U.S. Code of Federal Regulations
Regulations most recently checked for updates: Oct 04, 2023
(a) You must prepare a written, itemized inventory for each shipment of household goods you transport for an individual shipper. The inventory must identify every carton and every uncartoned item that is included in the shipment. When you prepare the inventory, an identification number that corresponds to the inventory must be placed on each article that is included in the shipment.
(b) You must prepare the inventory before or at the time of loading in the vehicle for transportation in a manner that provides the individual shipper with the opportunity to observe and verify the accuracy of the inventory if he or she so requests.
(c) You must furnish a complete copy of the inventory to the individual shipper before or at the time of loading the shipment. A copy of the inventory, signed by both you and the individual shipper, must be provided to the shipper, together with a copy of the bill of lading, before or at the time you load the shipment.
(d) Upon delivery, you must provide the individual shipper with the opportunity to observe and verify that the same articles are being delivered and the condition of those articles. You must also provide the individual shipper the opportunity to note in writing any missing articles and the condition of any damaged or destroyed articles. In addition, you must also provide the shipper with a copy of all such notations.
(e) You must retain inventories for each move you perform for at least one year from the date you made the inventory and keep it as an attachment to be made an integral part of the bill of lading contract.
(a) Before you receive a shipment of household goods you will transport for an individual shipper, you must prepare and issue a bill of lading. The bill of lading must contain the terms and conditions of the contract.
(b) On a bill of lading, you must include the following 17 items:
(1) Your legal or trade name (i.e., doing business as name) as it is registered with FMCSA, to include your physical address.
(2) The names, telephone numbers, addresses, and U.S. DOT numbers of any motor carriers, when known, who will participate in transportation of the shipment.
(3) The individual shipper's name, address, and, if available, telephone number(s).
(4) The form of payment you and your agents will honor at delivery. The payment information must be the same that was entered on the estimate and order for service.
(5) When you transport on a collect-on-delivery basis, the name, address, and if furnished, the telephone number, fax number, or email address of a person to notify about the charges. The notification may be made by any method of communication, including, but not limited to, fax transmission; email; overnight courier; or certified mail, return receipt requested.
(6) For non-guaranteed service, the agreed date or period of time for pickup of the shipment and the agreed date or period of time for the delivery of the shipment.
(7) For guaranteed service, subject to tariff provisions, the dates for pickup and delivery, and any penalty or per diem entitlements due the individual shipper under the agreement.
(8) The actual date of pickup.
(9) The company or carrier identification number of the vehicle(s) upon which you load the individual shipper's shipment.
(10) The terms and conditions for payment of the total charges, including notice of any minimum charges.
(11) The maximum amount you will demand at the time of delivery to obtain possession of the shipment, when you transport under a collect-on-delivery basis.
(12) The valuation statement provided in the Surface Transportation Board's released rates order requires individual shippers either to choose Full Value Protection for your liability or waive the Full Value Protection in favor of the STB's released rates. The released rates may be increased annually by the motor carrier based on the U.S. Department of Commerce's Cost of Living Adjustment. Contact the STB for a copy of the Released Rates of Motor Carrier Shipments of Household Goods. If the individual shipper waives your Full Value Protection in writing on the STB's valuation statement, you must include the charges, if any, for optional valuation coverage (other than Full Value Protection).
(13) Evidence of any insurance coverage sold to or procured for the individual shipper from an independent insurer, including the amount of the premium for such insurance.
(14) A complete description of any special or accessorial services ordered and minimum weight or volume charges applicable to the shipment, subject to the following two conditions:
(i) If you provide service for individual shippers on rates based upon the transportation of a minimum weight or volume, you must indicate on the bill of lading the minimum weight- or volume-based rates, and the minimum charges applicable to the shipment.
(ii) If you do not indicate the minimum rates and charges, your tariff must provide how you will compute the final charges relating to such a shipment based upon the actual weight or volume of the shipment.
(15) Each attachment to the bill of lading. Each attachment is an integral part of the bill of lading contract. If not provided elsewhere to the shipper, the following two items must be added as an attachment to the bill of lading.
(i) The binding or non-binding estimate.
(ii) The inventory.
(16) Any identification or registration number you assign to the shipment.
(17) A statement that the bill of lading incorporates by reference all the services included on the estimate.
(c) A copy of the bill of lading must accompany a shipment at all times while in your (or your agent's) possession. Before the vehicle leaves the residence of origin, the bill of lading must be in the possession of the driver responsible for the shipment.
(d) You must retain a copy of the bill of lading for each move you perform for at least 1 year from the date you created the bill of lading.
(e) You, your agent, or your driver must inform the individual shipper if you reasonably expect a special or accessorial service is necessary to safely transport a shipment. You must refuse to accept the shipment when you reasonably expect a special or accessorial service is necessary to safely transport a shipment and the individual shipper refuses to purchase the special or accessorial service. You must make a written note if the shipper refuses any special or accessorial services that you reasonably expect to be necessary.
(f) You and the individual shipper must sign the bill of lading prior to the shipment being loaded. The bill of lading must be signed at both the origin and the destination. You must provide a dated copy of the bill of lading to the individual shipper at the time you sign the bill of lading.
(g)(1) You may provide the individual shipper with blank or incomplete estimates, bills of lading, or any other blank or incomplete documents pertaining to the move.
(2) You may require the individual shipper to sign an incomplete document prior to the shipment being loaded provided it contains all relevant shipping information except the actual shipment weight and any other information necessary to determine the final charges for all services performed. You may omit only that information that cannot be determined before loading, such as actual shipment weight in the case of shipments moved under non-binding estimates or unforeseen charges incurred in transit.
(3) You may not require an individual shipper to sign a blank document.
(h) The bill of lading must be provided to, signed, and dated by the individual shipper at least 3 days before the shipment is scheduled to be loaded. You must provide the individual shipper the opportunity to rescind the bill of lading without any penalty for a 3-day period after the individual shipper signs the bill of lading. If the individual shipper tenders additional items to be moved or requires additional services on the day of the move, resulting in a new binding estimate under § 375.403(a)(6)(ii) or a new non-binding estimate under § 375.405(b)(7)(ii), the corresponding changes to the bill of lading from the new estimate do not require a new 3-day period as otherwise required in this paragraph (h).
(a) When you transport household goods on a non-binding estimate dependent upon the shipment weight, you must determine the weight of each shipment transported before the assessment of any charges.
(b) You must weigh the shipment upon a certified scale.
(c) You must provide a written explanation of volume to weight conversions, when you provide an estimate by volume and convert the volume to weight.
(a) You must weigh the shipment by using one of the following two methods:
(1) First method—origin weigh. You determine the difference between the tare weight of the vehicle before loading at the origin of the shipment and the gross weight of the same vehicle after loading the shipment.
(2) Second method—back weigh. You determine the difference between the gross weight of the vehicle with the shipment loaded and the tare weight of the same vehicle after you unload the shipment.
(b) The following three conditions must exist for both the tare and gross weighings:
(1) The vehicle must have installed or loaded all pads, dollies, hand trucks, ramps, and other equipment required in the transportation of the shipment.
(2) The driver and other persons must be off the vehicle at the time of either weighing.
(3) The fuel tanks on the vehicle must be full at the time of each weighing, or, in the alternative, when you use the first method—origin weigh, in paragraph (a)(1) of this section, where the tare weighing is the first weighing performed, you must refrain from adding fuel between the two weighings.
(c) You may detach the trailer of a tractor-trailer vehicle combination from the tractor and have the trailer weighed separately at each weighing provided the length of the scale platform is adequate to accommodate and support the entire trailer at one time.
(d) You must use the net weight of shipments transported in containers. You must calculate the difference between the tare weight of the container (including all pads, blocking and bracing used in the transportation of the shipment) and the gross weight of the container with the shipment loaded in the container.
For shipments weighing 3,000 pounds or less (1,362 kilograms or less), you may weigh the shipment upon a platform or warehouse certified scale before loading for transportation or after unloading.
You must give the individual shipper or any other person responsible for the payment of the freight charges the right to observe all weighings of the shipment. You must advise the individual shipper, or any other person entitled to observe the weighings, where and when each weighing will occur. You must give the person who will observe the weighings a reasonable opportunity to be present to observe the weighings.
(a) If an individual shipper elects not to observe a weighing, the shipper is presumed to have waived that right.
(b) If an individual shipper elects not to observe a reweighing, the shipper must waive that right in writing. The individual shipper may send the waiver notification via fax transmission; e-mail; overnight courier; or certified mail, return receipt requested.
(c) Waiver of the right to observe a weighing or re-weighing does not affect any other rights of the individual shipper under this part or otherwise.
After you inform the individual shipper of the billing weight and total charges and before actually beginning to unload a shipment weighed at origin (first method under § 375.509(a)(1)), the individual shipper may demand a re-weigh. You must base your freight bill charges upon the re-weigh weight.
(a) You must obtain weight tickets whenever we require you to weigh the shipment in accordance with this subpart. You must obtain a separate weight ticket for each weighing. The weigh master must sign each weight ticket. Each weight ticket must contain the following six items:
(1) The complete name and location of the scale.
(2) The date of each weighing.
(3) The identification of the weight entries as being the tare, gross, or net weights.
(4) The company or carrier identification of the vehicle.
(5) The last name of the individual shipper as it appears on the bill of lading.
(6) The carrier's shipment registration or bill of lading number.
(b) When both weighings are performed on the same scale, one weight ticket may be used to record both weighings.
(c) As part of the file on the shipment, you must retain the original weight ticket or tickets relating to the determination of the weight of a shipment.
(d) All freight bills you present to an individual shipper must include true copies of all weight tickets obtained in the determination of the shipment weight in order to collect any shipment charges dependent upon the weight transported.
§ 375.521 - What must I do if an individual shipper wants to know the actual weight or charges for a shipment before I tender delivery?
(a) If an individual shipper of a shipment being transported on a collect-on-delivery basis specifically requests notification of the actual weight or volume and charges on the shipment, you must comply with this request. This requirement is conditioned upon the individual shipper's supplying you with an address or telephone number where the individual shipper will receive the communication. You must make your notification by telephone; in person; fax transmissions; e-mail; overnight courier; or certified mail, return receipt requested.
(b) The individual shipper must receive your notification at least one full 24-hour day before any tender of the shipment for delivery, excluding Saturdays, Sundays and Federal holidays.
(c) You may disregard the 24-hour notification requirement on shipments in any one of the following three circumstances:
(1) The shipment will be back weighed (i.e., weighed at destination).
(2) Pickup and delivery encompass two consecutive weekdays, if the individual shipper agrees.
(3) The shipment is moving under a non-binding estimate and the maximum payment required at time of delivery is 110 percent of the estimated charges, but only if the individual shipper agrees to waive the 24-hour notification requirement.