Better late than never: National Vehicle Title database

In 1992, the U.S. Federal government commissioned a national database of vehicle titles, in an effort to curb theft and fraudulent titling of vehicles, where a damaged or salvaged car is retitled in another state, to get a clean title.  This database would have come in quite handy after Hurricane Katrina, which damaged thousands of cars and caused a lot of trouble for the government and insurance companies, who tried to keep up with which Louisiana vehicles were damaged by the floods and which weren’t.  Read on for more details.

Operating under the Department of Justice, the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System (NMVTIS) apparently has been cataloging vehicles since the 1992 Act was passed, but hasn’t been made available to the public until now.  To date, there are more than 300 million vehicles in the database, and once all 50 states are participating in the program, it should save taxpayers between $4 and $11 billion, annually.  That’s a lot of money, and shouldn’t impact state governments or drivers, since the database is online and should only add a quick check to the paperwork currently required for titling vehicles.

Through bureaucratic red tape, the program was held up from 1992 until 2008, when a lawsuit by consumer groups forced the DOJ to green-light the program, and 46 states are currently participating in it.

Law enforcement officials will be able to use the system to help find stolen vehicles, while consumers and dealers will have access to the database for a fee.

Click here to view the web site.

The NMVTIS is also hosting a reproduction of a Consumer Reports article on used car reports such as CarFax, in PDF format.

by John Suit

Source: via DetroitNews


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