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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

e-CFR data is current as of December 12, 2019

Title 28Chapter IPart 25 → Subpart B


Title 28: Judicial Administration
PART 25—DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE INFORMATION SYSTEMS


Subpart B—National Motor Vehicle Title Information System (NMVTIS)


Contents
§25.51   Purpose and authority.
§25.52   Definitions.
§25.53   Responsibilities of the operator of NMVTIS.
§25.54   Responsibilities of the States.
§25.55   Responsibilities of insurance carriers.
§25.56   Responsibilities of junk yards and salvage yards and auto recyclers.
§25.57   Erroneous junk or salvage reporting.

Source: 74 FR 5776, Jan 30, 2009, unless otherwise noted.

§25.51   Purpose and authority.

The purpose of this subpart is to establish policies and procedures implementing the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System (NMVTIS) in accordance with title 49 U.S.C. 30502. The purpose of NMVTIS is to assist in efforts to prevent the introduction or reintroduction of stolen motor vehicles into interstate commerce, protect states and individual and commercial consumers from fraud, reduce the use of stolen vehicles for illicit purposes including fundraising for criminal enterprises, and provide consumer protection from unsafe vehicles.

§25.52   Definitions.

For purposes of this subpart B:

Acquiring means owning, possessing, handling, directing, or controlling.

Automobile has the same meaning given that term in 49 U.S.C. 32901(a).

Certificate of title means a document issued by a state showing ownership of an automobile.

Insurance carrier means an individual or entity engaged in the business of underwriting automobile insurance.

Junk automobile means an automobile that—

(1) Is incapable of operating on public streets, roads, and highways; and

(2) Has no value except as a source of parts or scrap.

Junk yard means an individual or entity engaged in the business of acquiring or owning junk automobiles for—

(1) Resale in their entirety or as spare parts; or

(2) Rebuilding, restoration, or crushing.

Motor vehicle has the same meaning given that term in 49 U.S.C. 30102(6).

NMVTIS means the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System.

Operator means the individual or entity authorized or designated as the operator of NMVTIS under 49 U.S.C. 30502(b), or the office designated by the Attorney General, if there is no authorized or designated individual or entity.

Purchaser means the individual or entity buying an automobile or financing the purchase of an automobile. For purposes of this subpart, purchasers include dealers, auction companies or entities engaged in the business of purchasing used automobiles, lenders financing the purchase of new or used automobiles, and automobile dealers.

Salvage automobile means an automobile that is damaged by collision, fire, flood, accident, trespass, or other event, to the extent that its fair salvage value plus the cost of repairing the automobile for legal operation on public streets, roads, and highways would be more than the fair market value of the automobile immediately before the event that caused the damage. Salvage automobiles include automobiles determined to be a total loss under the law of the applicable jurisdiction or designated as a total loss by an insurer under the terms of its policies, regardless of whether or not the ownership of the vehicle is transferred to the insurance carrier.

Salvage yard means an individual or entity engaged in the business of acquiring or owning salvage automobiles for—

(1) Resale in their entirety or as spare parts; or

(2) Rebuilding, restoration, or crushing.

Note to definition of “Salvage yard”: For purposes of this subpart, vehicle remarketers and vehicle recyclers, including scrap vehicle shredders and scrap metal processors as well as “pull- or pick-apart yards,” salvage pools, salvage auctions, and other types of auctions handling salvage or junk vehicles (including vehicles declared a “total loss”), are included in the definition of “junk or salvage yards.”

State means a state of the United States or the District of Columbia.

Total loss means that the cost of repairing such vehicles plus projected supplements plus projected diminished resale value plus rental reimbursement expense exceeds the cost of buying the damaged motor vehicle at its pre-accident value, minus the proceeds of selling the damaged motor vehicle for salvage.

VIN means the vehicle identification number;

[74 FR 5776, Jan. 30, 2009, as amended at 77 FR 18916, Mar. 29, 2012]

§25.53   Responsibilities of the operator of NMVTIS.

(a) By no later than March 31, 2009, the operator shall make available:

(1) To a participating state on request of that state, information in NMVTIS about any automobile;

(2) To a Government, state, or local law enforcement official on request of that official, information in NMVTIS about a particular automobile, junk yard, or salvage yard;

(3) To a prospective purchaser of an automobile on request of that purchaser, information in NMVTIS about that automobile; and

(4) To a prospective or current insurer of an automobile on request of that insurer, information in NMVTIS about the automobile.

(b) NMVTIS shall permit a user of the system to establish instantly and reliably:

(1) The validity and status of a document purporting to be a certificate of title;

(2) Whether an automobile bearing a known VIN is titled in a particular state;

(3) Whether an automobile known to be titled in a particular state is or has been a junk automobile or a salvage automobile;

(4) For an automobile known to be titled in a particular state, the odometer mileage disclosure required under 49 U.S.C. 32705 for that automobile on the date the certificate of title for that automobile was issued and any later mileage information, if noted by the state; and

(5) Whether an automobile bearing a known VIN has been reported as a junk automobile or a salvage automobile under 49 U.S.C. 30504.

(c) The operator is authorized to seek and accept, with the concurrence of the Department of Justice, additional information from states and public and private entities that is relevant to the titling of automobiles and to assist in efforts to prevent the introduction or reintroduction of stolen motor vehicles and parts into interstate commerce. The operator, however, may not collect any social security account numbers as part of any of the information provided by any state or public or private entity. The operator may not make personally identifying information contained within NMVTIS, such as the name or address of the owner of an automobile, available to an individual prospective purchaser. With the approval of the Department of Justice, the operator may allow public and private entities that provide information to NMVTIS to query the system if such access will assist in efforts to prevent the introduction or reintroduction of stolen motor vehicles and parts into interstate commerce.

(d) The operator shall develop and maintain a privacy policy that addresses the information in the system and how personal information shall be protected. DOJ shall review and approve this privacy policy.

(e) The means by which access is provided by the operator to users of NMVTIS must be approved by the Department of Justice.

(f) The operator shall biennially establish and at least annually collect user fees from the states and users of NMVTIS to pay for its operation, but the operator may not collect fees in excess of the costs of operating the system. The operator is required to recalculate the user fees on a biennial basis. After the operator establishes its initial user fees for the states under this section, subsequent state user fees must be established at least one year in advance of their effective date. Any user fees established by the operator must be established with the approval of the Department of Justice. The operator of NMVTIS will inform the states of the applicable user fees either through publication in the Federal Register or by direct notice or invoice to the states.

(1) The expenses to be recouped by the operator of NMVTIS will consist of labor costs, data center operations costs, the cost of providing access to authorized users, annual functional enhancement costs (including labor and hardware), costs necessary for implementing the provisions of this rule, the cost of technical upgrades, and other costs approved in advance by the Department of Justice.

(2) User fees collected from states should be based on the states' pro rata share of the total number of registered motor vehicles based on the Highway Statistics Program of the Federal Highway Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation, except in cases where states did not report to that program, in which case the states shall make available the most recent statistics for motor vehicle title registrations.

(3) All states, regardless of their level of participation, shall be charged user fees by the operator.

(4) No fees shall be charged for inquiries from law enforcement agencies.

(g) The operator will establish procedures and practices to facilitate reporting to NMVTIS in the least burdensome and costly fashion. If the operator is not the Department of Justice, the operator must provide an annual report to the Department of Justice detailing the fees it collected and how it expended such fees and other funds to operate NMVTIS. This report must also include a status report on the implementation of the system, compliance with reporting and other requirements, and sufficient detail and scope regarding financial information so that reasonable determinations can be made regarding budgeting and performance. The operator shall procure an independent financial audit of NMVTIS revenues and expenses on an annual basis. The Department of Justice will make these reports available for public inspection.

[74 FR 5776, Jan. 30, 2009, as amended at 77 FR 18916, Mar. 29, 2012]

§25.54   Responsibilities of the States.

(a) Each state must maintain at least the level of participation in NMVTIS that it had achieved as of January 1, 2009. By no later than January 1, 2010, each state must have completed implementation of all requirements of participation and provide, or cause to be provided by an agent or third party, to the designated operator and in an electronic format acceptable to the operator, at a frequency of once every 24 hours, titling information for all automobiles maintained by the state. The titling information provided to NMVTIS must include the following:

(1) VIN;

(2) Any description of the automobile included on the certificate of title (including any and all brands associated with such vehicle);

(3) The name of the individual or entity to whom the certificate was issued;

(4) Information from junk or salvage yard operators or insurance carriers regarding the acquisition of junk automobiles or salvage automobiles, if this information is being collected by the state; and

(5) For an automobile known to be titled in a particular state, the odometer mileage disclosure required under 49 U.S.C. 32705 for that automobile on the date the certificate of title for that automobile was issued and any later mileage information, if noted by the state.

(b) With the approval of the operator and the state, the titling information provided to NMVTIS may include any other information included on the certificates of title and any other information the state maintains in relation to these titles.

(c) By no later than January 1, 2010, each state shall establish a practice of performing a title verification check through NMVTIS before issuing a certificate of title to an individual or entity claiming to have purchased an automobile from an individual or entity in another state or in cases of title transfers. The check will consist of—

(1) Communicating to the operator the VIN of the automobile for which the certificate of title is sought;

(2) Giving the operator an opportunity to communicate to the participating state the results of a search of the information and using the results to determine the validity and status of a document purporting to be a certification of title, to determine whether the automobile has been a junk or salvage vehicle or has been reported as such, to compare and verify the odometer information presented with that reported in the system, and to determine the validity of other information presented (e.g., lien-holder status, etc.).

(d) By January 1, 2010, those states not currently paying user fees will be responsible for paying user fees as established by the operator to support NMVTIS.

§25.55   Responsibilities of insurance carriers.

(a) By no later than March 31, 2009, and on a monthly basis as designated by the operator, any individual or entity acting as an insurance carrier conducting business within the United States shall provide, or cause to be provided on its behalf, to the operator and in a format acceptable to the operator, a report that contains an inventory of all automobiles of the current model year or any of the four prior model years that the carrier, during the past month, has obtained possession of and has decided are junk automobiles or salvage automobiles. An insurance carrier shall report on any automobiles that it has determined to be a total loss under the law of the applicable jurisdiction (i.e. , state) or designated as a total loss by the insurance company under the terms of its policies.

(b) The inventory must contain the following information:

(1) The name, address, and contact information for the reporting entity (insurance carrier);

(2) VIN;

(3) The date on which the automobile was obtained or designated as a junk or salvage automobile;

(4) The name of the individual or entity from whom the automobile was obtained and who possessed it when the automobile was designated as a junk or salvage automobile; and

(5) The name of the owner of the automobile at the time of the filing of the report.

(c) Insurance carriers are strongly encouraged to provide the operator with information on other motor vehicles or other information relevant to a motor vehicle's title, including the reason why the insurance carrier obtained possession of the motor vehicle. For example, the insurance carrier may have obtained possession of a motor vehicle because it had been subject to flood, water, collision, or fire damage, or as a result of theft and recovery. The provision of information provided by an insurance carrier under this paragraph must be pursuant to a means approved by the operator.

(d) Insurance carriers whose required data is provided to the operator through an operator-authorized third party in a manner acceptable to the operator are not required to duplicate such reporting. For example, if the operator and a private third-party organization reach agreement on the provision of insurance data already reported by insurance to the third party, insurance companies are not required to subsequently report the information directly into NMVTIS.

§25.56   Responsibilities of junk yards and salvage yards and auto recyclers.

(a) By no later than March 31, 2009, and continuing on a monthly basis as designated by the operator, any individual or entity engaged in the business of operating a junk yard or salvage yard within the United States shall provide, or cause to be provided on its behalf, to the operator and in a format acceptable to the operator, an inventory of all junk automobiles or salvage automobiles obtained in whole or in part by that entity in the prior month.

(b) The inventory shall include the following information:

(1) The name, address, and contact information for the reporting entity (junk, salvage yard, recycler);

(2) VIN;

(3) The date the automobile was obtained;

(4) The name of the individual or entity from whom the automobile was obtained;

(5) A statement of whether the automobile was crushed or disposed of, for sale or other purposes, to whom it was provided or transferred, and if the vehicle is intended for export out of the United States.

(c) Junk and salvage yards, however, are not required to report this information if they already report the information to the state and the state makes the information required in this rule available to the operator.

(d) Junk and salvage yards may be required to file an update or supplemental report of final disposition of any automobile where final disposition information was not available at the time of the initial report filing, or if their actual disposition of the automobile differs from what was initially reported.

(e) Junk and salvage yards are encouraged to provide the operator with similar information on motor vehicles other than automobiles that they obtain that possess VINs.

(f) Junk- and salvage-yard operators whose required data is provided to the operator through an operator-authorized third party (e.g., state or other public or private organization) in a manner acceptable to the operator are not required to duplicate such reporting. In addition, junk and salvage yards are not required to report on an automobile if they are issued a verification under 49 U.S.C. 33110 stating that the automobile or parts from the automobile are not reported as stolen.

(g) Such entities must report all salvage or junk vehicles they obtain, including vehicles from or on behalf of insurance carriers, which can be reasonably assumed are total loss vehicles. Such entities, however, are not required to report any vehicle that is determined not to meet the definition of salvage or junk after a good-faith physical and value appraisal conducted by qualified appraisal personnel, so long as such appraisals are conducted entirely independent of any other interests, persons or entities. Individuals and entities that handle less than five vehicles per year that are determined to be salvage, junk, or total loss are not required to report under the salvage-yard requirements.

(h) Scrap metal processors and shredders that receive automobiles for recycling where the condition of such vehicles generally prevent VINs from being identified are not required to report to the operator if the source of each vehicle has already reported the vehicle to NMVTIS. In cases where a supplier's compliance with NMVTIS cannot be ascertained, however, scrap metal processors and shredders must report these vehicles to the operator based on a visual inspection if possible. If the VIN cannot be determined based on this inspection, scrap metal processors and shredders may rely on primary documentation (i.e., title documents) provided by the vehicle supplier.

§25.57   Erroneous junk or salvage reporting.

(a) In cases where a vehicle is erroneously reported to have been salvage or junk and subsequently destroyed (i.e., crushed), owners of the legitimate vehicles are encouraged to seek a vehicle inspection in the current state of title whereby inspection officials can verify via hidden VINs the vehicle's true identity. Owners are encouraged to file such inspection reports with the current state of title and to retain such reports so that the vehicle's true history can be documented.

(b) To avoid the possibility of fraud, the operator may not allow any entity to delete a prior report of junk or salvage status.

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