Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

Questions & Answers

How do I get a pre-move estimate?

We offer two options for our customers to obtain a pre-move estimate.

In-Home Estimate: An appointment is scheduled for a Relocation Consultant to meet with the customer for a free in-home estimate. During the meeting, an inventory of the home is completed and additional questions are asked that may impact the move logistics and overall cost. At the end of the meeting, a moving quote is prepared and e-mailed to the customer.

Virtual or Phone Estimate: A customer works directly with an inside sales representative over the phone to “virtually” prepare an estimate. This is completed by our inside sales team working with a customer to complete a home inventory list either on the phone or through a virtual survey. Once the inventory has been finalized and all the move logistics have been accounted for, a moving quote is prepared and e-mailed to the customer.

How can I guarantee a total moving cost prior to signing a contract?

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration requires moving companies to provide a written estimate. The written estimate must list all charges that include the transit cost, any packing/unpacking/crating services and any other specialty services requested. A verbal quote is not an official estimate. There are two different types of estimates – binding and non-binding. The type of estimate will determine the how the charges are calculated.

Binding: A binding estimate guarantees that you cannot be required to pay more than the estimate amount unless items are added, additional services are requested, the delivery location changes and, in some cases, a load date is revised.

Non-Binding: A non-binding estimate must be in writing with a clear description of all services to be provided. It is not a guarantee of your final costs, but it should be reasonably accurate. Final charges are based on the actual weight of your shipment, plus any additional services provided. You are required to pay 110% of the original estimate upon delivery with the balance due paid after 30 days from delivery. 

For more information, review Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move on our website. 

Is Atlas Transfer & Storage a licensed moving company in all 50 states?

Yes, Atlas Transfer & Storage is fully licensed with the ability to take care of intrastate, interstate and international moves. We have a PUC license with the state of California (PUC T #61487), and we also operate under the authority of Allied Van Lines (Department of Transportation #076235). 

We recommend that you check the credentials of any prospective moving company at the following website:

What is the difference between a local, intrastate and interstate move?

Local Move: A local move is when you move within 100 to 150 miles (residence to residence). Local moves are charged by the hour with the rates fluctuating in the summer and winter. A move scheduled Monday through Friday requires a 4 hour minimum, Saturday’s require a 6 hour minimum and Sunday’s are based on availability.

Instrastate Move: A move within California beyond 150 miles is normally considered an intrastate move. For example, when you move from San Diego to San Francisco, that is an intrastate move.

Interstate Move: A long distance move is an interstate move. For example, when you move from San Diego to New York City, that is an interstate move. For both intrastate and interstate moves, the transit cost is priced by weight and miles, with packing charged by the unit.

Additional fees for specialty services include, but are not limited to, crating, packing, unpacking, automobile transport, appliance disconnect/reconnect, shuttle services, elevator usage, long carries and flights of stairs.

Do I need to disconnect my appliances before the move?

Yes, prior to the pack and/or load date, it is your responsibility to disconnect all electrical components, appliances and any items attached to the home (that you are planning to move). For a fee, you may request third party services to administer the required disconnections for washer/dryers, refrigerator/freezers and/or grandfather clocks. Please let our office know you require a third-party service and we will coordinate.

Can your company move my family cross country from beginning to end?

Yes, Atlas Transfer & Storage is a full-service moving and storage company with the capacity to handle the entire move process from start to finish. Not only would you be booking your shipment with high-quality and professional moving company, but we were also the Allied Van Lines 2016 Agent of the Year.

What do I need to know about moving brokers?

Moving brokers are essentially the “middlemen” and are in the business of selling moves. Many moving brokers operate from call centers located throughout the country and typically just sell the move, with a different department handling the logistics. Once the move is sold, moving brokers sell that move directly to a moving company. In some cases, the broker is not able to sell the job for multiple reasons – availability of dates, not enough resources or pricing may prohibit the broker from sourcing you a mover. In some cases you are blindsided on the day of your expected move and are without a mover, with limited remedies. Why take the risk with moving brokers? We recommend contacting a licensed moving company to take care of your family.

The Department of Transportation (DOT) and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) defines a broker as: “A company that arranges for the truck transportation of cargo belonging to others, utilizing for-hire carriers to provide the actual truck transportation. A broker does not assume responsibility for the cargo and usually does not take possession of the cargo."

Confirm that your mover has a DOT number and is registered with FMCSA to engage in interstate transportation of household goods and has the proper level of insurance. Visit

Learn more about the difference between Moving Companies vs. Brokers.

Explain the home protection process during the move.

Our highly-trained and experienced team takes the protection of your home during the moving process very seriously. We execute a proven, no-nonsense plan to ensure that your home and belongings are fully protected on move day.

Learn more here on our blog:

Do I need valuation protection to protect my goods during transit?

We strongly encourage customers to elect valuation protection when they move because accidents happen. Unforeseen road conditions or other uncontrollable factors may damage items in transit. But that’s why as a carrier we offer Extra Care Protection (ECP) – protection that allows us to rectify the situation quickly, keeping you happy with our services during your move.

Moving Truck Flips Over With Teacher’s Belongings (No Valuation Elected)

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