If you are moving long distance, your first stop should be the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's Web site, department within the Federal Dept. of Transportation. Look for the informational brochure "Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move" from the FMCSA's Web site, which includes basic information that will help you understand the documents a mover will ask you to sign. It also explains your rights if your household goods are lost or damaged by the mover. Before moving your household goods, interstate movers are required to provide you with information regarding their dispute settlement program that includes contact information for a neutral, third-party dispute resolution service.
Plan on getting a moving quote from a reputable moving company, which should clearly describe, in writing, all charges for services the mover will perform. Make sure the estimate is signed by the mover. Never accept oral estimates. Included among the quote paperwork should be an order for service, which will list all the services the carrier will perform and shows the dates your household goods will be picked up and delivered.
You should also be aware that some companies will not ensure the safe delivery of your household goods unless you use their packing materials. Speak to your moving professionals about their requirements before signing a contract.