Everything You Need To Know About Prohibited Moving Items


What You Shouldn’t Take With You

Before going through the daunting, yet necessary, process of packing your entire household for your move, it’s important to note that there are certain items you can’t take with you. Some of these things are illegal to carry across state lines, while others are simply regulated and require permits or certain transportation methods. Here’s a guide that will tell you more about prohibited moving items and why you can’t take with you. SEE ALSO: 6 Cheapest Packing Methods To Save You Money

Illegal Items Are A No No

Starting with the obvious, being in possession of any type of contraband is, of course, against the law and shouldn’t be carried anywhere, especially across state lines. This includes illegal substances or paraphernalia, prohibited animals and plants, and stolen goods.

Movers Won’t Take The Risk

You should know that movers don’t want to risk being liable for any damage or injury that can occur during transport, and will refuse to take possession of anything that may cause this. Each moving company and moving container company has their own list of restrictions when it comes to what they will and will not transport, interstate or not. So, be sure you get a list from them and have it handy while you’re doing your packing. For the most part though, moving companies will not take:
  • Hazardous materials: any potentially dangerous or harmful substance or material. Examples: flammables, combustibles, corrosives, anything with Gasoline, loaded firearms, and matches.
  • Perishables: anything that will spoil or perish during transport. Examples: plants, animals, frozen or refrigerated foods, fresh produce, and opened food products.
  • Overly heavy items: excessively heavy or bulky items are usually prohibited unless worked out beforehand and with extra fees included. Examples: cars, grand pianos, hot tubs, and pool tables.

You Shouldn’t Take The Risk Either

There are other items that, while allowed, movers will advise you to transport yourself. Sentimental and irreplaceable items, for example, should be kept in a safe location just in case. After all, it would be devastating if something happened to your family photos, home videos or heirlooms. You should also keep personal documents, like medical records, financial documents, birth certificates, and insurance policies, in a place where they won’t get lost or stolen. And just to be safe, cash, jewelry, laptops, cell phones, and keys should be kept with you throughout the move.

Be Aware Of Laws And Regulations

As mentioned earlier, there are also some items that are legal to carry with you, but only under certain conditions. Here is a list of items and their rules for transport:
  • Alcohol: if you plan to take your liquor collection with you, be aware that most states enforce some variation of the open container policy. This policy prohibits the possession of open containers of alcohol in certain areas of a motor vehicle. Make sure you know the policies for each state you plan to travel through.
  • Firearms and ammunition: According to the NRA, anyone who lawfully owns a firearm may have it in the vehicle if it is unloaded and out of reach or locked in a container other than the glove compartment. This same rule goes for ammunition as well.
  • Fireworks: It is illegal to bring fireworks in to states where fireworks are prohibited.
  • Animals, animal products, biologics and biotechnology: you are only allowed to transport these items across state lines if you have a permit from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
  • Exotic animals: The importing and transporting of exotic pets, such as large felines and certain snakes, is prohibited in most states. Some states and cities ban the possession of such animals completely.
  • Plants: To prevent the spread of pests and diseases, certain plants may be prohibited, while others will require a certificate of inspection or a permit from the USDA. Most states have their own regulations for importing plants and vegetation from an outside state, so look up the specifics if you want to be sure.
It is also important to note that it’s against the law to bring minors (children 17 and under) across any state line without the permission of a parent or guardian. SEE ALSO: 9 Organization Tips To Make Your Move Easier Now that you know what you can and can’t bring with you when moving, you will definitely be able to save time in your packing process. Also, you have the added benefit of not having to worry about getting caught with something you didn’t know was prohibited in the first place. Just make sure you keep all this information with you so you don’t miss anything, and you give yourself enough time to get rid of or make arrangements for the things you need to leave behind.
Date of original publication:
Updated on: November 10, 2015

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