The nation will soon have a new online computer system to help protect states and consumers from automobile fraud and to provide law enforcement with new tools to investigate fraud, theft, and other crimes involving vehicles.
The U.S. Department of Justice today announced that the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System, or NMVTIS, will be available for consumers on Jan. 30, 2009 and will be accessible through third party, fee-for-service websites.
The Office of Justice Programs’ (OJP) Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) administers NMVTIS in coordination with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
The system allows state motor vehicle administrators to verify and exchange titling and brand data and provides law enforcement officials, consumers, and others with key information regarding vehicle histories. Consumers now have access to the vehicle’s brand history, odometer data, and basic vehicle information and can be redirected to the current state of record to access the full title record if available. Law enforcement can track the vehicle’s status from state to state by accessing the system directly.
According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, car theft is a profitable business generating nearly $8 billion a year. The system is to be paid for through user fees and is not dependent on federal funding.
Th Department of Justice said hat since 1997 it has committed more than $15 million to assist states and other stakeholders in the implementation of NMVTIS. Currently, NMVTIS has the participation, or partial participation, of 36 states. Ultimately, with full participation from all 50 states and the District of Columbia, NMVTIS should prevent stolen motor vehicles, including clones, from entering into interstate commerce; protect states and consumers from fraud; reduce the use of stolen vehicles for illicit purposes including fundraising for criminal enterprises; and provide consumer protection from unsafe vehicles.
In research conducted by the Logistics Management Institute, the system is estimated to save taxpayers between $4 and $11 billion each year.
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