The DOT/FMCSA regulations require that a mover must keep certain records/file in their office for certain periods of time. These files must be made available to representatives of the US DOT/FMCSA upon request. At a minimum a mover must keep records for the time period specified in the chart below. You may wish to keep the records/files for a longer period of time for tax purposes or to assist you in defending against potential litigation. For example, in many jurisdictions a customer can bring a lawsuit for damages to property up to two (2) years from the date of delivery. For example, even though the mover is only required to keep a Bill of Lading on file for one (1) year, it would be necessary to have the Bill of Lading longer than the one (1) year minimum time frame to help defend against a potential lawsuit.
USDOT/FMCSA Carrier Record Retention Requirements:
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.