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Help Center Home > Frequently Asked Questions | First-Time Visitors | Safe-n-Secure™

instaVIN DATA

What information is in instaVIN reports?
instaVIN™ reports have many types of information, including:

  • DMV title information sourced from NMVTIS
  • Title brand data through NMVTIS, showing salvage, rebuilt, junk and 61 title brands.
  • Insurance total loss information sourced from NMVTIS
  • Junk yard and Salvage auction information from NMVTIS
  • VIN decode/vehicle specifications where available
  • State accident information
  • Open theft information from government sources – showing if the vehicle is an active theft
  • Open lien (loan) information, including loan date and loan provider name. This can differ from the name of the lender on the title
  • Impound data
  • Web site listing information showing the vehicle was available for sale online
  • Odometer information, in conjunction with NMVTIS and other sourced data

Where does the instaVIN vehicle data come from?
Vehicle history information comes from many sources including records on file from NMVTIS, state DMV, police records, fire and insurance records, data aggregators as well as many other proprietary sources.

The National Motor Vehicle Title Information System (NMVTIS) is a database administered by the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA) and overseen by the US Department of Justice. NMVTIS is the only vehicle history database in the nation in to which all states, insurance carriers, and junk salvage yards are required by federal law to report their data.

What is NMVTIS?
The National Motor Vehicle Title Information System (NMVTIS) was created through the Federal Anti-Car Theft Act of 1992, to help protect consumers from fraud and unsafe vehicles and to keep stolen vehicles from being resold. NMVTIS is a database administered by the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA) and overseen by the US Department of Justice. NMVTIS is the only vehicle history database in the nation in to which all states, insurance carriers, and junk salvage yards are required by federal law to report their data.

Through NMVTIS, instaVIN is an authorized provider and reseller of vehicle Title and Brand data. With access to NMVTIS, instaVIN works with underwriters, warranty and insurance companies, financers, dealers, and auction houses to provide the most comprehensive Junk/Salvage/Total Loss, Odometer, Title and Brand data available in the industry. NMVTIS data also includes descriptive labels called 'brands' which identity a vehicle's current or prior condition such as 'salvage' or 'flood' which convey additional information concerning the value of the vehicle, and help protect consumers from unknowingly buying a damaged vehicle. MobileTrac includes 61 of these brands on the vehicle history reports.

What states are not participating with NMVTIS?
Currently all 50 states are involved with NMVTIS at various levels of participation, representing nearly 90 percent of vehicles on the road. Some states participate fully with NMVTIS (provide data to the system as well as make title inquiries before issuing new titles.) Other states provide data only or are developing the capacity to participate fully with NMVTIS. The following state are still in development, but are expected to be in accordance in the near future: CO, DC, HI, IL, KS, ME, MI, MS, OR, RI, VT.

What about vehicle history reports for Classic Cars? How does it differ?
instaVIN provides reports on classic cars (vehicles older than 1981) by means of NMVTIS and other data sources. Each state DMV varies as to how far back their vehicle records extend, but many go back 10 or more years. instaVIN provides the current state of title and last date for classic cars, and additional title events and other reported events are included where available to instaVIN. If instaVIN is unable to produce any NMVTIS data for any given vehicle, the user will not be charged.

Are all accidents included on instaVIN reports?
instaVIN provides accident information from multiple sources including DMVs in certain states, NMVTIS participating states and other independent sources. Not all accidents are reported to instaVIN. Other report providers may show accident information that does not appear on instaVIN report. Typically, the most severe incidents will result in an Insurance Total Loss record and/or DMV Salvage title, and are available in instaVIN reports when NMVTIS reports the information to instaVIN.

Why are there so few events on my instaVIN report?
instaVIN provides as much data as it can for any particular vehicle. Not all vehicles will have data from every source; sometimes only NMVTIS data is shown, and sometimes only 1 or 2 records. The lack of information on an instaVIN is usually a good sign. That means that the vehicle has not recently been declared a total loss, or had a salvage title or other problem reported to instaVIN. We also recommend an inspection by a qualified mechanic with any vehicle purchase.

Is current or past owner information included on instaVIN™ reports?
No provider of vehicle history reports, including instaVIN, may display owner's names as it is against federal and state privacy laws. As stated on the web site and order pages, instaVIN provides up-to-date information on current title events and historical title events including date, state and mileage at time of title and registration. In addition, 61 possible brand events are checked against the government database. This includes possible junk, salvage or insurance total loss. Additional information regarding vehicle specifications, accident and odometer records are also checked. Samples of history reports are easily viewed on the site to help demonstrate the format and types of data points displayed on the report.

What is the difference between Junk/Salvage/Insurance Total Loss and Title & Brand information?
Junk /Salvage/Insurance Total Loss data is reported from junk yards, salvage yards and insurance companies. Junk is the most severe and means that the vehicle is only fit for parts, or has already been junked. Salvage means that it would cost more to repair the vehicle than it is worth. And Total Loss means that an insurance company decided to pay out rather than have the vehicle repaired.

Title and Brand information comes from State Departments of Motor Vehicles (DMV). A DMV determines if the vehicle's title should be stamped with 'brands' which identity a vehicle's current or prior condition such as 'salvage' or 'flood'. Different states have different standards for what constitutes various brands. These brands convey additional information concerning the value of the vehicle, and help protect consumers from unknowingly buying a damaged vehicle. MobileTrac includes a 61 brand check on the Vehicle History & Title Report.

Does instaVIN provide accident data on the Vehicle History & Title Report?
instaVIN provides accident information from multiple sources including DMVs in certain states, NMVTIS participating states and other independent sources. Not all accidents are reported to instaVIN. Other report providers may show accident information that does not appear on instaVIN™ reports. Typically, the most severe incidents will result in an Insurance Total Loss record and/or DMV Salvage title, and are available in instaVIN™ reports when NMVTIS reports the information to instaVIN.

Are owner names or lien holder information displayed on the Vehicle History & Title Report?
Our Vehicle History & Title Reports do not display owner names or lien holder information as it is against our data suppliers' privacy policies and is against the law in many states.

Why is the mileage showing as 'exempt' on my report?
The mileage may show as 'exempt' because DMVs are not required to report mileage to NMVTIS for vehicles more than 10 years old.

Will your report tell me if a vehicle has been stolen? Yes, instaVIN™ reports include open theft information from the US, Canada and Mexico. Currently, the US government source allows open theft information to be displayed to dealers and other commercial users. Additionally, Salvage Brand information is available from NMVTIS, and can include stolen vehicles.

NMVTIS FAQs

Why was NMVTIS created?
NMVTIS was created to:

  • Prevent the introduction or reintroduction of stolen motor vehicles into interstate commerce;
  • Protect states and consumers (individual and commercial) from fraud;
  • Reduce the use of stolen vehicles for illicit purposes including funding of criminal enterprises; and
  • Provide consumers protection from unsafe vehicles.

What types of vehicles are included in NMVTIS?
NMVTIS includes information on current and classic automobiles, buses, trucks, motorcycles, recreational vehicles, motor homes, and tractors. NMVTIS may not currently include commercial vehicles if those vehicles are not included in a state's primary database for title records (in some states, those vehicles are managed by a separate agency), although these records may be added at a later time.

How current is the information in NMVTIS?
Currently the data provided to NMVTIS by states is provided in a variety of time frames; while some report and update NVMTIS data in “real-time” (as title transactions occur) others send updates less frequently, such as once every 24 hours or within a period of days.

How is the information accessed through NMVTIS different from private vendors who provide this information as well?
NMVTIS information made available to consumers is from state motor vehicle agency records and entire sectors (e.g., insurance, auto recyclers/junk/salvage, etc.) addressed by the Anti-Car Theft Act. As opposed to purchasing information from specific businesses or companies, entities are required to provide specific information to NMVTIS in a specific format. NMVTIS is intended to serve as a reliable source of title and brand history for automobiles, which helps consumers make informed decisions before purchasing a used vehicle. However, there are certain pieces of vehicle history data that NMVTIS does not contain; for example, a vehicle's repair history. FOr moredetials about NMVTIS visit the vehiclehistory.gov website.

If I purchase a vehicle, is my personal information included and shared in NMVTIS?
No personal identifying information will be made available to individual consumers via NMVTIS. However, information contained within NMVTIS will include limited personal identifying information specifically for law enforcement / investigative, regulatory, and related purposes. While no personal identifying information will be made available to individual consumers, states can permit access to their records that is consistent with the requirements of federal statutes such as the Drivers Privacy Protection Act and any relevant state statutes. Visit the vehiclehistory.gov, NMVTIS Privacy Policy page to read more.

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