Tell Congress to Standardize Vehicle Titling, Registration, and Branding Practices Nationwide

Congress must take steps to standardize vehicle titling, registration, and branding practices nationwide. Currently, each State follows its own unique vehicle documentation laws, and this lack of uniformity is abused by criminals to commit vehicle title fraud and theft.  Standardization will help prevent these crimes, protecting consumers from fraud and the unsuspecting use of dangerous, previously damaged vehicles. 

Following 2005’s devastating hurricane season, the need for unified vehicle documentation laws is an imperative.  Hurricane Katrina alone is estimated to have damaged over 500,000 vehicles, and many of these dangerous vehicles could be fraudulently sold to unsuspecting consumers by criminals abusing the current disjointed vehicle documentation system.  The current system makes title washing fraud easy to commit.  Fraudulent sellers transfer damaged vehicles to states where the vehicle’s title brands are not officially recognized.  When the state issues the vehicle new documents, the new title may no longer report the vehicle’s previous damage, effectively “washing” the vehicle of its history. 

Title washing fraud rips consumers off, and may put them in danger.  Vehicles damaged in floods and accidents may no longer be safe to drive.  If a vehicle’s title does not accurately reflect its history consumers have no way of knowing that the vehicle they purchase could be hazardous to drive. 

Congress must act.  The Anti-Car Theft Act of 1992 established a Motor Vehicle Titling, Registration, and Salvage Advisory Committee to study inconsistent vehicle documentation laws and problems caused by the lack of uniformity.  The Committee recognized that widespread problems existed when it submitted its final report over a decade ago.  Despite knowledge of this problem, Congress has not acted. 

Write your representatives today and tell them to standardize vehicle titling, registration, and branding practices nationwide. 

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December 13, 2018


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