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National Motor Vehicle Title Information System (NMVTIS)




Approved Third Party Data Consolidators for Auto Recyclers, Junk Yards, and Salvage Yards                 

Please contact data consolidators for more information on reporting methods and technical specifications.


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Denise Liddell:

Jay Svendsen:

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Policy Clarification Issued: Shredder Reporting

For Auto Recyclers, Salvage Yards, and Junk Yards

The Role of NMVTIS and How it Works for Auto Recyclers, Salvage Yards, and Junk Yards
NMVTIS serves as a repository of information related to vehicles that have been in the possession of auto recyclers, junk yards and salvage yards. This repository is then used by states and consumers to ensure that junk or salvage vehicles are not later re-sold and ensures that the VINs from destroyed vehicles can never be used for a stolen auto (see Thieves use the VINs from destroyed vehicles because they know that the true VIN will never appear again on the road and because they know that if the VINs are reported to state motor vehicle titling agencies, there is a strong likelihood that the reporting may not result in a flagged or retired record (also known as a "kill title" report). Because NMVTIS reporting is mandated and because consumers and states can access the information, the system makes it much easier to detect attempts to use VINs from destroyed or salvage vehicles in cloning operations.

Although not required, NMVTIS can also serve as a tool for junk and salvage yards to check a vehicle history for any reason before accepting the vehicle into inventory.

NMVTIS Reporting Requirements for Auto Recyclers, Salvage Yards, and Junk Yards

Data To Be Reported
Auto recyclers, junk yards and salvage yards are required to provide NMVTIS with the following information on each vehicle received into inventory every month:

  • The name, address, and contact information for the reporting entity.
  • VIN.
  • Date the automobile was obtained.
  • Name of the individual or entity from whom the automobile was obtained (for law enforcement and appropriate governmental agencies ONLY).
  • A statement of whether the automobile was crushed or disposed of, or offered for sale or other purposes.
  • Whether the vehicle is intended for export out of the United States.

The Anti-Car Theft Act, defines junk and salvage yards "as individuals or entities engaged in the business of acquiring or owning junk or salvage automobiles for resale in their entirety or as spare parts or for rebuilding, restoration, or crushing." Included in this definition are scrap-vehicle shredders and scrap-metal processors, as well as "pull- or pick-apart yards," salvage pools, salvage auctions, and other types of auctions, businesses, and individuals that handle salvage vehicles (including vehicles declared a "total loss").

A salvage pool is an entity that acquires junk and salvage automobiles from a variety of parties and consolidates them for resale at a common point of sale. Both the Department of Justice and the state and local law-enforcement community are concerned that a significant number of these junk and salvage automobiles purchased from salvage pools have their VINs or titles used to create cloned vehicles, or otherwise make stolen vehicles appear legitimate. Such entities must report all salvage or junk vehicles they obtain, including vehicles from or on behalf of insurance carriers, that can reasonably be assumed to be total loss vehicles.

Exceptions to Reporting Requirements
Auto recyclers and junk and salvage yards are not required to report any vehicle that is determined not to meet the definition of salvage or junk after a good-faith physical and value appraisal conducted by qualified appraisal personnel, entirely independent of any other persons or entities.

Auto recyclers and junk and salvage yards that handle fewer than five vehicles per year that are determined to be salvage (including total loss) or junk are not required to report to NMVTIS consistent with federal legal requirements for automobile dealers.

Junk and salvage yards will not be required to submit reports to NMVTIS if they already report the required information to the state in which they are located and that state provides the required information for the junk and salvage entities to NMVTIS. Junk and salvage yards are responsible for ensuring that the state is reporting the required information to NMVTIS.

Supplemental Reporting
Because some junk or salvage yards may hold vehicles for several months or years before a final disposition (e.g., crushed, sold, rebuilt) is known, some junk and salvage yards may need to provide a supplemental or additional report at the time of disposition or within 30 days of the date of disposition. The NMVTIS regulations do not preclude a junk or salvage yard from reporting the disposition of a vehicle at the time of first reporting, if such a disposition is known with certainty. Junk and salvage yards are responsible for ensuring the accuracy and completeness of their reporting and for providing corrected information to the system, should the disposition be changed from what was initially reported.

NMVTIS Reporting Requirements and State Laws
The Department of Justice recognizes that many state laws have differing requirements and definitions of terms of such as "junk" and "salvage." The NMVTIS requirements do not alter these state laws and the state laws do not prevail over federal definitions and requirements. The information reported to NMVTIS is not required to be used by any future state that titles a vehicle included in an auto recycler, junk or salvage yard report. The NMVTIS reporting requirements do not replace or negate any state reporting requirements.

Reporting Methods
Auto recyclers, junk yards, and salvage yards must submit the required monthly reports to NMVTIS through third party organizations that have agreed to provide this service. Reporting can be as frequently as desired, but not less frequently than monthly. The Department of Justice encourages all reporters to submit information to NMVTIS as soon as possible to prevent fraud and theft and to protect consumers.


Established by federal law in 1992, the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System (NMVTIS) is a U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) system that is operated on behalf of DOJ by the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA).

NMVTIS is an electronic system that enables users to access automobile titling information, including brand history and certain historical theft data. A "brand" is a descriptive label assigned to a vehicle by a state that identifies the vehicle's current or prior condition, such as "junk," "salvage," or "flood." By capturing into one system specific pieces of information from state motor vehicle titling agencies, automobile recyclers, junk and salvage yards, and insurance carriers, NMVTIS protects states and consumers from title fraud, keeps stolen vehicles from being retitled, and makes it more difficult for criminals to conceal stolen vehicles for criminal purposes.

NMVTIS is necessary and crucial to:

  • Protect consumers from fraud and unsafe vehicles.
  • Aid law enforcement efforts to reduce crime, specifically crimes involving vehicles, including vehicle theft rings, violent crimes, drug crimes, financial crimes, smuggling, and fraud.
  • Allow state motor vehicle titling agencies to instantly and reliably verify a vehicle's title before issuing a new title, and facilitating the electronic exchange of information between states, which improves titling efficiency and reduces fraud.

NMVTIS is important because:

  • 1.3 million vehicles are stolen each year.
  • Auto fraud is a profitable business that burdens states and consumers.
  • Auto theft alone costs consumers and insurance companies nearly $8 billion per year.
  • Only 63 percent of vehicles reported stolen are recovered.
  • Approximately 570,000 vehicles were affected by the 2005 hurricanes. These vehicles have been targets for vehicle title fraud ("brand washing").
  • Creation of false vehicle identification numbers ("VIN Cloning") is a growing trend.
  • Brand washing occurs regularly. Experian Automotive reported that in the first six months of 2008 there were more than 185,000 titles that were initially branded in one state, and then transferred and re-titled in a second state in a way that resulted in a purportedly clean title.
  • A clear link has been demonstrated between auto theft and major crimes, violent crime, organized crime, and transnational criminal activity.

Currently 27 states participate or contribute to NMVTIS (view a map of participating states), with 10 others currently working towards participation. All states are required to be fully participating on or before January 1, 2010.

NMVTIS provides consumers and others with vehicle information such as:

  • Current and previous state of title.
  • Title issue date.
  • Most recent odometer reading.
  • Any brand(s) applied to the vehicle.
  • Date the brands were applied.
  • Any auto recycler or junk or salvage yard history for the vehicle.
  • Any insurance company salvage determination (including "total loss") history for the vehicle.

For specific information on what data is made available and the NMVTIS privacy policy, please go to the Privacy Policy.

Where implemented, NMVTIS has already produced results, including time and cost savings, reductions in consumer wait time, decreases in motor vehicle thefts, improved recovery rate of stolen vehicles, increased ability to identify cloned vehicles before title issuance, and improved investigative abilities.

Currently, there are approximately 300,000,000 VINs in NMVTIS and over 40,000,000 brands included.


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