U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

NCJRS Virtual Library

The Virtual Library houses over 235,000 criminal justice resources, including all known OJP works.
Click here to search the NCJRS Virtual Library

Don't Be Fooled: Are You About To Buy a Rebuilt Wreck or a Cloned Car?

NCJ Number
Date Published
September 2009
2 pages

This is a summary of the origin and responsibilities of the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System (NMVTIS).


The NMVTIS was created by the federal Anti-Car Theft Act, which requires that the NMVTIS include data from all state motor vehicle agencies, including brand information that describes a vehicle's prior use and condition, as well as the latest odometer reading. The NMVTIS is the only vehicle history database in the nation to which all states, insurance carriers, and junk and salvage yards are required by federal law to report. Federal law also requires all insurance companies and all junk and salvage yards in the United States to report their salvage and total-loss vehicles to NMVTIS. Because of the information it collects, NMVTIS can help car buyers detect fraud and determine whether a car has been totaled or determined to be salvage or junk before they buy the car. The U.S. Department of Justice's Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) is responsible for oversight of the implementation and operation of NMVTIS in partnership with the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators. This report advises that used-car buyers can benefit from accessing all vehicle-history report services available at www.vehiclehistory.gov.