RALEIGH OFFICE

1033 Bullard Court, Suite 207
Raleigh, NC 27615
Phone:  (919) 981-4475
Fax:  (919) 926-1676
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Breakthrough with the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System

Thanks to a handful of determined consumer advocate organizations, purchasers of used vehicles are now going to be able to have access to something that was originally promised by the Federal Government in 1992, but was never fully implemented, a database through which consumers can track the history of a vehicle to see if it has ever been salvaged, flooded, or otherwise branded as a “junk” vehicle. The National Motor Vehicle Title Information System (NMVTIS) is a system operated by the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators on behalf of the Department of Justice. The idea is to have a central clearinghouse into which information from (eventually) every state motor vehicle agency, automobile recyclers, junk and salvage yards, and insurance carriers would be required to submit information on such vehicles, and from which consumers could get accurate information on the history of a prospective purchase. The problem is, it was never fully implemented until consumer advocates sued the Justice Department to force them to carry out the law.

The final rule is set to begin today, ending a longstanding barrier to full implementation of the 1992 law. The problem with CarFax and Autocheck, two of the larger vehicle history companies, is that they are not reliable. There are many ways that a dealer, wholesaler, insurance company, or other business intent on hiding a vehicle’s history can hide information on wreck damage. Although the NMVTIS is only intended to track the “the worst of the worst”, according to Rosemary Shahan, president of Citizens for Auto Reliability and Safety, it is a step in the right direction of providing a measure of consumer protection from what can be catastrophically dangerous vehicles being reintroduced into the marketplace.

See the full New York Times article here.