From their headquarters in rural northern Virginia, Arty Vogt and his team of professional movers can take your stuff almost anywhere in the country.

Unless, that is, you want to move a mere 11 miles – across the border into West Virginia.

“People are flabbergasted when we tell them we cannot do a move within the state of West Virginia,” Vogt said.

“I can move you to Brazil, I can move you to Wisconsin. But for no good reason, I’m not allowed to do a move in West Virginia,” he said.

It’s not for lack of trying. Vogt has applied for a license to operate his moving company in West Virginia, only to be told by state bureaucrats that his business wasn’t needed.

Thanks to relatively obscure state laws requiring moving companies to obtain a so-called “Certificate of Necessity” license (also known as Certificate of Public Need in other states), it’s not the market that determines whether moving companies get to operate in West Virginia – it’s the state government.

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