Yes, under U.S. D.O.T. regulations shippers whose property is located within 50 miles of the estimator's location must receive a physical survey/visual estimate of the property. The estimate must be prepared in writing, signed by both the shipper and mover, and state whether it is binding or non-binding.
The 50 mile rule: Federal law under 49 USC Section 14104(b)(1)(C) requires that estimates (both binding and non-binding) be in writing and be based on a visual in home inspection of the property if the shipper's pickup location is within a 50 mile radius of the location of the carrier's household goods agent preparing the estimate.
Exception to the 50 mile rule, a visual estimate is NOT required if:
(1) The pickup address is outside the 50 mile radius; or
(2) A written waiver is signed by the shipper stating that they waive their right to a visual in home estimate.
Note: In addition to the above general requirements, an interstate moving company must continue to follow all provisions of federal law governing interstate moves. Federal laws regulating moving companies are designed to help protect consumers and create an even playing field for moving companies. By following the law, moving companies can avoid government fines, lawsuits, and provide better service to their customers.