The U.S. Department of Justice will launch the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System on Friday. The online database of vehicle titles will help prevent ‘title washing’, where a vehicle that has been stolen or given a scrap title can be re-titled and then sold in another state.
Auto title washing has been a big challenge in the past, according to AutoRemarketing.
"NMVTIS allows state titling agencies to verify ownership documents before they issue new titles,” an official said. “NMVTIS also allows them to check to see if the vehicle has been reported stolen — if so, the states know not to issue the new title."
The NMVTIS will connect data from 36 different states starting Friday. All 50 states will be required to participate by Jan. 1, 2010, according to the NMVTIS Web site.
"Ultimately, with full participation from all 50 states and the District of Columbia, NMVTIS will 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," an NMVTIS executive said.