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Frequently Asked Questions

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Frequently Asked Questions

NMVTIS was created to:

  • Prevent the introduction or reintroduction of stolen motor vehicles into interstate commerce;
  • Protect states and consumers (individual and commercial) from fraud;
  • Reduce the use of stolen vehicles for illicit purposes including funding of criminal enterprises; and
  • Provide consumers protection from unsafe vehicles.

The U.S. Department of Justice is responsible for oversight of the implementation and operation of NMVTIS, and works in partnership with the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA). AAMVA has been the operator since 1992. To learn more about AAMVA contact:

American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators
4301 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 400
Arlington, Virginia 22203
(703) 522-4200
www.aamva.org

Consumers can request vehicle history information through NMVTIS by selecting an approved service provider View Approved NMVTIS Data Provider List.

Cost for NVMTIS vehicle history reports vary and are determined by individual service providers. The Anti-Car Theft Act requires that the system be funded through user fees and not dependent on federal funds. For this reason, NMVTIS has been designed as a fee-for-service system. Current fees range from approximately $2.95 to $12.99 per report.

NMVTIS records provide:

  • current and previous state of title data
  • title issue date
  • latest odometer data
  • theft history data (if any)
  • any brand assigned to a vehicle and date applied
  • salvage history, including designations as a "total loss" (if any)

Read the NMVTIS Consumer Access Product Disclaimer, which describes what is and is not included in NMVTIS reports.

NMVTIS includes information on automobiles, buses, trucks, motorcycles, recreational vehicles, motor homes, and tractors. NMVTIS may not currently include commercial vehicles if those vehicles are not included in a state's primary database for title records (in some states, those vehicles are managed by a separate agency), although these records may be added at a later time.

Currently the data provided to NMVTIS by states is provided in a variety of time frames; while some report and update NVMTIS data in “real-time” (as title transactions occur) others send updates less frequently, such as once every 24 hours or within a period of days.

NMVTIS information made available to consumers is from state motor vehicle agency records and entire sectors (e.g., insurance, auto recyclers/junk/salvage, etc.) addressed by the Anti-Car Theft Act. As opposed to purchasing information from specific businesses or companies, entities are required to provide specific information to NMVTIS in a specific format. NMVTIS is intended to serve as a reliable source of title and brand history for automobiles, which helps consumers make informed decisions before purchasing a used vehicle. However, there are certain pieces of vehicle history data that NMVTIS does not contain; for example, a vehicle's repair history.

Before making a decision to purchase a vehicle, consumers may wish to obtain an independent vehicle inspection and consult other available information resources that provide additional vehicle history data.

To request a complete copy of a specific state vehicle title record, you can contact the current state motor vehicle titling agency. Click here to find more information on state motor vehicle agency processes for obtaining state records.

Contact the service provider directly for questions about your vehicle history report. Customer support is available on each service providers' website.

No personal identifying information will be made available to individual consumers via NMVTIS. However, information contained within NMVTIS will include limited personal identifying information specifically for law enforcement/investigative, regulatory, and related purposes. While no personal identifying information will be made available to individual consumers, states can permit access to their records that is consistent with the requirements of federal statutes such as the Drivers Privacy Protection Act and any relevant state statutes. Visit the Privacy Policy page to read more.

Currently all states are involved with NMVTIS at various levels of participation. View the States page for an NMVTIS participation map. Some states participate fully with NMVTIS (provide data to the system as well as make title inquiries before issuing new titles.) Other states provide data only or are developing the capacity to participate fully with NMVTIS. Consumers are encouraged to seek responses to these questions from the states directly.

It is likely in this case that no brand, odometer, or title information for that vehicle has been reported by participating states. Contact the report service provider for any additional questions or further explanation. Although NMVTIS includes 88 percent of the U.S. vehicle population, it is expected that this that this type of response may occur until all states are participating.

To read the NMVTIS Consumer Access Product Disclaimer click here.

Insurance, Junk/Salvage FAQs

Junk and salvage yards are responsible to reporting to NMVTIS:

  • The name, address, and contact information for the reporting entity.
  • VIN.
  • Date the automobile was obtained.
  • Name of the individual or entity from whom the automobile was obtained.
  • A statement of whether the automobile was crushed or disposed of, or offered for sale or other purposes, and whether the vehicle is intended for export out of the United States.

Junk and salvage yards are not required to report to NMVTIS through a third party data consolidator if they already report ALL the required information to their state and the state provides the required information to NMVTIS on their behalf in a timely manner.  Please check with your state to determine if it is currently reporting on behalf of junk and salvage yards and these entities are responsible for reporting the required information to NMVTIS using a third party data consolidator.

To view approved third party data consolidators, please visit the "For Insurance” or “For Auto Recyclers” page.

Yes, an insurance carrier determination of salvage or total loss, regardless of whether a claim is paid or not, must be reported to NMVTIS.

The NMVTIS regulations require that by no later than March 31, 2009, insurance carriers, and junk and salvage yards must begin to report specified information to NMVTIS. The initial report should include information from March 1, 2009 to March 31, 2009.

In order to ensure that the system-wide expense of operating NMVTIS is kept to a minimum, and to provide overall for what BJA and the operator of NMVTIS (AAMVA) believe to be the least burdensome and costly manner for reporting, insurance carriers and junk and salvage yards must make their reports to NMVTIS through AAMVA-approved third party data consolidators. To view a list of approved third party data consolidators, click here.

Every insurance carrier, and junk and salvage yard is required to report to NMVTIS. Insurance carriers may arrange to have the reports provided by another entity to satisfy its reporting obligation if those other reports are filed in a timely manner and contain all of the information that the insurance carrier itself is legally obligated to report to NMVTIS. Although another entity may provide the report on behalf of the insurance carrier, it is the insurance carrier itself that has the legal responsibility for all reporting requirements, including the content and the timeliness of the report. Any report filed on behalf of an insurance carrier by another entity must use the unique reporting ID of the insurance carrier on whose behalf the report is filed.

Junk and salvage yards are responsible to reporting to NMVTIS:

  • The name, address, and contact information for the reporting entity.
  • VIN.
  • Date the automobile was obtained.
  • Name of the individual or entity from whom the automobile was obtained.
  • A statement of whether the automobile was crushed or disposed of, or offered for sale or other purposes, and whether the vehicle is intended for export out of the United States.

Junk and salvage yards are not required to report to NMVTIS through a third party data consolidator if they already report ALL the required information to their state and the state provides the required information to NMVTIS on their behalf in a timely manner.  Please check with your state to determine if it is currently reporting on behalf of junk and salvage yards and these entities are responsible for reporting the required information to NMVTIS using a third party data consolidator.

Junk and salvage yards are required to report to NMVTIS an inventory of ALL junk or salvage automobiles obtained in whole or in part by that entity in the prior month regardless of the model year. The model year begins on the first day of the calendar year.

Insurance carriers are required to report to NMVTIS an inventory of all automobiles of the current model year or any of the four prior model years that the carrier has obtained possession of and has decided are junk and salvage automobiles (including those determined to be a total loss) in the prior month.

Are we required to report a second time once the final disposition is determined?
Junk and salvage yards are required to report the date the automobile was obtained in inventory during that month even if the final disposition is unknown at the time the report is submitted. Junk and salvage yards must file an update or supplemental report of the final disposition of any automobile where final disposition information was not available at the time of the initial report filing, or if the actual disposition of the automobile differs from what was initially reported.

No report is necessary for that month.

Junk/salvage yards are those individuals or entities engaged in the business of acquiring or owning junk or salvage automobiles for resale in their entirety or as spare parts or for rebuilding, restoration, or crushing. This would include scrap-vehicle shredders and scrap-metal processors, as well as pull- or pick-apart yards, salvage pools, salvage auctions, and other types of auctions, businesses, and individuals that handle salvage vehicles (including those vehicles declared a total loss.)

An insurance carrier is an individual or entity engaged in the business of underwriting automobile insurance. This would include any entity that enters into a formal arrangement, typically of a commercial nature, where a fee(s), contribution(s), or other consideration is received as part of pooling the risk of loss of an automobile(s) or as part of accepting the risk of loss of an automobile(s) on behalf of another individual or entity.

For example:

  • A rental car company that offers, for a fee, contribution, or other consideration, to relieve its customers from liability for loss or damage to, or caused by, automobiles the customers rent from that company, is required to report.
  • A government that self insures its fleet is not required to report.

The definition of an automobile for purposes of NMVTIS, incorporating the definition in 49 U.S.C. § 32901(a), generally covers four-wheel vehicles that are rated at less than 10,000 pounds gross vehicle weight, but excludes vehicles that operate solely on rails, certain vehicles manufactured in different states by two or more manufacturers, and certain work trucks.

The concept of "gross vehicle weight rating" ("GVWR") seems to be commonly used in the automobile industry and the Department of Transportation states it is "the maximum allowable total weight of a vehicle when loaded, including the vehicle itself plus fuel, passengers, cargo, and trailer tongue weight. This is a fixed weight specified by the manufacturer." Usually the GVWR may be found on the sticker on the automobile.

49 C.F.R. § 523.2 provides the following definition for work trucks: "Work truck means a vehicle that is rated at more than 8,500 and less than or equal to 10,000 pounds gross vehicle weight, and is not a medium-duty passenger vehicle as defined in 40 CFR 86.1803-01 effective as of December 20, 2007." (Emphasis added). (the definition of a medium-duty passenger vehicle is provided below).

A medium-duty passenger vehicle ("MDPV"), according to 40 C.F.R. § 86.1803-01, "means any heavy-duty vehicle (as defined in this subpart) with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of less than 10,000 pounds that is designed primarily for the transportation of persons. The MDPV definition does not include any vehicle which:

  1. Is an "incomplete truck" as defined in this subpart; or
  2. Has a seating capacity of more than 12 persons; or
  3. Is designed for more than 9 persons in seating rearward of the driver's seat; or
  4. Is equipped with an open cargo area (for example, a pick-up truck box or bed) of 72.0 inches in interior length or more. A covered box not readily accessible from the passenger compartment will be considered an open cargo area for purposes of this definition.

Per the NMVTIS Regulation, a salvage yard has an obligation to perform a visual inspection of the vehicle and to review the title documents to determine the VIN. A salvage yard is encouraged to make a good faith effort to obtain the VIN prior to not reporting the vehicle.

When a salvage yard is unable to identify from whom an automobile was obtained, it should report to NMVTIS the owner of the vehicle as the name of the individual from whom the automobile was obtained.

Businesses that provide the required reporting on junk and salvage vehicles to the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System (NMVTIS) play an integral role in national efforts to prevent fraud, reduce theft, and potentially save the lives of consumers who might otherwise unknowingly purchase unsafe vehicles. Consumers on a daily basis use the data contained in a NMVTIS Vehicle History Report to make better informed used car purchasing decisions. Likewise, law enforcement agencies across the country routinely access NMVTIS to assist local, state, and federal vehicle-related criminal investigations. To date, 47 million records have been reported to NMVTIS by NMVTIS Reporting Entities.

Yes. Reporting entities must provide NMVTIS with the following information on each junk and salvage vehicle received into inventory every month (from April 2009 forward):

  • The name, address, and contact information for the reporting entity.
  • Vehicle Identification Number (VIN).
  • Date the automobile was obtained.
  • Name of the individual or entity from whom the automobile was obtained.
  • A statement of whether the automobile was crushed or disposed of, or offered for sale or other purposes. To whom the vehicle was provided or transferred.
  • Whether the vehicle is intended for export out of the United States.

If the disposition (i.e., scrap, crush, or sold) is unknown at the time of the initial report, then the NMVTIS Reporting Entity can file an updated report with its NMVTIS data consolidator when the final disposition is known.

Per the NMVTIS regulations, NMVTIS Reporting Entities are responsible for providing an inventory of all junk automobiles or salvage automobiles obtained in whole or in part by that entity in the prior month.

A NMVTIS Vehicle History Report can be purchased for $2.95 - 12.99 depending on the data provider.

Please use the AAMVA Single VIN Reporting Service to enter those valid – non-standard VINs (rejected and verified as valid). This is a free service. NMVTIS Reporting Entities can register with this service using an existing reporting ID number to report those valid VINs that its NMVTIS data consolidator rejects.

Each of the reporting services offers a process for making amendments or corrections to NMVTIS reports. Detailed information regarding amending or correcting a record after it has been submitted to NMVTIS may be obtained by contacting the data consolidator that accepted the record. A list of the NMVTIS data consolidators is available at: www.vehiclehistory.gov/nmvtis_auto.html.

Any business that has a NMVTIS reporting obligation is required to report to NMVTIS all vehicles meeting the NMVTIS definitions for junk or salvage automobiles.

Please see the following policy clarification for towing companies: https://www.vehiclehistory.bja.ojp.gov/Tow_120611.pdf.

Yes. One of the data elements that is required to be reported to NMVTIS is the final disposition of the vehicle. The disposition types and descriptions are as follows:

SCRAP: Vehicle has been processed into scrap metal by shredding, shearing, fragmenting, baling or similar means.
CRUSH: Vehicle was crushed as to render the vehicle in such a condition that it can never be used or rebuilt for use as a motor vehicle.
SOLD: Vehicle has been sold.
BLANK: Vehicle disposition not known at the time of this reporting

If the disposition (i.e., scrap, crush, or sold) is unknown at the time of the initial report, then the NMVTIS Reporting Entity can file an updated report with its NMVTIS data consolidator when the final disposition is known.

NMVTIS Reporting entities are encouraged to seek responses to this question from their applicable states directly.

The goal of BJA's NMVTIS enforcement efforts is to promote voluntary compliance for all businesses required to report. We want to ensure the highest level of reporting possible through public awareness and creating a straightforward enforcement process. Over the past two years, approximately 40,000 letters have been sent to businesses of all sizes notifying them of the reporting requirements, methods for reporting, and the penalties for non-reporting. Through a combination of site visits, office-based monitoring, and non-reporting referrals received from public sources, BJA works to ensure that businesses required to report are in compliance. As part of that ongoing effort, many of the businesses contacted by BJA for nonreporting ultimately responded and came into compliance with approximately 1,000,000 additional VINs reported that otherwise would not have been

Per the NMVTIS Regulation, all junk yards and salvage yards handling five or more junk or salvage automobiles per year shall provide NMVTIS with specific information on each junk or salvage automobile obtained in whole or in part in the prior month.

The list of industries that are specifically identified in the regulatory definitions of "junk yard" and "salvage yard" is not an exhaustive list. IF you satisfy the definition of a "junk yard" or "salvage yard" (i.e., you are an individual or entity engaged in the business of acquiring or owning junk automobiles or salvage automobiles for resale in their entirety or as spare parts; or rebuilding, restoration, or crushing) AND you handle 5 or more junk automobiles or salvage automobiles per year, THEN you have a NMVTIS reporting obligation.

DOJ's NMVTIS enforcement efforts will focus on reporting since April 2009 as well as current and future reporting.

Dealers can access salvage history information contained in NMVTIS by purchasing a NMVTIS Vehicle History Report. The approved NMVTIS data providers will be able to establish an account for you that best meets your needs.