Californians Can Get Access To Vehicle Histories

California Department of Motor Vehicles
Media Relations Office
2415 First Avenue, MS F-122
Sacramento, CA 95818
Contact: DMV Public Affairs

Feb 18, 2010

Sacramento – The California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) announced today that its vehicle title history and brand information is now available to consumers through the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System (NMVTIS). The database greatly improves the tracking of vehicles across state lines for law enforcement and motor vehicle agencies. It also allows consumers to learn about the history of a vehicle prior to making a purchase.

DMV Director George Valverde said California is supportive of NMVTIS, and sees it as another valuable tool for consumer protection. "We are delighted that prospective purchasers of vehicles can now access title and brand information on the millions of updated vehicle records California provides to the NMVTIS database."

California is one of 31 states now participating in NMVTIS, which was established by federal law in 1992 as a major tool to combat rampant nationwide vehicle theft and fraud. According to statistics released earlier this year, 1.3 million vehicles are stolen in the 50 states each year, with losses to consumers totaling more than $8 billion. NMVTIS records are available at by providing a vehicle identification number and paying a nominal fee.

NMVTIS is operated on behalf of the U.S. Dept. of Justice by the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA). Several entities are required to regularly report information to NMVTIS, including: State motor vehicle agencies; Insurance carriers (including some self-insuring entities); and, auto recyclers and salvage yards.

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Don’t Stand In Line, Go Online! Doing business with the DMV has never been easier. The DMV offers an array of services to customers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week through its Web site (, including online appointments for written and drive tests; vehicle registration and driver license renewals, selection of personalized license plates, changes of address and payment of fees via secure debit transactions. Customers can also effect transactions by calling DMV customer service at (800) 777-0133.

DMV is a department under the Business, Transportation and Housing Agency, which is under the direction of Secretary Dale E. Bonner. The DMV licenses drivers; maintains driving records; registers and tracks official ownership of vehicles and vessels; investigates auto and identity-related fraud; and licenses car dealers, driving schools, and traffic violator schools.  


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Customer Assistance
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