The Differences Between an Interstate and Intrastate Move

Knowing which mover is right for you is more than just knowing who is “reliable.” Different types of moves have different types of rules and regulations based on the route your belongings travel. The major distinction comes between an Interstate and Intrastate move. Not knowing the difference between these 2 types of moves can lead to more stress and higher expenses. Being educated in all aspects of your move will help protect you against possible scams, as well as arm you with the knowledge of the regulations and laws that your movers need to follow.

Here is an easy breakdown of the differences between an Interstate and Intrastate move:

Interstate Moves:

What are they?

When performing an Interstate move (sometimes called a “long distance move”) your belongings at some point cross state/country lines. Regardless of the distance of the move (even if it’s only 1 mile), if your belonging cross state/country lines then your move an Interstate move.

How does this affect me?

When a mover performs an Interstate move they are governed by the US Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Their website provides a comprehensive list of rules and regulations that Interstate movers must follow (such as being licensed and insured). These rules help protect your rights and keep you safe from scam artists and dishonorable movers. Make sure to visit the FMCSA site ( and learn these rules as well as the obligations that your movers have towards you.

Use this Inforgraphic to help familiarize yourself with what constitutes as an Interstate move:

The Differences Between an Interstate and Intrastate Move Intrastate Moves:

What are they?

When performing an Intrastate move (sometimes called a “local move”) your belongings never cross state/country lines. Even if you are traveling hundreds of miles, if your belongings don’t cross state/country lines then your move is an Intrastate move.

How does this affect me?

Firstly, an Intrastate move is not regulated by the FMCSA. You may be thinking that without the FMCSA guidelines your movers could easily scam you. While this fear is completely understandable, it’s important to know that each state has its own set of rules and regulations that help protect you from unscrupulous movers. Make sure to do the proper research on what your state’s Intrastate policies are as each state is different from one another (some may be more lenient and some may be stricter).

Every Intrastate mover needs to abide by their state’s guidelines, so it is important to verify their credentials through the appropriate state channels. Here is a reference to help you track down the different governing bodies in each state: Intrastate Moving Requirements

One way to make your move easier is by using a service like We are an online resource that can help you find reputable long distance and local moving companies based on the starting point and final destination of your move. Just fill out our quick and easy form and professional movers in your area will contact you with moving estimates. While every mover listed on has been screened for licenses and insurance, it is still important that you do your due diligence and double check this information as an added safeguard to your move.