July 1 marks new West Virginia rules on HHG movers, overweight permits

By Keith Goble, Land Line state legislative editor | 6/23/2017

In about one week there will be two new laws in West Virginia that cover rules related to trucking.

The first law is intended to help startups in the household goods moving industry.

West Virginia law has required owners of household goods companies to approve new businesses.

A new law approved by state lawmakers earlier this year exempts HHG carriers from the jurisdiction of the Public Service Commission.

Sen. Craig Blair, R-Berkeley, said the law also eliminates burdensome regulatory procedures, including the certificate of need requirement for intrastate operations.

“The (certificate of need) requirement for moving companies in this state actually only applies to companies moving household goods within the state,” Blair said during Senate floor discussion. “If you want to move office supplies from Charleston to Huntington, or you want to move your family from Bloomfield, W.Va., to Bloomfield, Va., there is no need for the requirement.”

Blair added the certificate of need application process makes it nearly impossible for someone to start a new moving business.

“The application process allows for any existing company to protest a new application.”

He said that since the year 2000, 24 moving companies have submitted “certificate of need” applications to the Public Service Commission but only three have been granted.

“I think that is very telling,” Blair said. “This regulation of the moving companies does nothing to help protect our citizens. It only drives up the cost and reduces competition by protecting the good-ole-boy existing companies.”

The new law takes effect July 1.

A second new law in effect the first of the month covers overweight permits.

The new rule states that permits can be issued for trucks to haul overweight divisible loads bound for outside of the country along designated routes. Included is a requirement for carriers to show the load does not create “undue damage” to the roadways and bridges on the designated route.

Sen. Greg Boso, R-Nicholas, notes the maximum gross vehicle weight permitted would be 120,000 pounds. The commissioner of highways or public service commission could impose additional conditions on the applicant.

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