Out of state moves or long distance moves , Moving companies must be licensed and insured ,(some type of moving services might require bonding too) the Department of transportation also know as DOT of federal motor carrier safety administration also known as FMCSA you can also verify license information your self at following internet address: http://safer.fmcsa.dot.gov/CompanySnapshot.aspx moving companies and movers are also required to keep their insurance on file with the Department of transportation.
In state moves, all of the above it true to state to state moves, all moving within the same are subject to the local state Department of transportation (state DOT) and the rules change from state to state, you can verify with your state department of transportation if your mover is licensed, in California the California public utility commission aka as CPUC available at http://www.cpuc.ca.gov/puc/ is responsible for verify and issue household goods moving companies licenses you can also check your moving companies with the better business bureau or local office of chambers of commerce you can call all those moving resources to verify of your moving is licensed or even a reputable moving company.
International moving is licensed by the Federal Maritime Commission FMC available at http://www.fmc.gov/ each moving company wishes to conduct international moves any more leaving main land USA including any islands and HI “ Hawaii or for that matter any international shipping done by an air or sea container must be registered and licensed by the Federal Maritime Commission.

movers in California

Licensed moving companies are required to meet a few over moving requirement, publish their tariffs and or list of prices to who ever wants to see a copy.
publish their arbitration program and disputes settlement programs which should include neutral arbitration in case a conflict arises, between the mover and the customer.

Publish their damage and claim procedures in case some items arrive missing or broken During the move.
Movers are also require to maintain minimum liability insurance and auto liability insurance and workers compensation insurance in cases they have employees.
Another point to remember when considering hiring a moving company is using common sense of the price looks too good to be true it usually is, there is a reason why one mover will give a price half then the rest of the competition average , he would cut down all on all the possible costs and will reduce dramatically the quality of the move, that might results in late delivery extensive damage to your furniture lost items during moving etc ..
All the above resource are intended for your protection during the moving process, and the best selection of moving companies, but as we said before couldnt replace using common sense. Ask friends and family as to positive moving experience and moving quotes which they received for their moves.
Take guard of the companies which do not provide any commercial address on their Web site, documents of businesses, or a company which is hesitant to provide you their physical commercial address.
It is important that you know where to contact the company if you have a problem.
Plan to visit the Moving company office, before you make your final decision
This could be a stratagem simply to enter a person of sales your house to give you an evaluation. Made attention, made the research and decide which to invite in your house, based on references. You always point out that the price moving evaluation should never be the deciding factor. The reputation of the moving company goes a long way. Moreover, you should be able to meet or speak to the owner about the company. If you can speak to the owner about the businesses, even if only by the telephone, you will be able to develop a feeling of confidence that it is tested and enough able to ensure a professional moving process.
Thanks for read so far, Sean Davis