Long Distance Move? Here’s the Paperwork You’ll Need


Forty million Americans move each year, and while most of them are local moves, long-distance moves account for 14% of those. 

There are tons of different reasons for a long-distance move, whether for a new job, for a personal or romantic relationship, or even just to experience new terrain. 

If you are thinking about moving across the country or even just across state lines, you’ll need to have your paperwork in order.

We’ve gathered a list of everything you’ll need to make your move successful. 

Your Moving Estimate

If you’re wondering how to move furniture long-distance, the secret is choosing a moving company that will work with you instead of against you. 

Your moving estimate shouldn’t bind you to terms that will ultimately make you end up paying more. Once the moving company assesses your belongings, you will be given the estimate that you will be expected to pay.

You want to have either a binding estimate or a binding not-to-exceed estimate.

For a binding estimate, the moving company gives you a price, and regardless of if your belongings end up weighing more, you’ll only pay the amount they estimated.

A binding not-to-exceed estimate is similar, but if you’re belongings end up weighing less, you’ll only pay for what they end up weighing (which is truly the best option). 

Don’t get stuck with a non-binding estimate, which would require you to pay more if your belongings end up weighing more. 

Bill of Lading

This is one of the most important documents when moving a long distance. 

This is the contract between you and the moving company, which states all of the items included in the shipment, the moving rate agreed upon, your insurance, payment method, origin and destination, and mover information.

It’s like a receipt to keep both you and the moving company accountable. 

Tax Deduction Forms

If you’re moving for work-related reasons, it could be the most inexpensive way to move long-distance.

You may be able to claim your moving experiences to get tax deductions using IRS Form 3903.  

Ensure you keep all of your receipts if they pertain to moving specifically for a new work location.

If you donate items before moving, you may be able to get tax deductions for that as well. Keep those receipts, and check out Goodwill’s IRS guidelines

School and Medical Records 

If you’re moving with school-aged children, make sure to get and transfer school records.

You’ll also want to have any essential medical records transferred to your new doctors’ offices. 

USPS Change of Address 

A week or two before your move, make sure to register your new address with the United States Postal Office.

This will prevent you from missing any mail or payments for bills, and will have anything forwarded to you that you may have forgotten to change.

Check out this checklist to get all of your documents and belongings in order. 

Have a Successful Long-Distance Move

A long-distance move doesn’t have to be a stressful one. Use a moving checklist, gather your documents, and stay organized. 

You’ll be in your new town, state, or country before you know it.

Want more valuable moving advice? Browse through our blog today for more articles like this one. 


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