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NMVTIS Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is the purpose of National Motor Vehicle Information System (NMVTIS)?
  2. Who operates and manages NMVTIS?
  3. I am interested in purchasing a used vehicle and would like to obtain a vehicle history. How can I do this?
  4. How much will it cost to obtain NMVTIS information on a vehicle?
  5. What kind of information will I receive in a NMVTIS vehicle history report?
  6. What types of vehicles are included in NMVTIS?
  7. How current is the information in NMVTIS?
  8. How is the information accessed through NMVTIS different from private vendors who provide this information as well?
  9. Where can I get detailed vehicle information from a state agency?
  10. If I believe there is a discrepancy in the information provided in an NMVTIS vehicle record, how do I resolve this issue?
  11. If I purchase a vehicle, is my personal information included and shared in NMVTIS?
  12. Why aren't all states participating in NMVTIS? Why isn't my state participating?
  13. I requested vehicle information through NMVTIS and no brand, odometer, or title information was returned. Why?

Question 1: What is the purpose of National Motor Vehicle Information System (NMVTIS)?

NMVTIS was created to:

  • Prevent the introduction or reintroduction of stolen motor vehicles into interstate commerce.
  • Protect states and consumers (individual and commercial) from fraud.
  • Reduce the use of stolen vehicles for illicit purposes, including funding of criminal enterprises.
  • Provide consumers protection from unsafe vehicles.

Question 2: Who operates and manages NMVTIS?

The US Department of Justice is responsible for oversight of the implementation and operation of NMVTIS, and works in partnership with the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA). AAMVA has been the operator since 1992. To learn more about AAMVA, contact:

American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators
4301 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 400
Arlington, Virginia 22203
(703) 522-4200
www.aamva.org

Question 3: I am interested in purchasing a used vehicle and would like to obtain a vehicle history. How can I do this?

Consumers can request vehicle history information through NMVTIS by selecting an approved service provider. View list of approved NMVTIS data providers.

Question 4: How much will it cost to obtain NMVTIS information on a vehicle?

The cost for NMVTIS vehicle history reports vary depending on the selected data provider. The Anti-Car Theft Act requires that the system be funded through user fees and not dependent on federal funds. For this reason, NMVTIS has been designed as a fee-for-service system. As recently as May 2020, fees ranged from $8 to $12.99 per report.

Question 5: What kind of information will I receive in a NMVTIS vehicle history report?

NMVTIS records provide:

  • Current and previous state of title data.
  • Title issue date.
  • Latest odometer data.
  • Theft history data (if any).
  • Any brand assigned to a vehicle and date applied.
  • Salvage history, including designations as a "total loss" (if any).

Read the NMVTIS Consumer Access Product Disclaimer [PDF], which describes what is and is not included in NMVTIS reports.

Question 6: What types of vehicles are included in NMVTIS?

NMVTIS includes information on automobiles, buses, trucks, motorcycles, recreational vehicles, motor homes, and tractors. NMVTIS may not currently include commercial vehicles if those vehicles are not included in a state's primary database for title records (since commercial vehicles are managed by a separate agency in some states), although these records may be added at a later time.

Question 7: How current is the information in NMVTIS?

Currently, the data provided to NMVTIS by states is provided in a variety of time frames; while some states report and update NVMTIS data in “real-time” (as title transactions occur), others send updates less frequently, such as once every 24 hours or within a period of days.

Question 8: How is the information accessed through NMVTIS different from private vendors who provide this information as well?

NMVTIS information made available to consumers is from state motor vehicle agency records and entire sectors (e.g., insurance, auto recyclers/junk/salvage, etc.) addressed by the Anti-Car Theft Act. As opposed to purchasing information from specific businesses or companies, entities are required to provide specific information to NMVTIS in a specific format. NMVTIS is intended to serve as a reliable source for title and brand histories for automobiles, which helps consumers make informed decisions before purchasing a used vehicle. However, there are certain pieces of vehicle history data that NMVTIS does not contain (for example, a vehicle's repair history).

Before making a decision to purchase a vehicle, consumers may wish to obtain an independent vehicle inspection and consult other available information resources that provide additional vehicle history data.

Question 9: Where can I get detailed vehicle information from a state agency?

To request a complete copy of a specific state vehicle title record, you can contact the current state motor vehicle titling agency. Find more information on state motor vehicle agency processes for obtaining state records. Additional Information: Approved NMVTIS data providers are required to offer their customers access to the state that has titled a vehicle to obtain additional information not part of the NMVTIS vehicle history report.

Question 10: If I believe there is a discrepancy in the information provided in an NMVTIS vehicle record, how do I resolve this issue?

Contact the service provider directly for questions about your vehicle history report. Customer support is available on each service provider's website.

Question 11: If I purchase a vehicle, is my personal information included and shared in NMVTIS?

No personal identifying information will be made available to individual consumers via NMVTIS. However, information contained within NMVTIS will include limited personal identifying information specifically for law enforcement/investigative, regulatory, and related purposes. While no personal identifying information will be made available to individual consumers, states can permit access to their records that is consistent with the requirements of federal statutes such as the Drivers Privacy Protection Act and any relevant state statutes. Visit the Privacy Policy page [PDF] to read more.

Question 12: Why aren't all states participating in NMVTIS? Why isn't my state participating?

Currently, all states are involved with NMVTIS at various levels of participation. View the States page for an NMVTIS participation map. Some states participate fully with NMVTIS (provide data to the system, as well as make title inquiries before issuing new titles). Other states only provide data or are developing the capacity to participate fully with NMVTIS. Consumers are encouraged to seek responses to these questions from states directly.

Question 13: I requested vehicle information through NMVTIS and no brand, odometer, or title information was returned. Why?

It is likely in this case that no brand, odometer, or title information for that vehicle has been reported by participating states. Contact the approved NMVTIS data provider for any additional questions or further explanation. Although NMVTIS includes a substantial percentage of the US vehicle population, it is expected that this type of response may occasionally occur until all states are participating.

Read the NMVTIS Consumer Access Product Disclaimer [PDF].

For more information and to view NMVTIS FAQs, please visit the US Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs website.


The DC Department of Motor Vehicles (DC DMV) gratefully acknowledges the US Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Assistance for allowing us to reproduce, in part or in whole, the frequently asked questions (FAQs) The opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this content are those of the speaker(s) and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the US Department of Justice.