The moving industry is full of red tape. Interstate moving, especially, can be confusing. Even experienced local movers usually have a difficult time pinning down what the FMCSA requires before they get started. Whether you’re new to interstate, or new to moving in general, this 8 step guide will help you cover your bases for this (in my opinion) needlessly complex process.

Get Started with Interstate Moving in 8 Easy(ish) Steps

By law, there are a few things you need to have in place before you start running interstate moves. Safety auditors will probably ask for proof of a few of these things. Bear in mind that ALL of the following steps are legal requirements. It’s best if you do them in order.

1: Get your DOT number

The FMCSA requires that you obtain a DOT# (a unique identifier for audits and inspections). You can do so here. You will be prompted to create an account. They will create a DOT PIN for you. This is not your DOT number. It only serves to let you login to your account. After you’ve been able to login, follow the steps in the portal to finish applying for your DOT#.

2: Enroll in Arbitration

Arbitration is a third party moderated claims resolution program. If your customer is not satisfied with your compensation for damages, the FMCSA dictates that they have the right to move to arbitration. In other words, it’s a requirement that you’re actively enrolled in an arbitration program (movers have lost major lawsuits for not doing this).

Moving Pros Network offers a standalone arbitration program, but you’ll be better off bundling arbitration with your INTERSTATE TARIFF (more about that at number four). You can enroll in arbitration and also receive a tariff here.

3: Get your MC number

Once you have your DOT# and Arbitration, you’ll also need an MC# (a unique identifier of your operating authority as an interstate moving company). To apply for your MC#, go here. Scroll down to “Registration Options” and continue through the application portal.

While applying, you may be asked to provide “Proof of Arbitration.” If you signed up for Moving Pros Network’s Tariff + Arbitration Program, you will have received an Arbitration Certificate which you can use for this. The Arbitration Certificate is almost always emailed to you same-business-day when you enroll.

4: Get an Interstate Tariff

This is a big one. The FMCSA requires that all interstate movers use a tariff to calculate pricing. Interstate tariffs must abide by several DOT guidelines, meaning that it should be written by a lawyer specializing in moving regulations. Also, every interstate move you do must be priced with strict adherence of the ruleset of your tariff.

The MPN tariff is used by over 300 movers across the U.S. for it’s affordability and ease of use. One of the big selling points is that it comes with an online pricing software that automatically calculates estimates based off the tariff and ensures that you stay within the tariff ruleset. If you haven’t already purchased the tariff bundled with the aforementioned tariff, you can do so here.

5: Get a Bill of Lading

The bill of lading is the official contract your customers will sign off on for the job. If you have the MPN tariff, your bill of lading will automatically print out prefilled from the software. Otherwise, you’ll need to get a blank bill of lading form to fill out for each job. A quick Google Images search will give you several generic bill of lading forms that will work fine. Just keep in mind that the final charges presented on the bill of lading must be calculated through your tariff.

6: Buy Insurance

For interstate moves, you’re required to have $750,000 in BIPD (Bodily Injury and Property Damage) insurance and $5,000 in cargo insurance. All you need to do is purchase the coverage, since it is your insurance company’s responsibility to file your proof of insurance with the FMCSA.

7: File your BOC-3

The BOC-3 form designates a processing agent who can file legal documents on your behalf and is required for all interstate movers. It must be filed by a processing agent; you cannot file the BOC-3 on your own. The good news is that this takes about a minute and isn’t expensive. We file BOC-3’s for virtually an at-cost rate, which you can order here.

8: Complete your UCR Registration

The UCR (United Carrier Registration) collects fees associates with your trucks. They require that you register once per year and pay a fee for each truck you cross state lines with (vehicles you’re not using for interstate moves are exempt). You can register yourself at

If you’d prefer that we register on your behalf, go here. Select the year you’re registering for and the number of trucks you’re using.

That’s it! You're ready to start moving.

Moving Pros Network

Moving Pros Network helps established and new movers stay FMCSA compliant in all their interstate movers. Our tariff and accompanying software has been used for decades by carriers all across the U.S. Reach out today to learn how we can help you succeed.