Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 46.2. Motor Vehicles
Chapter 21. Regulation of Property Carriers
6/17/2021

Article 4. Household Goods Carriers.

§ 46.2-2149. Certain household goods carriers exempt from certain provisions of article.

Household goods carriers transporting household goods for a lesser distance than thirty-one road miles are exempt from this article except the provisions of § 46.2-2168.

2001, c. 596.

§ 46.2-2150. Required certificates of fitness.

No household goods carrier, unless otherwise exempted, shall engage in intrastate operations on any highway within the Commonwealth without first having obtained from the Department a certificate of fitness authorizing such operation.

2001, c. 596; 2011, cc. 881, 889.

§ 46.2-2151. Considerations for determination of issuance of certificate.

In determining whether the certificate of fitness required by this article shall be granted, the Department may, among other things, consider the provisions of § 46.2-2108.6, the applicant's character and fitness, and the applicant's compliance with federal, state, and local taxes.

2001, c. 596; 2011, cc. 881, 889.

§ 46.2-2152. Control by Department.

Every household goods carrier is hereby declared to be subject to control, supervision and regulation by the Department.

2001, c. 596.

§ 46.2-2153. Provisions of chapter controlling.

As to household goods carriers, the provisions of this chapter shall be controlling, and no laws in conflict herewith, or inconsistent herewith, shall have any application to such carriers.

2001, c. 596.

§ 46.2-2154. Discontinuance of service.

Notwithstanding anything contained in this chapter to the contrary, no household goods carrier shall abandon or discontinue either temporarily or permanently any service established under the provisions of this chapter without permission of the Department and on such terms as the Department may prescribe.

2001, c. 596.

§ 46.2-2155. Power and duty of Department.

The Department shall regulate and control all household goods carriers not herein exempted, doing business in the Commonwealth, in all matters relating to the performance of their duties as such carriers and their rates and charges therefor, which rates and charges shall be filed with and subject to approval by the Department by individual household goods carriers or by groups of such carriers, and correct abuses by such carriers. To that end the Department may prescribe reasonable rules, regulations, bills of lading, forms and reports for such carriers to administer and enforce the provisions of this chapter. The Department shall have the right at all times to require from such carriers special reports and statements, under oath, concerning their business. It shall make and enforce such requirements, rules, and regulations as may be necessary to prevent unjust or unreasonable discriminations by any such carrier. The Department may prescribe and enforce such reasonable requirements, rules and regulations in the matter of leasing of motor vehicles as are necessary to prevent evasion of the Department's regulatory powers.

The Department shall work in conjunction with the Department of State Police and local law-enforcement officials to promote uniform enforcement of the laws pertaining to motor carriers and the rules, regulations, forms, and reports prescribed under the provisions of this chapter.

2001, c. 596; 2011, cc. 881, 889; 2012, cc. 22, 111.

§ 46.2-2156. Solicitation, booking, registration by other persons prohibited; storage-in-transit.

A. No person except a certificated household goods carrier, its parent, or its wholly owned subsidiary company, or other entity under complete ownership, or an employee of the above certificated carrier may solicit, book or register a shipment of household goods moving intrastate and only in the name of that certificated carrier.

B. No person or employee of a certificated or a noncertificated carrier may act as an employee, representative, or agent for another certificated carrier for purpose of soliciting, booking or registering an intrastate shipment except as provided in subsection A of this section. No person or employee of a certificated carrier who solicits, books or registers intrastate shipments may be employed by a noncertificated carrier.

C. A certificated household goods carrier may utilize the services of another certificated household goods carrier or a permitted property carrier that has complied with the minimum cargo insurance requirements of this chapter for storage and final delivery on storage-in-transit shipments at destination. A property carrier who does not hold a household goods certificate of fitness is prohibited from delivering a shipment for a greater distance than thirty road miles from the warehouse. The shipment must move on the bill of lading of the originating certificated household goods carrier with the delivering certificated household goods carrier or property carrier shown on the bill of lading. The legal liability of the shipment remains the responsibility of the originating certificated household goods carrier.

D. A household goods carrier may interchange or interline shipments with any other certificated household goods carrier provided both carriers hold proper authority to transport the shipment from origin to destination. The shipment must move on the bill of lading of the originating certificated household goods carrier with the delivering certificated household goods carrier shown on the bill of lading. The legal liability of the shipment remains the responsibility of the originating certificated household goods carrier.

2001, c. 596; 2011, cc. 881, 889.

§ 46.2-2157. Estimate of charges; penalties; information booklet for shippers.

A. Household goods carriers may, upon request of a shipper, cause to be given to such shipper an estimate of the charges for proposed services in the manner and form specified in this section:

1. The estimate may be made only after a visual inspection of the goods by the estimator or be based upon information furnished to the carrier by the shipper.

2. If a written estimate is furnished, across the top of each form there shall be imprinted, in bold type, the words "ESTIMATED COST OF SERVICES."

3. The name, address and phone number of the carrier providing the estimate must be shown in a legible manner on each estimate form.

4. Imprinted thereunder in regular type shall be words to the effect "IMPORTANT NOTICE: This estimate covers only the articles and services listed. It is not a guarantee that the actual charges will not exceed the amount of the estimate. However, carriers may bind the estimate and guarantee that charges may not exceed the bound estimate except for any accessorial tariff charges incurred at destination that are not known to the carrier until actual delivery of the shipment and a sight survey reveals that additional charges are necessary to effect delivery as published in the carrier's tariff. Household goods carriers are required by law to collect transportation and other incidental charges computed on the basis of rates shown in their lawfully published tariffs. Charges for additional services will be added to the transportation charges."

5. The original or a true legible copy of each estimate form prepared in accordance with this section may be delivered to the shipper and a copy thereof shall be maintained by the carrier as part of its record of shipment.

B. If the carrier provides a shipper with a written estimate, the carrier will give to the shipper an information booklet that has been approved by the Department and will obtain a receipt therefor from the shipper. Such receipt will become a part of the permanent file of the carrier.

2001, c. 596; 2006, c. 609.

§ 46.2-2158. Bill of lading.

A. A bill of lading shall be issued.

B. A bill of lading shall contain the following information:

1. Name, address and telephone number of the household goods carrier.

2. Agreed pick-up period of time, the actual pick-up date and agreed delivery date or the agreed period of time within which delivery of the shipment is expected at destination.

3. True copies of the gross and tare weight tickets shall be attached to the bill of lading as soon as such weight tickets are obtained. If the shipper is present at the weighing, he shall then be given a copy of the gross and tare weight tickets upon request, otherwise, he shall be given a copy thereof at destination upon request.

4. The number of the vehicle onto which the shipment is loaded.

5. Amount of charges and method of payment of total tariff charges.

6. Total amount required to be paid in cash, postal money order, traveler's check, cashier's check, bank treasurer's check, bank wire transfer, or approved credit card to relinquish possession of a C.O.D. shipment.

2001, c. 596; 2006, c. 609.

§ 46.2-2159. Freight bill or freight bill/bill of lading.

A. There shall be furnished by every household goods carrier at destination to the consignee of every C.O.D. shipment transported by him a freight bill, if a combination freight bill/bill of lading is not used, which bill shall contain the following information: point of origin, point of destination, date of shipment, description of article or commodity, weight of article or commodity rate, or rates applicable for the service rendered, statement of nature and amounts of charges for special services, where charges incurred, and method of payment of total tariff charges.

B. If a carrier uses a uniform household goods bill of lading and freight bill, subsection A of this section shall not apply.

2001, c. 596.

§ 46.2-2160. Bill of lading kept in vehicle; preserved in office.

With every motor vehicle transporting household goods there shall be carried with such property on the same vehicle a copy of the bill of lading of all such property, which shall indicate the consignor, consignee, origin, destination and weight of each shipment on the motor vehicle. The original or a copy of the bill of lading shall be preserved in the office of such carrier for a period of at least three years.

2001, c. 596.

§ 46.2-2161. Payment of tariff charges; payment of specific charges.

A. The carrier will not deliver or relinquish possession of any property transported by it until all tariff rates and charges thereon have been paid in cash, postal money order, traveler's check, cashier's check, bank treasurer's check, bank wire transfer, or approved credit card, except where other satisfactory arrangements have been made between the carrier and the consignor or consignee.

B. Carrier may require prepayment of charges for a specific service in full or in part on or before commencing performance of such services as requested by shipper.

C. Estimated charges may be bound or fixed so that the price estimated may not be exceeded with the exception that any accessorial tariff charges incurred at destination that are not known to the carrier until actual delivery of the shipment and a sight survey reveals that additional charges are necessary to effect delivery as published in the carrier's tariff.

2001, c. 596; 2006, c. 609.

§ 46.2-2162. Carrier liability.

A. No delivery acknowledgement on any shipping document to be signed by the consignee at time of delivery shall contain any language that purports to release or discharge the carrier or its agents from liability, other than a statement that the property has been received in apparent good condition except as noted on the shipping documents.

B. Household goods carriers shall not assume any liability in excess of that for which they are legally liable under their lawful bills of lading and published tariffs.

C. Household goods carriers shall not advertise or represent to the public that "all loads are insured" or other similar wording, unless such carrier has filed tariffs with the Department, assuming complete liability, and has filed evidence of insurance with the Department providing protection covering all shipments to their full value without limitation and insuring against every peril to which any shipment may be exposed.

D. Shipper or his representative will acknowledge that the property has been received in apparent good condition except as noted on the shipping documents at time of delivery.

2001, c. 596.

§ 46.2-2163. Determination of weights by certified scales.

A. Each household goods carrier shall determine the tare weight of each vehicle used by having it weighed prior to, if practicable, the loading of each shipment under the following conditions:

1. By a certified weighmaster or on a certified scale, and

2. The vehicle shall contain all pads, chains, dollies, handtrucks and other equipment needed in the transportation of shipments to be loaded thereon.

B. After the vehicle has been loaded it shall be weighed under the following conditions:

1. At the certified scale nearest to the point of origin of the shipment, if practicable, and

2. The vehicle shall contain all pads, chains, dollies, handtrucks and other equipment needed in the transportation of shipments to be loaded thereon.

C. The net weight of the shipment shall be determined by deducting the tare weight from the gross weight and such weight shall be entered on the bill of lading.

D. Where no certified scale is available at the point of origin, the gross weight shall be obtained at the nearest certified scale either in the direction of the movement of the shipment or in the direction of the next pick-up or delivery in the case of partial loads.

In the transportation of partial loads, this section shall apply in all respects, except that the gross weight of a vehicle containing one or more partial loads shall be used as the tare weight of such vehicle as to partial loads subsequently loaded thereon.

E. The person paying the freight charges, or his representative upon request of either, shall be permitted without charge to accompany, in his own conveyance, the carrier to the weighing station and to observe the weighing of his shipment after loading.

The carrier shall use a certified scale that will permit the shipper to observe the weighing of his shipment without causing delay.

F. The provisions of this section shall not apply to bound or fixed estimates provided in accordance with the provisions of § 46.2-2161.

2001, c. 596; 2006, c. 609.

§ 46.2-2164. Constructive weight.

If no certified scale is available at origin, at any point enroute, or at destination, a constructive weight based upon seven pounds per cubic foot of properly loaded van space may be used.

2001, c. 596.

§ 46.2-2165. Obtaining weight tickets.

The carrier shall obtain a weight ticket signed by the weighmaster or its driver for each weighing required under this section, with tare and gross weights evidenced by separate tickets, and the driver shall enter thereon the number of the bill of lading or shipper's name. No other alterations shall be made on any such ticket.

1. As soon as weight tickets are obtained, true copies thereof shall be attached to the bill of lading accompanying the shipment and retained in the carrier's file.

2. If a shipper requests, a true copy of each weight ticket pertaining to a shipment shall be given to the shipper at the weighing station if the shipper is present or upon delivery of the shipment if the shipper is not present at the weighing.

3. Any of the following shipments may be weighed on a certified scale or by a certified weighmaster prior to being loaded on the vehicle:

a. A part load for any one shipper not exceeding 1,000 pounds;

b. An automobile or other article weighing in excess of 500 pounds, which is mounted on wheels;

c. A shipment that the carrier containerizes for further transportation, in which case the net weight of the shipment shall be the gross weight of the container less the tare weight of the container. The gross weight of the container shall be as packed and prepared for shipment and the tare weight of the container shall include all of the pads, skins, blocking and bracing used, or to be used, to protect the contents of the container, but not including packing materials used in the preliminary packing of the shipment.

2001, c. 596.

§ 46.2-2166. Minimum weight shipments, notice.

No carrier shall accept an order for a shipment for transportation that appears to be subject to the minimum weight provisions of the carrier's tariff without first having advised the shipper of such minimum weight provisions.

2001, c. 596.

§ 46.2-2167. Reweighing of shipment.

The household goods carrier, upon request of the shipper or his representative made prior to the delivery, shall reweigh the shipment subject to the availability of scales at destination.

1. The household goods carrier shall inform the person requesting the reweigh, within a reasonable time prior to the gross reweighing, of the tariff charges therefor and the location of a certified scale in close proximity to the destination of the shipment that shall be used, and of the right of the shipper, or his representative, to observe the gross and tare reweighing.

2. The household goods carrier, without altering or deleting the initial weights, shall cause to be recorded on the bill of lading the gross, tare and net weights on reweigh, and shall give the shipper, or his representative, original or true copies of the weight tickets on reweigh in the same manner as prescribed in subdivision 2 of § 46.2-2165 for initial weighing.

3. The lower of the two net scale weights shall be used for determining the applicable charges.

4. The household goods carrier may publish in its tariff a reasonable charge for reweighing shipments, which charge shall be applicable when the reweigh develops a net scale weight in excess of the initial net scale weight or if the difference between the initial net scale weight and the reweight net scale weight is less than 100 pounds on a shipment weighing 5,000 pounds or less or two percent or less of the lower net scale weight on shipments in excess of 5,000 pounds.

2001, c. 596.

§ 46.2-2168. Claims.

A. Every household goods carrier that receives a written claim for loss of or damage to property transported by it shall:

1. Acknowledge receipt of such claim in writing to the claimant within thirty calendar days after its receipt by the carrier. The carrier shall, at the time such claim is received, cause the date of receipt to be recorded on the claim;

2. Pay, decline or make a firm compromise settlement offer in writing to the claimant within 120 days after receipt of the claim by the carrier or its agent.

B. If the claim cannot be processed and disposed of within 120 days after the receipt thereof, the carrier shall, at that time and the expiration of each succeeding thirty-day period while the claim remains pending, advise the claimant in writing of the status of the claim and the reasons for the delay in making final disposition thereof.

C. No household goods carrier shall provide by contract or otherwise a shorter period for the filing of loss and damage claims than thirty calendar days, and for the institution of suits than two years, such period for institution of suits to be computed from the day when notice in writing is given by the carrier to the claimant that the carrier has disallowed the claim or any part or parts thereof specified in the notice.

2001, c. 596.

§ 46.2-2169. Tariffs showing rates and charges, etc.

Every household goods carrier by motor vehicle shall file with the Department at least thirty days before the effective date and make available for public inspection, tariffs showing all the rates and charges for transportation, and all services in connection therewith. Such rates and charges shall be stated in terms of lawful money of the United States. The tariffs required by this section shall be published, filed, and posted in such form and manner, and shall contain such information as the Department may prescribe. The Department is authorized to reject any tariff filed with it that is not in consonance with this section and with such regulations. Any tariff so rejected by the Department shall be void, and its use shall be unlawful.

2001, c. 596.

§ 46.2-2170. Unlawful to charge other than published tariff.

No household goods carrier shall charge or demand or collect or receive a greater compensation for transportation or for any service in connection therewith than the rates and charges specified in the tariffs in effect at the time.

2001, c. 596; 2006, c. 609.

§ 46.2-2171. Changes in tariffs.

No change shall be made in any rate or charge, or any rule, regulation, or practice affecting such rate or charge, or the value of the service thereunder, specified in any effective tariff of a household goods carrier, except after thirty days' notice of the proposed change. Such notice shall plainly state the change proposed to be made and the time when such change will take effect. The Department may, in its discretion and for good cause shown, allow such change upon notice less than that herein specified or modify the requirements of this section with respect to posting and filing of tariffs.

2001, c. 596.

§ 46.2-2172. Joint tariffs; power of attorney.

A. A household goods carrier may authorize an agent or may join with another carrier or carriers in the publication of a joint tariff, supplement or amendment, and, where such authority is given, shall file with the Department prior to publication power of attorney or notice of concurrence, which shall specifically set out the authority given.

B. Where a household goods carrier issues a power of attorney to an agent or a concurrence to another carrier for the publication of tariffs, such power of attorney or concurrence may not be revoked except upon sixty days' notice to the Department and the agent or carrier to which the power of attorney or concurrence was issued, except upon special permission of the Department.

2001, c. 596.

§ 46.2-2173. Tariff contents.

Tariff contents shall contain certain information:

1. Table of contents, arranged in alphabetical order, showing the number of the page and/or item number on which each subject may be found. If a tariff contains so small a volume of matter that its title page or interior arrangement plainly discloses its contents, the table of contents may be omitted.

2. A complete list of all carriers participating in the tariff, or reference to the governing publication which participation is shown.

3. A complete index of all commodities on which specific rates are named therein, together with reference to the page and/or items in which they are shown. No index need be shown in tariffs of less than five pages, or if all the rates to each destination are alphabetically arranged by commodities.

4. Explanations of all notes, abbreviations, symbols and reference marks used in tariff.

5. Rules that govern in clear and explicit terms, setting forth all privileges and services covered.

6. Any exceptions to the application of rates named, and non-application of rates named therein.

7. All line haul transportation rates shall be explicitly stated in dollars and cents.

8. Household goods carriers shall establish the charge to be made for each accessorial or terminal service rendered in connection with the shipment. The tariff shall separately state each service to be rendered and the charge therefor.

a. The charges for packing and unpacking shall be stated in amounts per container or per hundred weight.

b. An hourly labor charge may be established to cover miscellaneous labor services performed at the request of the shipper when a rate is not separately stated for the service requested.

9. Tariffs based on distances from point of origin to destination shall show the mileages or indicate a definite method by which such mileages shall be determined.

2001, c. 596; 2006, c. 609.