What is the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System (NMVTIS)?

The National Motor Vehicle Title Information System (NMVTIS) is an electronic data system designed to prevent stolen vehicles from being introduced into interstate commerce, reduce the use of stolen vehicles being used for illicit purposes, and protect consumers from title fraud and purchase of unsafe salvage vehicles. Administered by the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA), with oversite by the United States Department of Justice (DOJ), the NMVTIS database contains important vehicle data and is a helpful investigative tool for law enforcement.

NMVTIS captures data from two sources, vehicle information obtained through state motor vehicle agencies databases (DMV data); and vehicle data provided by entities that deal in five or more salvage motor vehicles a year (junk, salvage, insurance (JSI) data).

DMV data includes the vehicle identification number (VIN), vehicle title description, the name of individual or entity that the title was issued, and the odometer mileage. A title “brand” is a designation placed on a title record by a state DMV to identify the vehicle’s current or prior condition, such as rebuilt, junk, salvage, flood, or other designation that indicates a prior condition or use. Currently 38 states provide their DMV data in real-time, six states provide data to the system every 24 hours. Six state–Oregon, Kansas, Mississippi, Vermont, Rhode Island, and Hawaii– and the District of Columbia are not reporting. The DMV data linked to NVMTIS represents approximately 96 percent of all motor vehicles titled in the United States.

JSI entities are required to register with NMVTIS and report their involvement with any salvage motor vehicle through an approved data consolidator. These entities include: automotive recyclers, junk, scrap or salvage yards; insurance carriers; vehicle auctions, and towing companies. These companies report the following: company name, address, phone number, VIN, date the vehicle was obtained or designated as junk or salvage; name of the individual or entity from whom the vehicle was obtained, statement of whether the vehicle was declared salvage, crushed or sold (including to whom it was transferred); and if it was intended for export.

Access to the NMVITS law enforcement search tool is provided to sworn law enforcement and crime analysts. This real-time search tool can help law enforcement identify cloned or fictitious VINs, abandoned or reported stolen vehicles, odometer fraud, and vehicles that may have been declared salvage in other states. Access to the search tools is provided at no cost and gained through the Regional Information Sharing Systems or the Law Enforcement Enterprise Portal hosted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

To learn more visit the NMVTIS website, www.vehiclehistory.gov, for more information.

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