The Bureau of Motor Vehicles is responsible for maintaining all records pertaining to the buying and selling of motor vehicles. A motor vehicle title is issued to prove vehicle ownership, to reduce the risk of stolen vehicles and to prevent motor vehicle fraud. Unfortunately, in Maine and nationally, title fraud is a multi-million dollar business. The Bureau has always played an important role in protecting the public from motor vehicle title fraud.
Anti Car Theft Act
The federal Anti Car Theft Act of 1992 was enacted to deter trafficking in stolen vehicles by strengthening law enforcement against auto theft, combating automobile title fraud, preventing "chop shop" related thefts and inspecting exports for stolen vehicles. The Act required the US Department of Transportation to implement a National Motor Vehicle Title Information System (NMVTIS). Since its creation in 1992, NMVTIS has been administered by the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA).
What is NMVTIS?
The National Motor Vehicle Title Information System (NMVTIS) is designed to protect consumers from title fraud and unsafe vehicle purchases and to prevent stolen vehicles from being resold. It is an online system used to verify and exchange vehicle history data among DMVs, law enforcement, prospective purchasers and insurance carriers. The Bureau of Motor Vehicle uses NMVTIS to check if a vehicle has been reported stolen, or if it has been identified as a "junk" or "salvage" vehicle.
Maine fully participates in the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System and residents may visit the NMVTIS Website to find vehicle history information and may download the NMVITIS Coverage Map for a quick view of which states participate in the system.