New Pennsylvania law increases fines for 'rogue' household goods movers

By Keith Goble, Land Line state legislative editor | 1/11/2018

A new law in Pennsylvania boosts penalties for “rogue” household goods movers operating in the state.

State law already requires household goods movers to register and obtain a permit with the Public Utility Commission, maintain workers compensation coverage, pay wages subject to taxation, and have adequate insurance coverage for goods moved.

Violators face a maximum $1,000 fine.

Gov. Tom Wolf has signed into law a bill that applies criminal penalties to household goods movers who fail to adhere to existing state rules.

Sen. David Argall, R-Schuylkill/Berks, said the new law addresses what is now an uneven playing field for movers.

“These illegal companies often lack the necessary insurance coverage to protect damaged goods during a move, leaving the consumer on the hook,” Argall said in prepared remarks. “Some movers are skirting the law by not registering with the PUC (Public Utility Commission) and not carrying adequate coverage for the goods they are transporting.”

He added that despite the efforts by the Public Utility Commission to enforce current regulations, there is a strong underground market that exists among household goods movers, “where rogue movers often pose as legal ones.”

Previously SB458, the new law calls for offenders to face $5,000 fines, a third degree misdemeanor, suspension of registration and/or confiscation and impoundment of the motor vehicle used in the illegal move. Subsequent offenses could result in $10,000 fines.

Fine revenue will be used to help Public Utility Commission motor carrier enforcement efforts.

The new law takes effect Feb. 21.

To view other legislative activities of interest for Pennsylvania, click here.



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