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April 4, 2016

Differences between local, interstate and international relocation

Reviewed By: Ryan McConnell, President & COO, Atlas Van Lines - 25+ Years in the Moving Industry

  • International Moves
  • Local Moves
  • Long Distance Moves
Here are the three different types of moving.

Moving can be a very exciting time in your life, whether it's for a job relocation or just a change of scenery. However, there's a lot to do and learn. If you're moving, it's in your best interest to hire a professional and reliable moving company, but before diving into any plans, it's important that you're educated on all of the different types of moving and their respective terminology.

There are three different types of moving. Each one contains specifics that are vital to know before hiring a moving company. Here are the differences between local, interstate and international relocation:


Intrastate moving, also known as local moving is when your new residence will be in the same state you're currently living in. It could be 5 miles away from your home or 50. In general, a local move does not cross any state borders during the process.

Intrastate moves are traditionally less expensive than interstate moves (and definitely less pricey than international relocation), because of the lack of distance. In addition, it doesn't adhere to many regulations movers must follow for bigger relocations since local moves are not regulated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Instead, the rules and regulations of a move are outlined by the individual state that you live in.


Interstate relocation occurs when you are moving or transporting goods in and out of state lines. These moves and relocations are governed and monitored by the FMCSA and its rules and regulations. Some states require licensing and registration, so be sure to check out your state's moving regulations.

The cost of an interstate move is determined by the weight of the items you're transporting and the number of miles your belongings will be traveling to your new home.

Moving overseas is the most expensive relocating.Moving overseas is the most expensive relocating.


International moving, also called overseas moving, means that you will be moving out of the contiguous 48 states and to another country. The mover must be registered with the Federal Maritime Commission and your goods must be cleared through customs. Traditionally, these moves are the most expensive because they are the farthest and can include additional travel expenses.

Moving is a stressful process whether your relocation is local, interstate or international. That's why it's vital that you hire a professional moving company to get all your items from your old home to your new one, safely.