Congress passed the Anti-Car Theft Act of 1992 in response to what it considered to be the nation's number one property crime - motor vehicle theft. Title II of the act required the designation or establishment of a National Motor Vehicle Title Information System (NMVTIS). The act required that NMVTIS, among other things, allow users to instantly and reliably validate out-of-state motor vehicle titles for states that are retitling a vehicle and provide a history of the vehicle being retitled (e.g., the vehicle's previously recorded odometer reading and any salvage information). The General Accounting Office (GAO) was asked to determine (1) the current status of NMVTIS and (2) whether the Department of Justice had evaluated NMVTIS' expected costs and benefits to ensure that additional federal investment in NMVTIS is justified. Briefly, the Department of Justice has not evaluated NMVTIS' expected life-cycle costs and benefits to ensure that additional federal funding is justified. As of March 1999, the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA) expected the development and implementation of NMVTIS to cost about $34 million. NMVTIS was designed to allow users to electronically validate an existing vehicle title and title-related information. However, a potential barrier to electronically validating titles and title-related information could be the lack of full participation by all state departments of motor vehicles. GAO is recommending in this report that the Attorney General (1) perform a life-cycle cost benefit analysis to determine if additional federal investments in NMVTIS is justified and (2) provide additional federal funds for NMVTIS only if such funding is supported by the analysis.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • United States General Accounting Office Report to the Chairman, Subcommittee on Consumer Affairs, Foreign Commerce and Tourism, Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, U.S. Senate
  • Corporate Authors:

    U.S. General Accounting Office

    441 G Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20548
  • Publication Date: 1999-8


  • English

Media Info

  • Features: Appendices;
  • Pagination: 20 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00798242
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
  • Report/Paper Numbers: HS-042 908,, GAO/GGD-99-132
  • Files: HSL, TRIS, USDOT
  • Created Date: Sep 13 2000 12:00AM