Auto thieves will now have to contend with a new network designed to provide states with the ability to verify the titling, theft and damage history of a car before a issuing a new title.

Dubbed the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System (NMVTIS), the system had been under development for a decade, and will be used by all 50 states. A U.S. Department of Justice information system, NMVTIS was the result of a partnership between many entities, including the Bureau of Justice Assistance and the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Criminal Investigative Division.

Using NMVTIS, a title applicant’s vehicle identification number (VIN) is checked against a national file, which provides the last jurisdiction that issued a title on the car, and requests information from that jurisdiction. Previously, a car thief could take a stolen car across state lines and get a valid title by presenting fraudulent ownership documentation, or switch the VIN plate from a stolen car for one from another, without fear the VIN would be crosschecked.

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