News in 2022

Avoid Court Time, Make sure your Records are Real-Time

for Dealers on Friday, August 5, 2022 by Beth Williams and Jay Svendsen

With the May 2022 announcment by the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA) that 50 jurisdictions are now participating in the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System (NMVTIS) this valuable resource is close to being representative of nearly 100% of all vehicles in the country. Since its inception, NMVTIS and the data available through the title history system has become more and more valuable for ensuring accuracy in titling and fighting fraud on behalf of consumers, dealers, and anyone wanting a true picture of the back story of a used vehicle.

Many states use NMVTIS as a reference when titling all vehicles and if salvage reports or brands are found, they will likely require the new titling to reflect the findings in NMVTIS. Departments of motor vehicles also check mileage and other details in NMVTIS looking for discrepancies like multiple ‘current’ states of title indicating they may be part of a VIN cloning effort.

So how can a quick NMVTIS check save an automobile dealer from having a huge, costly headache? It’s important to first understand that a vehicle with a clean title can be forced to be a salvage title or rebuilt title during the next titling event. In almost every state, when a vehicle is sold to a dealer/auction/auto-broker, the parties can buy the vehicle and complete the vehicle “re-assignment” section (typically on the back of a title). If the dealer in turn decides to sell at auction or wholesale the vehicle, the title will be processed using re-assignments. Only when a dealer tries to title a vehicle at the state motor vehicle department where they require using NMVTIS as a reference, are prior brands and salvage events revealed.

Typically any vehicle sold at a salvage auction will be reported to NMVTIS (nearly 90% of the vehicles sold). Auctions are required to report within 30 days of reciept of a vehicle and within 30 days of selling a vehicle. The largest auctions report daily or as soon as it is considered to be in their possession. Salvage auctions generally allow tow companies and insurance companies to bring vehicles to their facilities for processing. This practice allows insurance claims agents to go to one location to examine multiple vehicles.

Auctions typically sell the vehicle with the title that came in with the vehicle and only use the re-assignment during the transfer of ownership. If the vehicle is claimed as a total loss, insurance companies are required to take title and report to NMVTIS. Each state’s laws and rules differ as to when a title must be changed based on damage or total loss percentage. So many vehicles sold at auction can initially have a clean title even though it is considered a total loss and should be reported to NMVTIS. Conversely, an insurance company could designate a vehicle as a total loss and then amend the report later. Those are the kinds of reports that aren’t found until several months and delay a new owner from getting a clear title to their vehicle.

As the first approved provider and JSI consolidator of NMVTIS data to both consumers and industry members, Auto Data Direct has been a partner in the development and improvement of the NMVTIS since 2009. It’s a valuble tool that saves time, money, and possibly costly lawsuits or customer complaints for automobile dealers. It takes just a moment to enter a VIN and get the latest title history information from NMVTIS. Use NMVTIS to help identify issues and provide the same report to your potential buyer so they know that vehicle’s history as well. If your dealership handles vehicles that might be hiding a little secret, put CHECK NMVTIS at the top of your to-do list! 

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