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ODOT and OSP Warn Consumers About Illegal Household Goods Movers in Bend
07/23/2008
Sally Ridenour
ODOT Public Affairs
Phone: (503) 576-9577

Photograph links valid for 30 days - Source: Oregon State Police
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In an effort to crack down on unlicensed and uninsured moving operations, the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) partnered with Oregon State Police (OSP) on an undercover enforcement operation today in Bend. The operation focused on unauthorized household goods movers who advertise on the Internet.
 
The groups often advertise on Web sites offering to help people with a move for a fee. Many consumers don't realize that these "companies" don't have legal operating authority, insurance and in some cases, safe vehicles and drivers. Consumers who choose an unlicensed mover whether intentionally or unintentionally may have little or no recourse for loss or damage to their property and may be charged higher than normal fees.
 
In today's operation, ODOT Motor Carrier inspectors and OSP troopers looked for two things. First, was the mover properly certified with the state to offer moving services? Second, was the mover's vehicle and driver properly registered with the state and was the vehicle in safe working condition?
 
The Bend-area operation pre-identified pack and load operations then made appointments to meet at a southeast Bend area house. They were met by ODOT and OSP before being escorted to a nearby site where ODOT Motor Carrier inspectors and troopers checked drivers and equipment for any violations.
 
During today's operation 80 percent of the appointments showed up at the site. There were 6 truck safety violations issued, and one vehicle and two drivers were placed out of service. Eighteen (18)citations were issued for violations including:
 
* 3 citations for No Valid ODOT Permit, 13 citations for Unlawful Pack and Load Operation, and two citations to individuals who drove to the site for Driving While Suspended. One vehicle was towed from the site becasue the driving arrived with a suspended license.
 
In a similar operation held in Canby in April, more than 60 truck safety-related violations were issued, including four vehicles being placed out of service due to critical safety defects. More than 40 citations were issued by law enforcement officers for things such as operating without proper authority to driving uninsured. In addition, officers arrested three people on outstanding warrants and parole violation.
 
Moving is a regulated industry in Oregon. Any company or person that offers household goods moving services must be certified by ODOT.
 
Certified movers are trained to follow industry standards for loading, moving and unloading property and they're the only companies required to charge approved, reasonable rates. Businesses that offer to pack and load property into a rental truck must register annually with ODOT showing proof of general liability and property damage insurance.
 
The best way consumers can protect themselves during the moving process is to hire a certified moving or pack and load company. Information, including consumer tips and a list of certified companies is available on the ODOT Motor Carrier Web site at:
http://egov.oregon.gov/ODOT/MCT/MOVING.shtml.