Common Questions About Moving

Moving is a life-changing event. It’s said that the average person moves every four to seven years.

We expect you to have questions about your move—and why not? Moving isn’t something you do every day! Below are some common questions our customers have about their moves.

Getting Started
Loading and Delivery

Getting Started

Is Stevens Worldwide Van Lines a licensed moving company?
Yes. Companies that operate commercial vehicles transporting passengers or hauling cargo in interstate commerce must be registered with the FMCSA and must have a USDOT Number. Stevens operates under US DOT 70719 | MC 87113 and under individual state authorities.

What is an interstate agent?
Stevens agents are individually owned and operated businesses located throughout the country. When a customer moves from one state to another, agents are authorized to act on behalf of the van line, Stevens, to transport goods across state lines (hence, interstate agent). These agents have met the service and quality standards set to become an agent for Stevens.


What types of estimates are available?
There are three types of estimates: non-binding, firm binding and option binding.

  • A non-binding estimate is the carrier’s approximation of the cost, based on the estimated weight of the shipment and the accessorial services requested. The final cost will be based upon the actual weight of your shipment, the services provided, and the tariff provisions in effect.
  • A firm binding estimate is an agreement between the agent and the customer that the cost of the move will be a specific dollar amount based on the estimated weight of the shipment and the specific services requested. If the actual weight of the shipment is different than the agent anticipated, the price of the move would not change.
  • An option binding estimate (also known as a not-to-exceed estimate) is an agreement between the agent and the customer that the cost of the move will be no more than a specific dollar amount based on the estimated weight of the shipment and the specific services requested. If the anticipated weight of the shipment is less than estimated, then the customer’s bill is reduced by the amount of the cost associated with the weight difference between the estimated and actual weight.

Is an estimate required?
Yes. A written, signed estimate (or waiver) is required for all moves.

What is a tariff?
A tariff is a public document required by the US DOT for all moving and storage companies. It outlines the moving company’s rates and charges and details the services provided, the conditions under which the services are provided and the prices charged. Each moving company determines its rates and charges and publishes its own tariff.

Am I protected against loss or damage caused by the move?
Yes. You may choose from Stevens’ “Full Replacement Value Protection” plan or the basic, “Limited Liability” plan. The method you select determines Stevens’ maximum liability to you. A full explanation of these options is available online or from your Stevens representative.

How do I pay for my move?
Stevens accepts a variety of payment options. We accept:

  • Major credit cards
  • Money order
  • Cashier’s check
  • Certified check
  • Cash
  • Traveler’s check


Do my appliances need special attention?
Yes. Most appliances require special servicing to assure safe transportation. Any moving parts, such as motors or washer drums, should be securely fastened for shipment.

Can I pack my china, glass and crystal?
Yes. You may choose to pack any or all of your belongings; however, most people prefer to have their fragile items packed by Stevens’ professionals. Remember to fill out the Items of Extraordinary Value sheet for any items worth $100 per pound or more. If you decide to pack items yourself, remember the basic principles of good packing. Please be sure to see Stevens’ Packing Tips and What Not To Pack for best practices when packing.
*Please be aware: If you pack items and damage occurs, but the box is in good condition, Stevens may not be liable for any repairs or coverage.

Can I leave the items in my dresser drawers?
Yes, you can leave clothing in your dresser drawers if your shipment will not need storage. However, if you will need storage at one of Stevens’ agencies, we recommend that all items in your dresser drawers be packed. We also recommend that all non-clothing items be packed, regardless of your storage needs.

What items should I plan to take with me, rather than ship on the moving truck?
When moving with Stevens, we suggest that you plan on transporting all valuables, such as money, jewelry, coin collections and important papers. In addition, you should plan to take any of your medications or prescription drugs with you. For a complete list of items, please visit our Moving Checklist.

Loading and Delivery

Who do I contact if my household goods were damaged during my move?
At Stevens, we are dedicated to providing excellent service, and we take these concerns seriously. If you had items damaged during the move, please contact our claims department. A claims adjuster will be assigned, and he or she will review the claim and contact you, if necessary, with any further instructions. Please take note of the following details on the claims process:

  1. All claims must be filed in writing, within nine months of the date of delivery to the residence. If your goods were placed into storage-in-transit, and remain in storage for more than 180 days, you have nine months from the date of conversion to permanent storage in which to file a claim.
  2. Please do not discard or repair any items without prior authorization from Stevens claims department, as we reserve the right to inspect all claimed items.
  3. If you are claiming any damaged items that were packed, please indicate whether or not the carton was damaged. Please also save the packing material and carton for our inspection.
  4. Please describe the nature and location of damages for each article claimed and furnish repair estimates to support the claim.
  5. Please provide the manufacturer’s name, the model, and the serial number of any appliances or electronics equipment claimed as missing or damaged.
  6. Submit copies of original purchase receipts with your claim for items requiring replacement.
  7. Please make certain that all items you wish to claim are included on your claim form and that the claim form does constitute your complete and entire claim.

Are there items Stevens does not transport?
Yes. For the safety of your belongings, our crews and equipment, there are items that Stevens does not ship, including combustibles and explosives, living materials such as houseplants, and perishables.

What are my rights and responsibilities when I move?
All moving companies are required by federal law to make your rights and responsibilities when you move available to customers. Your primary responsibility as outlined by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is to select a reputable household goods carrier, ensure that you understand the terms and conditions of the contract and understand and pursue the remedies that are available to you in case problems arise. You should talk to your mover if you have further questions. The moving company will also furnish you with additional information describing its procedure for handling your questions and complaints and a telephone number you can call to obtain additional information about your move.

How will I know when my shipment is going to be delivered?
Based on the weight of your belongings and the distance they’re being transported, your local agent will provide you with a range of days during which your belongings will be delivered. Your driver will contact you 48 hours prior to the delivery of your belongings. Ensure that the driver has your destination contact information prior to his departure from your origin residence.

Should I tip my movers?
Stevens strives to deliver the highest level of service with each move. The van line does not require customers to tip their movers, nor is a gratuity included in your moving fees. Although tipping is not part of our policy, it is greatly appreciated, especially if your movers have done an exceptional job. If you feel the service received during your move warrants a tip, you can determine this by calculating a percentage of your moving charges (anywhere from 5-15 percent) or give a flat rate per person ($10-100). Consider the distance of your move and difficulty of the services performed when determining your gratuity. It’s also possible to express your gratitude in ways other than money. Having water available throughout the day and/or making lunch available to the crew can go a long way in expressing your satisfaction. If you choose to tip your moving crew, we recommend you give the tip to the driver so that he or she can disperse it among the rest of the crew.

Still Have Questions?

This is a partial list of the most common questions asked about moving; you may have additional questions or concerns regarding your upcoming move. If so, please feel free to contact your local Stevens representative, or contact us by email.