What is NMVTIS?
NMVTIS stands for "National Motor Vehicle
Title Information System" and was created as a part of the Federal
Anti-Car Theft Act of 1992. It is an electronic system that provides
consumers with valuable information about a vehicle's condition and
history. NMVTIS is a database administered by the American
Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators and is overseen by the
United States Department of Justice. Prior to purchasing a vehicle,
NMVTIS allows consumers to find information on the vehicle's
title, most recent odometer reading, brand history, and, in some
cases, historical theft data.
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
In addition, the system provides law enforcement
with an important tool to reduce auto theft and vehicle-related
Prior to purchasing a vehicle, consumers and
dealers can search NMVTIS to discover:
Information from a vehicle's current title,
including the vehicle's brand history. "Brands" are descriptive
labels regarding the status of a motor vehicle, such as "junk,"
"salvage," and "flood" vehicles;
The latest reported odometer readings;
Any determination that the vehicle is
"salvage" by an insurance company or a self-insuring
organization (including those vehicles determined to be a "total
Any reports of the vehicle being transferred
or sold to an auto recycler, junk yard, or salvage yard
Which States participate
in the reporting?
All 50 states are involved with NMVTIS at varying degrees of
participation and represent 89% of motor vehicles on the road.
here to see the NMVTIS participation map. Be aware that one state
may examine and brand a damaged vehicle as "salvage," while another
state may not because the damage may not reach a certain dollar or
value threshold (e.g., damage estimate in relation to fair market
value) required by that state's laws. In another example, a vehicle
recovered from a flood or other natural disaster involving water
(e.g., hurricane) may be flagged or branded as "flood" in certain
states, but in other states no such designation exists. Because one
state may brand or flag a vehicle as a flood vehicle does not mean
that other states must also designate the vehicle as "flood." NMVTIS
is valuable because it retains and makes available to users of the
system all reported brands applied to a vehicle so that relocating
the vehicle from one state to another will not "wash" the brand,
because NMVTIS retains this information and makes it available to
Where implemented, NMVTIS has already proven results:
South Dakota and New Hampshire saving time
and money by no longer requiring the clerk to manually update a
state record with returned title information since such updates
are automatically included in NMVTIS.
Arizona realizing a reduction in customer
wait time and the ability to identify problems upfront due to
online, accurate data.
Virginia seeing a 17 percent decrease in
motor vehicle thefts.
Arizona experiencing a 99 percent recovery
rate on vehicles identified as stolen.
Arizona, Florida, and Virginia identifying
cloned vehicles by working together, prior to issuing new
Florida cracking a car theft ring responsible
for cloning more than 250 cars valued at $8 million.
All participating states recapturing brands
lost by non-participating states.
Indiana experiencing a reduction in lawsuits
by consumers who were given clear titles with missing brands.
New Hampshire's Motor Vehicle Supervisor
stating that the amount of funds spent to implement NMVTIS
"represents a small fee considering the savings on insurance
fraud, cloning vehicles, stolen vehicles, odometer fraud, and
preventing washed brands for consumer protection--all thanks to
(Source: American Association of Motor Vehicle