Important documents to take when moving across the country

Moving comes with a lot of complications. Especially when you are moving across the country. One of the things that people have the most trouble with is paperwork, which can sometimes be really extensive. Of course, people that have a lot of experience with moving know that things aren’t as complicated as they seem. However, if you are moving for the first time, you probably do not have the slightest idea about the important documents to take when moving across the country. Don’t worry though because Best Cross Country Movers is here to help you better understand what lies ahead.

There are many important documents that you need to take when moving across the country

There are really a lot of important documents to take when moving across the country. However, there are official documents that you will get from your movers as well documents that you will have to handle on your own. Of course, even though moving across the country is easier if you have some of the best cross country moving companies by your side, you might decide to move without their help. Therefore, in the first part of the article, we will take a look at the documents that you will need to handle regardless of how you plan to move. And later, we will also show you what documents you will need to handle if you are moving with the help of professionals.

stack of important documents to take when moving across the country
The number of important documents to take when moving across the country is quite extensive

Documents that you will need to handle on your own

Moving across the country is one of the biggest challenges that you will face in your lifetime. Only an international move can come close to it. For example, if you are moving from Florida to California, you will definitely pull it off easier if you hire some of the best cross country movers Florida can offer. Still, because of the high cost that this operation can have, some people decide to move in a DIY fashion. If that is your plan as well, these will be the important documents to take when moving across the country on your own:

  • Driver’s license
  • Vehicle registration and insurance documents
  • Lease copies and mortgage documents from both homes
  • ATM cards and credit cards
  • Original or certified copies of birth certificates
  • Medical records
  • Vet checkup report and pet vaccination records (if you have a pet)
  • Passports

Don’t forget your driver’s license, especially if you are driving to your destination

If you are moving on your own, without hiring movers, the most important document that you will need to have by your side, at least during a moving process, is your driver’s license. Things would be much easier if you, for example, hire some of the best interstate movers Miami has to offer because there are really affordable options on the market. However, if you will be driving the truck, you need to have your driver’s license with you.

If you own a car take your vehicle registration and insurance papers with you

Regardless of whether you are moving on your own, or you decide to hire some of the best interstate movers to help you move, if you own a car, do not forget to take your vehicle registration and insurance documents with you. Of course, having your vehicle registration and insurance with you are some of the most important documents to take with you when moving across the country by driving your car on your own. However, our recommendation is to consider the other, safer option. Some of the best interstate movers Tampa has to offer handle auto transport as well. Having movers transport your vehicle is much easier than diving on your own. Especially when you are preparing to cross such a long distance. It is much safer as well.

police asking for a license
If you will be driving to your new home, make sure that you have your drivers license as well as vehicle registration and insurance papers with you

Pack your mortgage and lease documents securely

If you are a homeowner, and you just purchased a property, you will want to have your mortgage documents with you as well. Of course, the more important documents are those for your new home. And don’t forget that you have to record your documents after arrival. This, of course, implies regardless of whether you are moving to California or somewhere else. All U.S. states have recording statutes in place, which are the laws that govern who is recognized as the owner of the property as well as who has a financial or other interest in it, such as a mortgage or lien.

Of course, you do not need to have those documents with you while you are traveling. So make sure that you pack them securely in a file box and inform your movers about them. It is safer to have the best cross country movers California handle the transport of your documents than to drag them along with you.

You might need your ATM and credit cards along the way so make sure that you have them with you

Don’t forget your ATM and credit cards. Of course, it is important to have them with you. Do not pack them with other documents that will go into the moving truck. You might have some expenses along the way. And you want to have them within your hands reach at all times.

Make sure that you take your birth certificate with you

There are many places where you will need to provide your birth certificates. Maybe you will need to get a passport, renew your driver’s license, get a replacement social security card, or wherever you will need to prove your identity, place of birth, or date of birth, you will need to have an original or official copy of your birth certificate.

Medical records are some of the most important documents to take when moving across the country

Medical records are some of the most important documents to take when moving across the country. Especially if you have some medical condition and you are undergoing some sort of medical treatment. Your new physicians will have a much easier time understanding your condition and prescribing adequate treatment if they have a clear insight into your medical condition.

Doctor handing papers to a patient
Don’t forget your medical records

If you are moving with a pet don’t forget about vet checkup reports and pet vaccination records

The same thing goes for your pet as well. If you are moving with your pets, you will be required to have their medical records with you. Still, every state has different regulations regarding required pet medical records. So, for example, if you are moving to California, for dogs, you will need a certificate of current rabies vaccination but you will not need to have a CVI (Certificate of Veterinary Inspection), which is only required for sellers. If, on the other hand, you are moving to Alabama, for example, you will need CVI as well as official documents regarding vaccination against rabies, other vaccination certificates, and rabies tags that have official serial numbers that are not more than one year old. Also implies if you are moving to Alabama with cats.

Unfortunately, even the best cross country movers Alabama has to offer, cannot transport your pets. So that is something that you will have to handle on your own, which further means that you will need to have those documents with you. Do not pack them with the rest of your stuff that will be transported in a moving truck.

Even though you do not need it right now, make sure that you pack your passport as well

Your passport is not among the most important documents to take when moving across the country. However, you might need them in the future if you decide to go on a holiday abroad, for example. And you know that getting a new passport can be a complicated thing and an unnecessary expense.

Important documents that you will get from your interstate moving company

Those are the important documents that to take with you when relocating long distances regardless of whether you are moving with the help of a moving company or you are moving on your own. However, if you are hiring a moving company, there will be a lot of other paperwork that you will need to handle. Here are documents that moving companies temper with when providing interstate moving services:

  • Cube or inventory sheet
  • Moving estimate
  • Order for service
  • Bill of lading
  • Valuation options
  • Truck driver’s descriptive inventory
  • Change order (optional)
  • Freight bill or statement of service
  • IRS Form 3903
movers on the job
If you are hiring movers, there will be more important documents that you will need to handle

The first paper you will get from your movers is a cube sheet

When you are planning to hire a moving company to help you, a moving company representative will come to your place to do an initial estimate and prepare a cube sheet, which is a sheet of paper containing all your items that will be going into the moving truck. In some cases, they can do a video survey as well. A list should contain larger items like furniture, appliances, or similar items like floor lamps, etc. A cube sheet should also contain the number of boxes that will be packed by them as well as boxes that are packed by the owner. Bear in mind that if you are moving from New York, almost all the best interstate moving companies New York has to offer will ask you to sign the cube sheet. In some other states that might not be required.

A moving estimate will follow the cube sheet

After the survey is complete, you will receive a moving estimate. Remember, an online quote that you can get on almost every moving company’s website is just a rough estimate without an in-home or at least a video survey. Bear in mind also, that because of strict COVID regulations in some states, moving companies usually opt for a video survey these days. Best cross country moving companies Iowa has to offer are especially strict in this regard. But you will also see these practices in Idaho, South Carolina, Alaska, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Utah. Still, regardless of whether your movers do a physical or online survey, you and your mover should review the estimate together before finalizing the deal.

Next, you will get an order of service

Order of service is the next of the important documents that you will get when moving across the country. This is a list that your moving company will give you is practically an acknowledgment that you’re hiring them for a specific service. This document should contain the estimated weight of your inventory, origin and destination addresses, pick-up and delivery dates, insurance info, the cost for additional services like packing or storage services, as well as acceptable payment methods. Bear in mind that this is not a binding contract.

packing a box
If you are hiring packers you will find it in written form in the order of service

The bill of lading is the first biding document that you will get from your movers

While the order of service is not a binding contract, the bill of lading is. It is a document that will contain practically the same information as the order of service the only difference is that you will have legal consequences if you break it. The bill of lading is essentially the paper that you get from your carrier as an acknowledgment of goods they received for transportation.

Movers should offer you a few insurance options

Under federal law, every moving company is required to offer you suitable insurance options when moving. You will get an option to choose between a cheaper released value option, which covers up to .60 cents per pound per item. This means that if an item weighing 50 pounds is damaged beyond repair during a move, you will receive a $30 dollar compensation regardless of its original value. If you decide on a  full-value replacement coverage, in case of damage, you will get the amount that will cover the cost of replacement with a new identical or similar item.

A truck driver’s descriptive inventory is the final document you’ll get before your items are loaded into a truck

The cube sheet is not the only inventory document that you will have to deal with when moving across the country. Another one will be made on-site by the truck driver. After everything is packed and ready to be loaded into a truck a truck driver will do another survey and put a sticker on every box and item before they are loaded. Also, the driver will also make remarks regarding the condition of your boxes and items which can be used to determine the legitimacy of any potential claims filed after the relocation process. A truck driver’s descriptive inventory will also serve to identify any items that you perhaps added to your inventory after the initial survey.

Movers in a van talking about important documents to take when moving across the country
A truck driver should do a final check-up

If you decide to change something, you will also get a change of order

If you added some items to your inventory after the initial survey, you will have to inform your movers about it. Also, if you decide to hire some additional services you will get a document called change of order. You will receive this document only if something changes after your original order.

The final bill

A freight bill or statement of service is the last important document that you will get when moving across the country with the help of a moving company. It is practically a final bill that you will get after your shipment has been weighed, all services delivered, and your items are inside your new place.

If you are moving for work, maybe your expenses are tax-deductible

If you are moving across the country for work, your expenses might be tax-deductible. Unfortunately, from 2019, only a handful of states offer tax deductions when relocating for work. Those are California, Hawaii, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Arkansas. If you are moving to one of those states, you will need an IRS form 3903 that you will have to fill out on your own.

Use this article as a reminder

As you can see, there are many important documents to take when moving across the country. Some of them you will have to handle on your own. But there will be a  number of papers that you will get from your residential movers as well. Hopefully, this article will help you understand what is coming. If you want, you can use it to make a list to help you track your paperwork easier.

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