NATIONAL AUTO FRAUD AND THEFT PREVENTION SYSTEM GOES LIVE
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Justice today announced the availability of an on-line 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 National Motor Vehicle Title Information System, or NMVTIS, will be available for consumers on January 30, 2009 and will be accessible through third party, fee-for-service Web sites. 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 critical 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. Along with implementing this system, the Department has outlined the various responsibilities and reporting requirements for states, auto recyclers, junk yards and salvage yards, and insurance carriers. The Department has designed the system consistent with federal law that requires that the system be paid for through user fees and not dependent on federal funding.
Since 1997, the Department of Justice has committed over $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 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. In research conducted by the Logistics Management Institute, the system is estimated to save taxpayers between $4 and $11 billion each year. For further information on NMVTIS, visit www.nmvtis.gov.
The Office of Justice Programs, headed by Acting Assistant Attorney General Laurie Robinson, provides federal leadership in developing the nation's capacity to prevent and control crime, administer justice, and assist victims. OJP has five component bureaus: the Bureau of Justice Assistance; the Bureau of Justice Statistics; the National Institute of Justice; the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention; and the Office for Victims of Crime. Additionally, OJP has two program offices: the Community Capacity Development Office, which incorporates the Weed and Seed strategy, and the Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking (SMART). More information can be found at http://www.ojp.gov.