Why Every Tow Company Should Get Acquainted With NMVTIS
NMVTIS. DOJ. AAMVA. JSI. It’s like an alphabet soup of acronyms but it’s something every tow company needs to be aware of. The National Motor Vehicle Title Information System (NMVTIS) was authorized in 1992 when Congress passed the Anti-Car Theft Act. Its purpose was to prevent and reduce fraud and theft, and importantly to protect consumers from unsafe vehicles. With passage of the Anti-Car Theft Improvement Act in 1996 oversite of NMVTIS was transferred to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA) became the system operator in 1998. The system became active in 2009 after a pilot project of the state program was conducted and determined to meet that Act’s objectives.
NMVTIS rules require states to provide their titling information and establish a practice of performing a title verification check through NMVTIS before transferring a title or issuing a title to an individual or business who say they purchased a vehicle in another state. Currently 49 states and D.C. participate in the system. In addition to these requirements on state DMVs, NMVTIS also requires that any entity (including tow companies) that handle more than five junk, salvage, or insurance (JSI) total loss vehicles per year must report those vehicles into NMVTIS within a month or possibly face a fine of $1,000 per incident. This data, provided by the private entities, result in brands on the vehicle so a consumer knows if something significant has occurred with the vehicle.
A consumer can purchase a NMVTIS vehicle history report which provides basic information about the vehicle (year, make, model), a title history that includes where and when the vehicle was titled (which state, date the new title was issued, and the odometer reading.) The brand section is where the JSI data is included. Brands include previous salvage, rebuilt, junk, flood and other occurrences that identify the vehicle’s prior condition. This alerts consumers who are thinking about purchasing a used car to any safety issues it may have.
So how do you avoid that $1,000 penalty for not reporting? Report! There are four entities authorized by the DOJ as consolidators of the JSI information. That means you set up an account with one of them and input the required data and that entity reports the information to NMVTIS for you. There are four consolidator entities: Auto Data Direct, ISO, Audatex, and AAMVA.
For more information about NMVTIS and how to report visit: