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The U.S. DOT Number: The DNA of a Successful Move

Posted by Daphne Jefferson, Deputy Administrator, FMCSA

Are you planning to hire a moving company this Summer? If so, here’s an important tip to get your move started right.

Ask your mover or broker for their U.S. DOT number. Graphic

Federal regulations require every interstate moving company to post their DOT number on their website in a prominent location. The number often appears at the bottom of the homepage.

If you are contacting the company over the phone, make sure to ask for it. If they are hesitant to provide to you, or try to tell you that they don’t need one, it might be time to move on to the next company on your list.

Once you have the DOT number, your next stop should be the mover search tool at our website. Here you can access information about the company, their fleet size, and their physical address. Most importantly, you can view their complaint history in FMCSA’s National Consumer Complaint Database.

The NCCDB allows consumers to view the history of complaints against a specific company. Complaints are broken down into 14 categories that span the entire process of a move. To better represent each firm, the system allows companies the ability to view their history so they can challenge complaints they deem as fraudulent or duplicative.

When it comes to how many complaints are too many, that’s really a subjective question.

Men moving a couch into a moving van

Be on the lookout for a large number of complaints relative to the fleet size of the company. Because larger companies conduct more moves, you could reasonably expect some complaints.

Pay particularly close attention to the “hostage” complaint category. A hostage load is a situation in which an unscrupulous mover requests payment in excess of the agreed upon amount after picking up the shipment, then refuses to make the delivery.

You can learn about hostage loads and other “red flags” of moving and gather additional resources at