F L O R I D A H O U S E O F R E P R E S E N T A T I V E S
HB 1523 2023
1 A bill to be entitled
2 An act relating to household moving services; amending
3 s. 507.01, F.S.; revising definitions; amending s.
4 507.02, F.S.; providing construction; amending s.
5 507.03, F.S.; revising requirements for estimates,
6 contracts, and advertisements; conforming a cross-
7 reference; revising requirements relating to lists
8 provided to the Department of Agriculture and Consumer
9 Services by moving brokers; requiring the department
10 to publish and maintain a specified list on its
11 website; prohibiting certain persons from operating as
12 or holding themselves out to be a mover or moving
13 broker without registering with the department;
14 requiring the department to issue cease and desist
15 orders to certain persons under certain circumstances;
16 authorizing the department to seek an immediate
17 injunction under certain circumstances; amending s.
18 507.04, F.S.; revising alternative coverage
19 requirements; requiring the department to immediately
20 suspend a mover's or moving broker's registration
21 under certain circumstances; authorizing the
22 department to seek an immediate injunction under
23 certain circumstances; amending s. 507.05, F.S.;
24 revising requirements for contracts and estimates for
25 prospective shippers; creating s. 507.056, F.S.;
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26 providing limitations and prohibitions for moving
27 brokers; requiring moving brokers to make a specified
28 disclosure to shippers before providing any services;
29 prohibiting moving brokers' fees from including
30 certain costs; requiring that documents provided to
31 shippers by moving brokers contain specified
32 information; amending s. 507.07, F.S.; providing that
33 it is a violation of ch. 507, F.S., for moving brokers
34 to provide estimates or enter into contracts or
35 agreements that were not prepared and signed or
36 electronically acknowledged by a mover; amending s.
37 507.09, F.S.; conforming a cross-reference; requiring
38 the department, upon verification by certain entities,
39 to immediately suspend a registration or the
40 processing of an application for a registration in
41 certain circumstances; amending s. 507.10, F.S.;
42 conforming a cross-reference; amending s. 507.11,
43 F.S.; conforming provisions to changes made by the
44 act; providing an effective date.
45
46 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
47
48 Section 1. Subsections (4), (6), and (10) of section
49 507.01, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
50 507.01 Definitions.—As used in this chapter, the term:
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51 (4) "Contract for service" or "bill of lading" means a
52 written document prepared by a registered mover which is
53 approved and electronically acknowledged or signed by the
54 shipper in writing before the performance of any service by the
55 mover and which authorizes services from the named mover to
56 perform and lists the services and lists all costs associated
57 with the household move and accessorial services to be
58 performed.
59 (6) "Estimate" means a written document prepared by a
60 registered mover that sets forth the total costs and describes
61 the basis of those costs, relating to a shipper's household
62 move, including, but not limited to, the loading, transportation
63 or shipment, and unloading of household goods and accessorial
64 services.
65 (10) "Moving broker" or "broker" means a person who, for
66 compensation, arranges with a registered mover for loading,
67 transporting or shipping, or unloading of for another person to
68 load, transport or ship, or unload household goods as part of a
69 household move or who, for compensation, refers a shipper to a
70 registered mover by telephone, postal or electronic mail,
71 Internet website, or other means.
72 Section 2. Present paragraph (b) of subsection (1) of
73 section 507.02, Florida Statutes, is redesignated as paragraph
74 (c), and a new paragraph (b) is added to that subsection, to
75 read:
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76 507.02 Construction; intent; application.—
77 (1) This chapter shall be construed liberally to:
78 (b) Establish the law of this state governing the
79 brokering of moves of household goods by moving brokers.
80 Section 3. Subsections (1), (2), (5), (6), (7), (9), and
81 (11) of section 507.03, Florida Statutes, are amended, and
82 subsections (12) and (13) are added to that section, to read:
83 507.03 Registration.—
84 (1) Each mover and moving broker must register with the
85 department, providing its legal business and trade name, mailing
86 address, and business locations; the full names, addresses, and
87 telephone numbers of its owners, or corporate officers, and
88 directors and the Florida agent of the corporation; a statement
89 whether it is a domestic or foreign corporation, its state and
90 date of incorporation, its charter number, and, if a foreign
91 corporation, the date it registered with the Department of
92 State; the date on which the mover or moving broker registered
93 its fictitious name if the mover or moving broker is operating
94 under a fictitious or trade name; the name of all other
95 corporations, business entities, and trade names throug h which
96 each owner of the mover or moving broker operated, was known, or
97 did business as a mover or moving broker within the preceding 5
98 years; and proof of the insurance or alternative coverages
99 required under s. 507.04.
100 (2) A certificate evidencing proof of registration shall
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101 be issued by the department and must be prominently displayed in
102 the mover's or moving broker's primary place of business.
103 (5)(a) Each estimate or contract of a mover or moving
104 broker must include the phrase "...(NAME OF FIRM)... is
105 registered with the State of Florida as a Mover or Moving
106 Broker. Fla. Mover Registration No. ....."
107 (b) Any document from a moving broker must include the
108 phrase "...(NAME OF FIRM)... is registered with the State of
109 Florida as a Moving Broker. Fla. Moving Broker Registration No.
110 ....."
111 (6)(a) Each advertisement of a mover or moving broker must
112 include the phrase "Fla. Mover Reg. No. ...." or "Fla. IM No.
113 ....." Each of the mover's vehicles must clearly and
114 conspicuously display a sign on the driver's side door which
115 includes at least one of these phrases in lettering of at least
116 1.5 inches in height.
117 (b) Each advertisement of a moving broker must include the
118 phrase "Fla. Moving Broker Reg. No. ..... ...(NAME OF MOVING
119 BROKER)... is a moving broker. ...(NAME OF MOVING BROKER)... is
120 paid by a shipper to arrange, or offer to arrange, the
121 transportation of property by a registered mover."
122 (7) A registration is not valid for any mover or moving
123 broker transacting business at any place other than that
124 designated in the mover's or moving broker's application, unless
125 the department is first notified in writing before any change of
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126 location. A registration issued under this chapter is not
127 assignable, and the mover or moving broker may not conduct
128 business under more than one name except as registered. A mover
129 or moving broker desiring to change its registered name or
130 location or designated agent for service of process at a time
131 other than upon renewal of registration must notify the
132 department of the change.
133 (9) The department shall deny or refuse to renew the
134 registration of a mover or a moving broker or deny a
135 registration or renewal request by any of the mover's or moving
136 broker's directors, officers, owners, or general partners if the
137 mover or moving broker has not satisfied a civil penalty or
138 administrative fine for a violation of s. 507.07(10) s.
139 507.07(9).
140 (11) At the request of the department, Each moving broker
141 shall provide the department with a complete list of the
142 registered movers that the moving broker has contracted or is
143 affiliated with, advertises on behalf of, arranges moves for, or
144 refers shippers to, including each mover's complete name,
145 address, telephone number, and e-mail address, and registration
146 number and the name of each mover's owners, corporate officers,
147 and directors owner or other principal. A moving broker must
148 notify the department of any changes to the provided
149 information. The department shall publish and maintain a list of
150 all moving brokers and the registered movers each moving broker
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151 is contracted with on its website.
152 (12) A person required to register pursuant to this
153 section may not operate as or hold itself out to be a mover or
154 moving broker without first registering with the depa rtment
155 pursuant to this section.
156 (13) The department must immediately issue a cease and
157 desist order to a person upon finding that such person is
158 operating as mover or moving broker without registering pursuant
159 to this section. In addition, and notwithstanding the
160 availability of any administrative relief under chapter 120, the
161 department may seek from the appropriate circuit court an
162 immediate injunction prohibiting the person from operating in
163 this state until the person complies with this section, a ci vil
164 penalty not to exceed $5,000, and court costs.
165 Section 4. Present subsections (3), (4), and (5) of
166 section 507.04, Florida Statutes, are redesignated as
167 subsections (4), (5), and (6), respectively, a new subsection
168 (3) is added to that section, and subsection (1) and present
169 subsections (4) and (5) of that section are amended, to read:
170 507.04 Required insurance coverages; liability
171 limitations; valuation coverage.—
172 (1) LIABILITY INSURANCE.—
173 (a)1. Except as provided in paragraph (b), each mover
174 operating in this state must maintain current and valid
175 liability insurance coverage of at least $10,000 per shipment
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176 for the loss or damage of household goods resulting from the
177 negligence of the mover or its employees or agents.
178 2. The mover must provide the department with evidence of
179 liability insurance coverage before the mover is registered with
180 the department under s. 507.03. All insurance coverage
181 maintained by a mover must remain in effect throughout the
182 mover's registration period. A mover's failure to maintain
183 insurance coverage in accordance with this paragraph constitutes
184 an immediate threat to the public health, safety, and welfare.
185 (b) A mover that operates two or fewer vehicles, in lieu
186 of maintaining the liability insurance coverage req uired under
187 paragraph (a), may, and each moving broker must, maintain one of
188 the following alternative coverages:
189 1. A performance bond in the amount of $50,000 $25,000,
190 for which the surety of the bond must be a surety company
191 authorized to conduct business in this state; or
192 2. A certificate of deposit in a Florida banking
193 institution in the amount of $50,000 $25,000.
194 (c) A moving broker must maintain one of the following
195 coverages:
196 1. A performance bond in the amount of $50,000, for which
197 the surety of the bond must be a surety company authorized to
198 conduct business in this state; or
199 2. A certificate of deposit in a Florida banking
200 institution in the amount of $50,000.
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201
202 The original bond or certificate of deposit must be filed with
203 the department and must designate the department as the sole
204 beneficiary. The department must use the bond or certificate of
205 deposit exclusively for the payment of claims to consumers who
206 are injured by the fraud, misrepresentation, breach of contract,
207 misfeasance, malfeasance, or financial failure of the mover or
208 moving broker or by a violation of this chapter by the mover or
209 moving broker. Liability for these injuries may be determined in
210 an administrative proceeding of the department or through a
211 civil action in a court of competent jurisdiction. However,
212 claims against the bond or certificate of deposit must only be
213 paid, in amounts not to excee