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National Motor Vehicle Title Information System Cost-Benefit Analysis

NCJ Number
John Dukovich; Walter Cooper; Spiros Coutavas; William Swartwout
Date Published
70 pages

This briefing summarizes work the Logistics Management Institute (LMI) has completed for the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) regarding a cost-benefit analysis of the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System (NMVTIS). 



The Anti-Car Theft Act was passed in 1992 by Congress as a response to motor vehicle theft, which was viewed as the nation’s top priority crime at that time. The Act was designed to reduce auto theft by making the selling of stolen cars and parts more difficult. Title II of the Act required the establishment of a national motor vehicle title information system (NMVTIS). The Act requires that NMVTIS enable users to validate motor vehicle titles instantly and reliably during the re-titling process and provide a motor vehicle history. NMVTIS addresses title washing. Overall, the current cost-benefit analysis of NMVTIS found that if it is implemented properly in all 50 states and the District of Columbia and is 100 percent effective, it can achieve benefits in the range of $4 billion to $1.3 billion annually; however, because there are many obstacles to full national implementation, the costs and benefits of NMVTIS were evaluated over a range of scenarios. In all of the scenarios investigated, the net benefits of NMVTIS were substantial. After accounting for costs and benefits during 2001-2006, the calculation of the present value of the net benefits ranged from $0.6 billion to $9.5 billion (in year 2000 dollars).