(a) A household mover shall not engage, or attempt to engage, in the business of the transportation of used household goods and personal effects by motor vehicle over any public highway in this state, including by any means or media, advertising, soliciting, offering, arranging as a broker, or entering into an agreement regarding the transportation of used household goods and personal effects, unless both of the following are satisfied:
(1) For transportation of household goods and personal effects entirely within this state, there is in force a permit issued by the bureau authorizing those operations. Permits issued by the Public Utilities Commission pursuant to the former Chapter 7 (commencing with Section 5101) of Division 2 of the Public Utilities Code, that are valid and effective on the operative date of this chapter, shall remain in effect, subject to the provisions of this chapter, for a period of not more than two years after the operative date of this chapter, or until the time the bureau issues, reissues, renews, suspends, revokes, or otherwise alters or amends the permit, whichever occurs earlier.
(2) For transportation of household goods and personal effects from this state to another state or from another state to this state, there is in force a valid operating authority issued by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
(b) A household mover that engages, or attempts to engage, in the business of the transportation of used household goods and personal effects in violation of subdivision (a) shall not enforce any security interest or bring or maintain any action in law or equity to recover any money or property or obtain any other relief from any consignor, consignee, or owner of household goods or personal effects in connection with an agreement to transport, or the transportation of, household goods and personal effects or any related services. A person who utilizes the services of a household mover operating in violation of subdivision (a) may bring an action in any court of competent jurisdiction in this state to recover all compensation paid to that household mover.
(c) The operation of a motor vehicle used in the business of transporting household goods and personal effects by a household mover that does not possess a valid permit or operating authority, as required by subdivision (a), constitutes a public nuisance. Any peace officer, as defined in Chapter 4.5 (commencing with Section 830) of Title 3 of Part 2 of the Penal Code, may remove any motor vehicle located within the territorial limits in which the officer may act, when the vehicle is found upon a highway and is being used in a manner constituting a public nuisance. At the request of the bureau, the Attorney General, or a district attorney, city attorney, or county counsel, the law enforcement agency may impound the vehicle for a period not to exceed 72 hours to enable the requesting agency to abate the public nuisance, to obtain an order from the superior court of the county in which the vehicle has been impounded to prevent the use of the motor vehicle in violation of law, and to obtain any other remedy available under law as permitted by Section 19282.
(d) Any person having possession or control of used household goods or personal effects, who knows, or through the exercise of reasonable care should know, that a household mover transported those household goods or personal effects in violation of subdivision (a), shall release the household goods and personal effects to the consignor or consignee, as defined in Section 19245, upon the request of the consignor or consignee. If that person fails to release the household goods and personal effects, any peace officer, as defined in subdivision (c), may take custody of the household goods and personal effects and release them to the consignor or consignee.
(Added by Stats. 2017, Ch. 421, Sec. 8. (SB 19) Effective January 1, 2018. Operative July 1, 2018, pursuant to Section 19294.)
Last modified: October 25, 2018