With good advice for dealers everywhere, the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration reminds dealers that, with the recent hurricanes and mass flooding, they should be on the lookout for vehicles that have been damaged by flood waters, and for titles that have been altered to hide flood damage.
Vehicles that have been damaged by flood waters should be labeled as salvage (marked as a total loss), and the titles should reflect the salvage state of the vehicle.
There are several ways to protect your business from receiving or processing “altered titles” for salvage vehicles. • Verify the VIN history – Before processing any titles or accepting any vehicles, dealers should verify the VIN history to determine if the vehicle may have been in a flooded area during the period when flooding occurred. Use one or more of the sources, listed below, to verify the vehicle history. Some of the sites offer free services, and others will charge a fee for their services. • Pre-purchase inspections – Before buying any vehicles, dealers should opt for a pre-purchase inspection to ensure that they are receiving vehicles that have had no previous damage and, most important, no flood damage. Vehicle verification resources1. National Insurance Crime Bureau https://www.nicb.org/theft_and_fraud_awareness/vincheck2. National Motor Vehicle Title Information System https://www.vehiclehistory.gov/nmvtis_vehiclehistory.html3. Vehicle History https://www.vehiclehistory.com4. CarFax https://www.carfax.com5. AutoCheck http://www.autocheck.com/vehiclehistory/?siteID=0If you have any questions or concerns, phone the MVA at (410) 787-7950, or email it at firstname.lastname@example.org.Download Bulletin PDF