In 1992, Congress passed a law that requires the implementation of a national database that contains a car history report of every vehicle found in the United States. The database is called the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System (NMVTIS).
Eighteen (18) years later in 2008, it looks like the Justice Department finally decided that it will abide by Congress’ order (in this case, it took lawsuits from consumer groups to get the Justice Department to finally do its job).
I just received an email update from a California Lemon Law attorney, Craig Patrick, about California being one of the frontier states that is currently participating in this national database program. The NMVTIS will contain information about the whether the vehicle was a lemon law buyback or whether it has been severely wrecked.
Rather than spending more than necessary at private companies such as carfax.com or autocheck.com for this report, car buyers from California can now go to their DMV and order a car history report for less than $5 per search. Albeit, the information found from the California DMV, will not include secondary information, such as intel from car shops, police reports, and etc.
At its current state it looks like Texas is lagging behind in its participation with this national lemon car database. Currently, Texas is only providing data to the NMVTIS, but Texas does not make inquiries into the car’s history before issuing titles.
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