NMVTIS serves as a repository of information on salvage vehicles, including those vehicles determined to be a “total loss.” This repository is then used by states and consumers to ensure that salvage vehicles, including those vehicles determined to be a total loss by insurance carriers, are bought and sold with full disclosure.
NMVTIS also serves as a tool for insurance companies to investigate vehicle histories.
Insurance companies must report monthly to NMVTIS on the junk and salvage automobiles they obtain. The Anti-Car Theft Act defines a salvage automobile to mean “an automobile that is damaged by collision, fire, flood, accident, trespass, or other event, to the extent that its fair salvage value plus the cost of repairing the automobile for legal operation on public streets, roads, and highways would be more than the fair market value of the automobile immediately before the event that caused the damage.” The Department of Justice has also determined that this definition includes all automobiles found to be a total loss under the laws of the applicable state, or designated as a total loss by the insurance carrier under the terms of its policies, regardless of whether an insurance carrier retitles the vehicle into its name or allows the owner to retain the vehicle. The determination that “total loss” is included in the definition of salvage is to ensure that the reporting of salvage automobiles is comprehensive.
Insurance carriers are required to provide NMVTIS with the following information on every salvage vehicle obtained, including total loss vehicles:
- Date on which the automobile was obtained or designated as a junk or salvage automobile.
- Name of the individual or entity from whom the automobile was obtained (owner name or lien-holder name) (for law enforcement and appropriate governmental agencies ONLY).
- Who possessed the automobile when it was designated a junk or salvage automobile.
- Name of the owner of the automobile at the time of the filing of the report with NMVTIS (either the insurance company or the owner, if owner-retained).
DOJ strongly encourages insurers to include the primary reason for the insurance carrier's designation of salvage or total loss in this reporting.
The report must provide information on all automobiles of the current model year or any of the four prior model years that the carrier, during the prior month, has obtained possession of and has decided are junk automobiles or salvage automobiles.
In addition, although not specifically required by the Anti-Car Theft Act, insurance carriers are strongly encouraged to provide the NMVTIS operator with information on other motor vehicles, including older model automobiles, and other information relevant to a motor vehicle's title, including the disposition of such automobiles, and the name of the individual or entity that takes possession of the vehicle. The reporting of this information by insurance carriers will help reduce instances in which thieves use the VINs of junk or salvage motor vehicles on stolen motor vehicles and will assist in preventing and eliminating fraud. The Department of Justice strongly encourages insurance carriers to report such additional information to the operator.
The Department of Justice recognizes that many state laws have differing requirements and definitions of terms such as “salvage.” The NMVTIS requirements do not alter these state laws and the state laws do not prevail over federal definitions and requirements. However, as stated in the NMVTIS regulations, a determination of total loss under a state law will trigger the requirement for an insurance company to report a total loss vehicle. The information reported to NMVTIS is not required to be used by any future state that titles a vehicle included in an insurance carrier report.
Insurance carriers must submit the required monthly reports to NMVTIS through third party organizations that have agreed to provide such a service. Reporting can be as frequently as desired, but not less than monthly. The Department of Justice encourages all reporters to submit information to NMVTIS as soon as possible to prevent fraud and theft and to protect consumers.
Please contact data consolidators for more information on reporting methods and technical specifications.
AAMVA Single VIN Reporting Service
Web site: http://www.aamva.org/NMVTIS-Reporting-Service/
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