How To Do a Title Check
- Get the VIN of the vehicle you want to buy. Click here to see how to find the VIN.
- Have your credit card available.
- Select one of the approved providers below. Prices begin at only a couple dollars so you may want to shop the vendors before making a selection. Be sure to note what is offered for the price.
- Follow the steps to obtain the report.
The VIN is run through the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System (NMVTIS), a national consumer protection database that provides title information from states across the country. Whether you are buying from a local dealer, individual or eyeing a vehicle from an online auction website, it will help you to know what you are buying before you pay any money or sign any paperwork for the vehicle.
A report from the NMVTIS database gives you the vehicle’s title history, which includes whether the vehicle was ever in the possession of a junk or salvage yard or declared a “total loss” by an insurance company.
For more information, please visit the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System (NMVTIS) website.
Besides the title history, the TxDMV recommends you also consider purchasing a complete vehicle history service report from one of many private companies that offer this service. These reports generally includes maintenance and repair records. We also recommend that you have the vehicle inspected by a reputable mechanic before making your purchase.
If you have purchased a vehicle from a Texas dealer and you discover an issue with the vehicle’s title history you may want to file a Consumer Complaint with TxDMV's Enforcement Division.
On October 25, 1992, President George H.W. Bush signed the Anti Car Theft Act, which he called “absolutely critical if we are to strike back against auto thieves...”
The act calls for the creation and use of the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System to stop title fraud; vehicle export inspections to look for stolen vehicles; stiffer penalties for car thieves and chop shop operators; and makes carjacking a federal crime.
“These criminals, who show no respect for the lives or property of law-abiding Americans, must be punished in the strongest possible manner,” President Bush said.
The U.S. Department of Justice, effective 1996, handles the motor vehicle database system. The TxDMV partnered with the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators to administer NMVTIS. NMVTIS works to limit the consumer and title fraud of vehicles nationwide.
Texas aggressively combats title fraud and auto theft. The TxDMV investigates title fraud and consumer complaints with the assistance of law enforcement. The agency houses the Motor Vehicle Crime Prevention Authority, providing law enforcement agencies and consumers with auto theft and burglary grants and detection training.