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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.
  • 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 list of approved NMVTIS data providers.

The cost for NMVTIS vehicle history reports vary depending on the selected data provider. 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. As recently as May 2020, fees ranged from $8 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 (since commercial vehicles are managed by a separate agency in some states), 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 states 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 for title and brand histories 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. Additional Information: Approved NMVTIS data providers are required to offer their customers access to the state that has titled a vehicle to obtain additional information not part of the NMVTIS vehicle history report.

Contact the service provider directly for questions about your vehicle history report. Customer support is available on each service provider's 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 only provide data or are developing the capacity to participate fully with NMVTIS. Consumers are encouraged to seek responses to these questions from 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 approved NMVTIS data provider for any additional questions or further explanation. Although NMVTIS includes a substantial percentage of the U.S. vehicle population, it is expected that this type of response may occasionally occur until all states are participating.

To read the NMVTIS Consumer Access Product Disclaimer, click here.

Insurance and Junk/Salvage FAQs

Junk and salvage yards are responsible for reporting to NMVTIS:

  • 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, disposed, 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 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 or if 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.

NMVTIS regulations require that by no later than March 31, 2009, insurance carriers, as well as 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 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. An insurance carrier may arrange to have reports provided by another entity to satisfy its reporting obligation if those reports are filed in a timely manner and contain all of the information that the insurance carrier is legally obligated to report to NMVTIS. Although another entity may provide the report on behalf of the insurance carrier, the insurance carrier has the legal responsibility for all reporting requirements, including the content and 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 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.

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

The definition of an automobile for the 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 can be found on a sticker on the automobile.

As defined by 49 C.F.R. § 523.2, a work truck is "a vehicle that is rated at more than 8,500 [pounds] 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.)

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:

  • Is an "incomplete truck" as defined in this subpart.
  • Has a seating capacity of more than 12 persons.
  • Is designed to accommodate more than nine persons in seating rearward of the driver's seat.
  • Is equipped with an open cargo area (for example, a pickup truck box or bed) of 72 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 NMVTIS regulation, a salvage yard is obligated to perform a visual inspection of the vehicle and 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. On a daily basis, consumers use the data contained in a NMVTIS Vehicle History Report to make better-informed decisions when purchasing used vehicles. Likewise, law enforcement agencies across the country routinely access NMVTIS to assist local, state, and federal vehicle-related criminal investigations.

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

  • 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, or offered for sale or other purposes, as well as 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 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.

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

Each reporting service 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 NMVTIS data consolidators is available at https://vehiclehistory.bja.ojp.gov/nmvtis_auto.

Any business that has an 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://vehiclehistory.bja.ojp.gov/sites/g/files/xyckuh261/files/media/document/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 annual reports provide updates on which states report on behalf of junk and salvage yards. Reporting entities are encouraged to enquire with their applicable states about the potential of assuming this responsibility.

The goal of BJA's NMVTIS enforcement efforts is to promote voluntary compliance for all businesses required to report. BJA wants to achieve the highest level of reporting possible by creating public awareness and a straightforward enforcement process. Over the life of the program, tens of thousands of letters have been sent to businesses of all sizes notifying them of the reporting requirements, methods for reporting, and the penalties for not 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 failing to report ultimately responded and came into compliance.

Per NMVTIS regulations, 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 their rebuilding, restoration, or crushing) and you handle five or more junk automobiles or salvage automobiles per year, then you have an NMVTIS reporting obligation.

Department of Justice NMVTIS enforcement efforts focus on reporting since April 2009, as well as current and future reporting.

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