a room filled with boxes and a potted plant.

What Professional Moving Companies Cannot Move

At NexMuv, we take great satisfaction in promptly and safely transporting your clients and their possessions to their new locations. We understand that not all relocating families are well-versed in the specifics of what can and cannot be transported in a moving truck.

Moving firms have restrictions on what they may and cannot transport due to safety concerns and legal constraints. Other items are also strongly advised for transferees to transport on their own.

Although competent movers will always brief their customers on the items they may or may not take with them, customers sometimes forget this information come moving day. This is why we have compiled this list of items that cannot be relocated to give to your transferees in advance of their big move.

What Are Professional Moving Companies Legally Prohibited From Transporting?

While pretty much every possession can be moved from one town to another or from one state to another, some things are prohibited by law. These items can be divided into two major groups as follows: 

Hazardous Materials

Security is always a top priority. Professional movers will not load the vehicle with anything that could endanger the drivers or other passengers. That’s in addition to preventing any harm to the goods being relocated.

Among these items, we can include:

  • Car Batteries
  • Hover Boards
  • Alcoholic Beverages (Extensive wine collections
    can be moved in a climate-controlled van)
  • Matches
  • Gasoline
  • Fireworks
  • Oxygen bottles
  • Nail polish remover
  • Paints and paint thinners
  • Propane cylinders
  • Automotive repair and maintenance chemicals
  • Fluid Cleaners
  • Lamp Oil
  • Ammonia or Acids
  • Signal flares
  • Poisons, Fertilizer, or Pesticides
  • Radio-pharmaceuticals

Guns and Ammo

No matter what the regulations are in the state where the new resident lives, no moving company is allowed to move firearms or ammunition. Your moving company may be willing to accept long firearms (such as rifles or shotguns) as long as they are unloaded. A transferee who wishes to go across state lines with their own ammunition must familiarize themselves with the regulations governing such transportation in each state through which they will pass.

If a relocating family has a lot of guns and ammo, they might wish to hire a certified firearms dealer to transport them. This protects the transferee from any possible legal ramifications and guarantees that the weapons will be handled securely and legally.

What Should You Move Yourself?

While it’s not against the law for movers to carry, there are some things that are better taken care of by the recipient of the move rather than the company. High-value goods (those costing more than $100 per pound) and sentimental items (those with a great deal of importance to the transferee) should be brought along.

A few instances of extremely valuable or irreplaceable objects are:

  • Personal Electronic Devices
  • Heirloom, sentimental, or expensive (highly appraised) Jewelry
  • Photo Albums
  • Prescription medication needed for immediate use
  • Collections (collector cards, coins, stamps, etc.)
  • Keys (safe deposit box, house, car, etc.)
  • Travel Tickets (bus, train, airline, etc.)
  • Stocks and Bonds
  • Debit and Credit Cards
  • Cash

High-value items, such as antique furniture, can be moved by professional movers, but the company must be informed in advance. To avoid having a claim involving high-value items be subject to minimum liability, transferees should take extra care to list and sign off on the “high-value inventory form.” The transferee may also be required to file an “Extraordinary Value Article Declaration,” depending on the specifics of the situation.

Other items in this list include:

Highly Personal Documents

Documents and records containing confidential or highly personal information should be safeguarded by the transferee, just as one would with valuable or irreplaceable things. The transferee is responsible for safeguarding objects containing sensitive information such as social security numbers and financial records.

Examples of Highly Personal Documents:

  • Deeds
  • Medical Records
  • Tax Records
  • Financial Statements
  • Social Security Cards
  • Birth Certificates
  • Insurance Documents
  • Wills
  • Passports
  • Marriage Licenses
  • Moving Documents

Plants and Animals

There are a number of reasons why moving companies don’t want to handle houseplants. The truck is not an ideal environment for a plant, which requires plenty of water, sunlight, and a stable temperature; therefore, there is a chance that the plant won’t make it through the transfer.

Second, it’s illegal to move houseplants more than 150 miles due to legislation in several states. In several places, such as California, Florida, and Arizona, there are tight regulations on what kinds of plants can be moved across state lines.

Last but not least, a plant may attract pests while trapped in a transportation van. Expert movers understand that the risk of bringing bugs into a new resident’s belongings is not worth the effort of relocating a plant. Those who are relocating but are unable to take their plants with them can think about giving them to friends, family, or the new owner of their former residence.

And as much as we love them, our pets have no business being on a moving truck. The highest level of caution is warranted while transporting pets, as the process of moving can be extremely distressing for them.

Those who are being transferred should make every effort to bring their pets with them on the trip. If a relocating employee absolutely must leave their pet behind, they might look into hiring an animal relocation service.


The moving truck is not the place to transport perishable goods like food. Fresh food and other products that need to be frozen or refrigerated can’t be transported unless they are sealed and non-perishable.

The majority of perishables should be used by the relocating family before the big day. Items that are not needed should be given to friends and family or donated to charity.

In fact, several moving companies have partnerships with charities that help the hungry, and they’ll donate any extra non-perishable food items to the recipient’s neighborhood food bank at no cost.


If you advise your relocating employees of the items that their moving company will not or should not transport, they will have more time to make alternative plans. Always advise your relocating employees to double-check with their moving company regarding the legality of any items they plan to transport. A transferee who has more information at their disposal is a transferee who is better prepared. You should distribute this guideline to your staff so they can be ready for the moving day.

Picture of Wes Struebing

Wes Struebing

After more than 30 years in the logistics sector, I have learned a thing or two about moving things and motivating people to do their best and offer their all to our customers. Whether in life or in business, I believe in one thing: I only want to be there if I can improve things.

Logistics is not only what I do; it is my passion.

Picture of Wes Struebing

Wes Struebing

After more than 30 years in the logistics sector, I have learned a thing or two about moving things and motivating people to do their best and offer their all to our customers. Whether in life or in business, I believe in one thing: I only want to be there if I can improve things.

Logistics is not only what I do; it is my passion.