What are the Different Moving Documents You May Sign During Your Move?

By Stephen Davis
Special to VanLines.com

It is very important to know the legal documents and procedures that you need to complete while moving. Some of it is pretty basic, like contracts, while others are more detailed and require that you spend sometime understanding before you sign.

Moving Estimate. The first document that a moving company will give you is the moving estimate. This document will be presented to you after the movers carry out an in-house estimate by looking at all of your belongings in your home. Read the document carefully and ask questions to clarify the price and time of the move as well as specific handling details. Remember this is the best opportunity to ask all your questions.

Order for Service. When you are clear about the estimate and decide to hire them, they will issue you the order for service. This document is your official contract with the long distance moving company and you will be bound by its terms and conditions. It also contains all the information about the move, the dates for pick-up and delivery, the estimated cost and insurance details. You will be required to sign this form, so make sure all the information is correct according to your price quotes with the company.

Bill of Lading. The third document is the bill of lading. This is perhaps the most important document that you will receive during your move. It will be handed to you for signing on moving day. The document outlines the details of the agreement for the move. The moving company cannot move your goods without this document. You will be required to accept the terms, which includes the fee and total cost, pick-up and delivery dates, insurance coverage and an agreement statement. Make sure that you are certain of all the terms in the document. If there are any discrepancies in the agreement, bring them to the mover’s notice immediately. Once all the terms are fine, you and the mover will sign the document and both of you will receive a copy. This document is your official record for the move and your receipt.

Inventory Sheet. The movers will also give you another document, called the inventory sheet, on moving day. This lists all of your items that the movers are responsible for handling. The movers will fill the form as each item is removed from your residence and loaded onto their vehicle. They will mark each item with a tag and note down the tag number on the inventory sheet. It is important that you are attentive personally during this process and supervise the loading and marking. The inventory sheet will be used while unloading to note the arrival of your items. After everything has been unloaded, you will be required to review and sign the inventory sheet. Missing or damaged items will be flagged on the inventory sheet and signed by the mover. This will make it easier to claim insurance coverage for these items.

High-Value Inventory Sheet. There is another document called the high-value inventory sheet. If you have items of high value like artwork or antiques, the mover will give you a separate inventory form and handle them separately. They will usually insist on packing the item themselves so preserve it as best as they can. The document functions the same way as the inventory sheet.

Knowing about these moving documents and reviewing them carefully before signing is very important and may save you from a lot of financial loss with your upcoming move.