Why you need NMVTIS in your Boat History Check

NMVTIS vs Carfax vs BoatAlert for boats?

Does NMVTIS include boats?

What is NMVTIS?

This is a federal database that is run by AAMVA. It was commissioned because of the Department of Justice (DOJ) ruling 28 CFR Part 25. This required all the states to work together and submit their data to the central database. It also required insurance companies and salvage yards to submit their data as well.

NMVTIS stands for National Motor Vehicle Title Information System and is a database that allows the titling agency to instantly and reliably verify the information on the paper title with the electronic data from the state that issued the title. NMVTIS is designed to protect consumers from fraud and unsafe vehicles and to keep stolen vehicles from being resold. NMVTIS is also a tool that assists states and law enforcement in deterring and preventing title fraud and other crimes. Vinalert.com is one of the resellers of NMVTIS reports to consumers and we have had access to this data since 2009.

The National Motor Vehicle Title Information System (NMVTIS) was created under the Anti Car Theft Act of 1992. In 1996, the Anti Car Theft Act was reauthorized and amended, transferring the responsibility for NMVTIS from the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). 

If you’ve bought a used car before, you’ve probably heard of Carfax or NMVIST resellers like vinalert or vinaudit. An NMVTIS Vehicle History Report is shorter than a Carfax report since it focuses on vehicle brands, total loss data, salvage reports, state title information, and odometer information. NMVTIS does not provide accident/repair history nor vehicle maintenance data. It covers 48 US states and counting.

Can you use NMVTIS for boats?

According to data collected by Boat-Alert.com, NMVTIS has 1.5% of all US boats in its database. As a boat buyer, you would want to get all the data available out there. Boat-Alert has always been a proponent that you should get all the boat reports for your HIN from all the companies if your budget allows as no company can honestly claim to have “everything”. The Boating industry is not as organized, regulated, and centralized as the car industry.

Boat data is not required by law to be maintained by NMVTIS but wouldn’t you want to know if your boat had an insurance company total loss? Why not get the data when it is available?

Boat-alert.com is the ONLY boat history company that has access to NMVTIS thanks to our data supplier vindecoding.net. Your report will indicate if the HIN has been found in NMVTIS or not as part of the 68 databases that we search.

Why aren’t there a lot of boats in NMVTIS?

This is because there is no consistency from state to state. There are 9 states that still do not title boats. These are: Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Delaware, Kansas, Maine, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Tennessee. Additionally, in Mississippi, titling a boat is optional.

The next thing you need to know about boat titles is that they are not all issued in the same department. For vehicles, in every state, the title issued in the DMV (or equivalent such as the BMV). For boats however there are 22 states that issue a title at the DMV but others will be at the DNR, fisheries, parks or equivalent. So you can see how it is all over the place. companies like Boat-Alert offer the convenience of searching these databases in one place for 19.99$.

Since there is no law that requires States to give their data to one entity like NMVTIS or VIS, then you would not expect a lot of data on boats from the States but the insurance companies and salvage auction yards would still send this data for boats.

Note that a centralized reporting system for titles called the Vessel Identification System, or VIS, exists but not every state is a part of that and it is available to Law Enforcement only.

The last and probably the most important piece of the equation is that boats don’t have brands so if you burn your boat or sink it then it still has a clean title. That is why, when a seller claims the boat has a clean title, it means absolutely nothing. Insurance companies, repair yards, salvagers have reported some damaged boats to NMVTIS and Boat-Alert.com has helped many customers avoid those boats.

Are there any solutions to the clean title problem in boating?

Recently, legal legislation has been starting to catch up. There is an act called the Uniform Certificate of Title for Vessels Act (UCOTVA) that establishes “Hull Damaged” brands for boats. We say catching up because there are only 5 states that have fully adopted it: DC, Virginia, Connecticut, Hawaii, and Florida, while Georgia issues hull damaged brands but is not fully UCOTVA compliant and Florida will start July 2023. The brands won’t be retroactive so any boat that was previously damaged will not be required to be branded as such.

As always, get all the reports your can afford and the hire a surveyor. Surveys can get expensive but they are important. Would you buy a used car for your family without an inspection?

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Categories: To learn more about Boat-Alert.com History Reports for used boats and boat hin lookup visit: www.Boat-Alert.com


About Boat-Alert.com®
Boat Alert History Reports© exists to aggregate boat databases so that shoppers can search and buy a used boat safely while saving time and money researching a used boat's history. We began in 2015 and constantly adding more hin number check data for USA and Canada to ensure that your boat has a clean history. We are happy to offer a 60-day money back guarantee and proud to have served more than 15,000 customers with their boat HIN Search History needs. boat title search ©. Two percent of all proceeds go to charity. We value fair treatment of employees, customer satisfaction, having the most databases possible, and fast customer service at the core of our brand. View our LinkTree.