AUSTIN, TX (TXDMV) - The Texas Department of Motor Vehicles (TxDMV) is using a national title database system under the U.S. Department of Justice to help stop title fraud while urging consumers to learn how to protect themselves when buying a used vehicle.
“Too many Texans are being taken advantage of by people selling flooded, salvaged and rebuilt vehicles as though they were in perfect condition,” said TxDMV Executive Director Whitney Brewster.
Three years ago, the TxDMV revoked and placed legal restraints on hundreds of fraudulent Texas titles that were part of an organized crime “title washing” scam where salvage vehicles were sold, traded in, and exported as good vehicles with good titles. In another Texas incident, a group involved in two motor vehicle title service businesses was convicted of providing fraudulent titles. In at least one instance, a Texas law enforcement investigator linked a title fraud case to human trafficking.
The system produces a title history report that shows where and what states the vehicle was titled in, previous odometer readings and whether it has a brand that could impact the vehicle’s safety and/or value, such as salvage, junk, rebuilt or flooded.
It is the only vehicle title database in the nation to which all states, insurance carriers, junk and salvage yards are required by federal law to report. It contains title information on cars, trucks, motorcycles, motor homes, buses and big rigs, virtually every titled motor vehicle in the country.
The best way to avoid becoming a victim of title fraud and finding out the used vehicle you purchased might be worth much less than what you paid or is unsafe to operate is by going to Title Check at www.TxDMV.gov.