Intrastate or Interstate, Local or Long Distance? Moving Terms to Know.

When you do your research on moving, you will notice several terms used frequently to describe the different kinds of moves people make.  I’d like to clear up any confusion for you here with a short primer on moving terminology—and a few points you should know about the different kinds of moves.

Interstate Moving

Interstate moving refers to a move between states, or from one state to another. For example, a move from California to Nevada. Or from California to Maine. It also refers to a move that originates and arrives in the same state if the shipment crosses state lines or national borders. This is an important legal distinction.

Intrastate Moving

Atlas moving vanIntrastate moving describes a move within a single state. For example, from Grass Valley, California, to Rocklin, California.

These two words, although similar sounding, have entirely different meanings. They bring clarity to discussion.

Domestic Moving vs. International Moving

Another term we moving companies use is domestic.  It refers to moves that take place within a single country, such as within the U.S.  It usually refers to an interstate move, and it usually appears in contrast to international move.

As you probably guessed, international moving is any move between countries. Here’s one more little caveat: for moves between the U.S. and Canada, we typically use the term “cross-border” move.

Local vs. Long Distance Moving

Now it gets a little more interesting with the terms local moving and long distance moving. Both terms are used in a number of ways, and the distinction isn’t always clear.  For example, a local move usually refers to a move within the same city.  Some may also use it as a synonym for intrastate moving. However, an intrastate California move from Crescent City to San Diego is about 850 miles. That certainly doesn’t seem very local!

By the same token, long-distance moving is often used as a synonym for interstate moving. You might be moving to towns ten miles apart, but because they are in different states, your move may be referred to as long-distance—even if it feels like a local move.

The Determining Factor... State Lines & National Borders

The most important distinctions involve moving across state lines or national borders. For an interstate move, your carrier (such as Ernie’s Van & Storage) must be authorized with what is called “interstate operating authority.”  Motor Carriers must apply for this authority with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. It involves filing proof of both public liability (BI & PD) and cargo insurance. If you are interested, you can read more about interstate operating authority at the FMCSA’s secure website.

EVS Knows Moving & Makes it Simple for You

As these terms show, moving can get pretty complicated. We try to make it simple for you. If you have any questions about moving, whether intrastate or interstate, international or cross-border, or local or long distance, contact us! Or get a free online moving quote for whatever type of move you need to make!




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