Federal Auto Database to Fight Car Theft and Title Fraud

A US Justice Department automobile database to fight car theft and fraud is getting closer to reality.

The National Motor Vehicle Title Information System, authorized by Congress 17 years ago, currently contains 77 percent of all automobile title records in the United States. The database currently has over 300 million VINs ( vehicle identification numbers ).

The public database is designed to protect people from purchasing a vehicle that was salvaged in one state and retitled in another state without the identification of “salvage” on the new title.

Some autos that are salvaged in one state could get a clean title in another state.

Over 1 million vehicles are stolen every year in the US and many get new “cloned” titles in other states.

Once all states submit their records to the DOJ and the new database is complete, it is estimated it will save between $4 billion and $11 billion annually in fraud.

State agencie will be able to search the database before issuing a new vehicle title, to make sure the vehicle wasn’t stolen, scrapped or salvaged.

Individuals and car dealers will be able to search used vehicles online for a small fee.

Law enforcement will also have access to the database to search for stolen vehicles.

In addition to state government information, the auto database will pull records from insurance companies, auto recycling companies, junkyards and salvage businesses.

The DOJ database will complement information that can be obtained from commercial auto data vendors like CarFax and Experian Automotive.

Jim Burch, acting director of the DOJ’s Bureau of Justice Assistance, said the database will help protect the public from title fraud and stop stolen vehicles from getting retitled as well as make it more difficult for auto thieves to clone or conceal stolen vehicles.

You can visit the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System site at VehicleHistory.gov.

[ Source: DetNews.com ]