requirements for operating a moving company in Charlotte can be gotten by contacting the city's Economic Development Department at (704) 432-1397 or via email. Inquiries can also be directed to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Government Center at 311 for callers within the Mecklenburg County or (704) 336-7600 for callers outside the county.
Finding out how much your preferred movers charge for their services is a necessary step to take in determining their suitability for your relocation activities. Movers in Charlotte typically utilize hourly or weight/distance billing methods when calculating their charges, and the billing method that will be used is primarily dependent on the distance of the move:
- Hourly Rates: this method is used for moves that are 35 miles or less and is influenced by the number of movers involved and the total time it takes to complete the move. Hours typically start counting as soon as the mover arrives at your home, and the time is usually rounded up to the nearest quarter-hour.
- Weight/Distance Rates: this method is used for moves that are 36 miles or more and is influenced by the total weight of the items being moved and the distance between points A and B. This distance is usually calculated using a current state-issued official map or state-approved software.
To ensure that you get the best possible rates for your move, it is always a good idea to get and compare estimates from several movers in the city before making your hiring choice. Note that certain factors may affect your total moving costs, regardless of the billing method that is used to calculate these charges. These factors include:
- The inclusion of extra services like packing and unpacking, appliance disconnection and reconnection, and bulky item loading and unloading
- The volume of items being moved
- The urgency of the move
While movers in the city may provide quotes online or over the phone, it is always in your best interest to request written estimates. These written estimates generally come in three forms, namely:
- Non-binding Estimates: this shows approximate charges for the move, and actual charges for the services provided are determined after the move is completed
- Binding Guaranteed Estimates: this type of estimate is binding to both you and the mover. If you request any additional services after the estimate is provided, you will be required to sign an addendum to the estimate that acknowledges these changes and the additional charges that you may incur
- Binding Not-to-Exceed Estimates: this type of estimate provides the guaranteed maximum charges that will apply to your move, provided that you do not request any additional services
It is important to note that the North Carolina Utilities Commission provides maximum rate tariffs that moving companies in Charlotte may charge for intrastate moves, and any estimates that you are given by your preferred movers must not exceed these rates.
Transportation and material moving workers in Charlotte earn an average annual wage of $40,630. 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 North Carolina as well as several other major cities in the country:Charlotte Movers Hourly Average Wage$19.53North Carolina Movers Hourly Average Wage$17.99Boston Movers Hourly Average Wage$21.44Detroit Movers Hourly Average Wage$20.86Houston Movers Hourly Average Wage$20.53Los Angeles Movers Hourly Average Wage$21.09New York City Movers Hourly Average Wage$23.05
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Parties that wish to move loads within Charlotte that are more than 60 inches long, 8.5 inches wide, 13.5 inches high, or weigh more than 80,000 pounds are statutorily-required to obtain an Oversize Load Permit before doing so. These permits are issued by the Charlotte Department of Transportation and they can be obtained by completing an Oversize Permit Application Form and submitting the completed application to the department via email. Note that the properly completed application form must be submitted at least 10 working days before the proposed date of the move. Inquiries concerning the oversize permit application process can be directed to the department via phone number (704) 975-1392.
It is important to note that certain areas of the city are designated Residential Parking Permit Locations, and parking in these areas is usually restricted during specified hours. Thus, homeowners that wish to move to or from these locations may be required to obtain guest or temporary parking permits for the moving vehicles that will be used for their relocation activities. These permits can be obtained via the city's online permit portal. Additional information on residential parking permits and the requirements for obtaining these permits can be directed to the Charlotte Department of Transportation's Park It Program at:
- 333 E. Trade Street
- Suite A
- Charlotte, NC 28202
- Phone: (704) 432-7275
- Hours: 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., Mondays to Fridays
When looking to hire moving companies in Charlotte, you should always confirm the types of moving services that they offer before reaching any final arrangements with them. Doing this ensures that you hire a company that can satisfactorily deliver the specific type of moving service that you require. Professional moving companies in the city typically offer several types of services and these services can be grouped into two categories, namely:
- Local/Intrastate Moving Services
- Long-distance/Interstate Moving Services
Local/intrastate moving services typically involve moves that occur within Charlotte as well as moves out of the city to another location within the State of North Carolina. On the other hand, long-distance/interstate moves generally involve moves from Charlotte to a location outside the State of North Carolina. Note that some moving companies may also offer additional services such as special item/bulky item moving, appliance connection and disconnection, furniture assembly and disassembly, packing and unpacking services, and storage services.
In addition to confirming that your preferred moving company offers the types of moving services that you require, you should also get quotes and estimates of these services from the company before signing any contracts with them. Estimates for some moving services that are commonly requested in Charlotte are provided below:Local/intrastate residential moving$89.50 - $102.50 per hour (includes cost of labor and moving truck)Piano moving$250 - $280 (within Charlotte)Mobile home moving$2,142 - $2,655 (for single-wide trailer at a distance of no more than 50 miles)Moving out of studio apartment$350 - $430Moving out of twobedroom apartment$500 - $780Moving out of three, four, or five-bedroom apartment$800 - $1,600Storage services$65 - $450 (for 30 days)
Many moving companies in Charlotte offer packing options to homeowners that are looking to outsource aspects of their relocation activities, like organizing belongings, cleaning out closets, and purchasing packing supplies. These packing services generally include:
- Full Service Packing/Unpacking: this involves packing and unpacking all items in your home
- Select Items Packing/Unpacking: this involves packing and unpacking only items that you designate
- Single Item Packing/Unpacking: this involves packing and unpacking fragile or specialty items like antique furniture, artwork, and family heirlooms
In addition, some homeowners may also require that their items be stored in a secondary location before being moved to their new residences. This is usually common in situations where the new home is not ready yet or the homeowner is moving to a smaller residence. Moving companies in Charlotte generally offer three types of storage options to interested parties, namely:
- Storage-in-Transit: this option is generally offered for short-term storage that will not exceed 180 days. Items stored under this option must be housed in a warehouse that either belongs to the moving company or a public warehouse for which they have a long-term lease agreement specifically for storage. Charges for this type of storage are typically calculated in 30-day increments, and these charges are subject to the North Carolina Utilities Commission's maximum rate tariffs
- Permanent Storage: this option is used for storage that will exceed 180 days. The charges for these types of storage are not subject to state-mandated maximum rate tariffs
- Customer-controlled Storage: this option involves the moving company delivering the items to a self-storage facility that will be completely under the customer's control. In this type of storage, the moving company is not liable for any damages that occur after the items have been moved into the storage facility
It is always a good idea to hire the same company to handle all aspects of your relocation activities, and this includes the actual moving as well as the packing, unpacking, and storage of your items where necessary. Note that not all moving companies in Charlotte also offer packing and storage services, so you should always get confirmation on this from your intended movers if you will require these services. In situations where you require storage services, you should always find out the location where your items will be stored and make sure that the storage facility is suitable for the types of items that you intend to store in it.
Moving is a labor-intensive activity, and many homeowners in Charlotte tip their movers to show appreciation when they perform their jobs professionally and satisfactorily. While there is no set amount for these tips, homeowners in the city commonly offer $15 -$25 per mover for small and relatively simple moves and $30 - $50 per mover for more complex jobs. Some homeowners in the city also utilize a percentage system where they tip the movers 10% - 20% percentage of the total cost of their moving charges. However, this is not usually a good idea for large jobs, as the amount involved can be quite hefty.
Alternatively, you can find out from your hired moving company what they consider to be an appropriate tip for the movers that they send to handle your job. It should be noted that you are not under any obligations to follow the company's recommendation, nor is it mandatory to tip your movers. Nonetheless, if you decide to offer tips to your movers, you should take certain criteria into account when calculating these tips. These criteria include:
- The quality of work that the movers do
- The movers' politeness and overall demeanor
- Specific or unique requests that you make during the move and how well the movers execute these requests
Note that you should always take an inventory of your items after they have been delivered, and make sure that they are in the same condition they were in before the move. Always inform your moving company if any of your items are damaged during the move or if you are unsatisfied with the work done by the movers.
Road accidents in the United States cost Americans at least $380 million in direct medical expenses annually. According to data published by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 1,200 fatal and 205,500 non-fatal work-related injuries were recorded amongst transportation and material moving workers in 2020. As such, in addition to making sure that your preferred moving company is certified and offers your required moving services, you should also make sure that they have proper insurance coverage. Doing this protects you from out-of-pocket expenses and possible legal liabilities if an accident occurs or if your property happens to get damaged during your move.
Per the provisions of Chapter 2, Article 7 of the North Carolina Utilities Commission's Rules and Regulations, all moving companies that wish to operate in Charlotte must comply with the following minimum insurance requirements:
- They must carry a minimum amount of $50,000 for cargo insurance
- They must carry a minimum amount of $50,000 for general liability insurance
- They must carry a minimum amount of $750,000 for public liability and property damage insurance for any vehicles that carry items weighing a total of 26,001 pounds or more
Note that while homeowners' and renters' insurance policies typically cover the cost of damages to items that are in your home, this coverage is nullified once the items are being moved to a new location. Therefore, before finalizing any hiring arrangements with any mover in the city, make sure that you request copies of their insurance certificates and contact the appropriate insurance providers to authenticate these certificates. Find out the scope of the mover's insurance coverage, and make sure that it is enough to cover the items that you will be moving.
You can get additional information on the insurance requirements for Charlotte moving companies by contacting the North Carolina Utilities Commission at (919) 733-7328 or (919) 733-7766.
It is always in your best interest to request references or letters of recommendation from past clients before concluding hiring arrangements with any moving company in Charlotte. This is a good way to determine the company's reliability and service delivery, and professional moving companies in the city will not hesitate to provide you with this information. Thus, you should be wary of any moving company that cannot provide you with at least three verifiable references, as this usually means that they are not reliable or service-oriented. Also, you should always contact any references that you are offered to get first-hand reviews on the moving company's services.
When searching for professional movers in Charlotte, it is important to look out for fraudulent individuals that utilize deceptive business practices to obtain money from unsuspecting homeowners. These deceptive business practices include:
- Requesting full payment or large cash deposits before the move
- Offering low rates and then increasing their charges once the items have been loaded onto their moving vehicles
- Downplaying the importance of written contracts
You can protect yourself from the actions of these fraudulent movers by keeping the following tips in mind:
- Ask trusted friends and family for recommendations on reliable moving companies in the city. You can also get referrals to movers in the city online from reputable platforms like the Better Business Bureau and the North Carolina Movers Association
- Confirm that your preferred movers have been duly certified by the North Carolina Utilities Commission by accessing its List of Certified Carriers or by calling (919) 733-4036 or (919) 733-7766. You can also contact the commission via the latter phone number to find out if there are any complaints on file against the mover
- Get written estimates of the cost of your move from up to two or three movers in the city. Compare these estimates and make sure that you understand the charges listed on them as well as the services that are being charged for
- Take a written inventory of your items before the move. If you have valuable property, then you can consider taking pictures or videos of these items as well
- Make sure that you are given a Bill of Lading. This document is a written contract for the move, and you should always read it carefully before signing, and keep a copy until the move has been successfully concluded
- Make sure that the mover is properly insured and also find out the company's policy for handling missing or damaged items
You can file complaints concerning moves within Charlotte or to any location in North Carolina by contacting the Transportation Rates Division of the North Carolina Utilities Commission's Public Staff, either online or via phone number (919) 733-7766.
Note that if your complaint involves lost or damaged items, you will typically be required to first contact the moving company, request a claim form, and file a claim with them no later than nine months after your items were delivered. You should also keep the damaged items or packaging materials used for these items as they may be required as proof of the alleged damages. If the matter cannot be resolved, then you can contact the Transportation Rates Division of the NCUC Public Staff at (919) 733-7766 for assistance on the next steps to take.
In situations where the mover denies liability for your claim, you may take legal action against them in an appropriate North Carolina Court. Note that this legal action must be taken within two years and one day from when the mover submitted a written notice denying your claim. Similarly, in situations where you suspect that your items were stolen, you should report the matter to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department or any other appropriate law enforcement authority.
Complaints concerning bad moving companies in Charlotte can also be filed with the North Carolina Department of Justice either online or by calling toll-free number 1-877-5-NO-SCAM for callers within North Carolina, and (919) 716-6000 for callers outside the state. If the complaint concerns an interstate move, then complaints can also be filed with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration of the United States Department of Transportation online or by calling 1-888-368-7238.