Vehicle Histories Work for Businesson Monday, May 10, 2010 by Beth Williams
Working in the towing industry for more than 30 years has taught Jane Fleming, co-owner of Fleming Salvage and Wrecker Service in Panama City, Florida, just how valuable access to a vehicle’s history can be. The National Motor Vehicle Title Information System (NMVTIS) gives businesses and consumers access to vehicle histories at a low cost. “We get cars from many states here in the panhandle, and having access to NMVTIS through Auto Data Direct is a must-have for me,” says Fleming. “I use it every day and couldn’t do my job without it.”
The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) is responsible for oversight of the implementation and operation of NMVTIS. The national database contains information from states, insurance carriers and the salvage industry, and is searchable by VIN (Vehicle Identification Number). Reports show a vehicle’s state titling history, any brands such as Rebuilt or Salvage that have been applied to the titles, and reported odometer readings. If an insurance company has declared the vehicle a total loss, or a salvage yard has reported handling the vehicle, that information is included as well. “NMVTIS provides a unique service in terms of the source and timeliness of its data. It helps prevent crime and protects consumers from unsafe vehicles,” says James H. Burch, II, Acting Director of DOJ’s Bureau of Justice Assistance.
Jane Fleming uses the reports for her business, pulling vehicle histories as part of the notification process for cars she has towed, but says the report can be a valuable tool for individuals. “I use it for business purposes, but for consumers wanting information on a car they plan to purchase, or just to find out more about the car they own, it’s a tremendous value.” Fleming says the report is concise, easy to read, and very simple to use. “All you need is the VIN to get the report.”
According to DOJ, 81% of United States DMV data is in the NMVTIS system, as well as 15.7 million salvage or total loss records from the insurance and salvage industries. For businesses that require title information on impounded, auctioned or traded-in vehicles, a NMVTIS report can provide missing title information. Law enforcement has access to the data to help identify title and odometer fraud, and insurance carriers might use a NMVTIS search to verify that a vehicle has not been totaled and rebuilt before issuing a policy.
NMVTIS vehicle history reports are available through Auto Data Direct, Inc. (ADD), a Tallahassee-based company founded to serve the wide range of industries that require automotive and driver license information. In January 2009, ADD became the first provider of consumer access to NMVTIS information. To order a report, visit www.add123.com and enter the car’s VIN in the search box on the home page, or account holders can find the search function under their New Query tab.