A vehicle title is a legal document which includes identifying information relating to a specific vehicle and the person who owns it. During a used car purchase, the existing owner must sign over the vehicle’s title to the new owner and register the transaction with the DMV. Additional information relating to the car’s previous owners and history is stored in the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System (NMVTIS). Any person seeking to buy a used vehicle in Arkansas should conduct a title search to access this database, to make sure they know what they are buying.
Over 40 million used vehicles are sold in the United States every year. Unfortunately, not all used vehicles are advertised honestly. Without running a background check on the vehicle you intend to purchase, you only have the seller’s word that it is safe to drive and being sold legitimately. Failing to take this precaution could see you falling victim to a rogue seller who is passing on a stolen vehicle, or worse, passing off a salvage vehicle as roadworthy. Luckily, it only takes a few minutes to conduct an Arkansas vehicle title search to make sure your dream car is the real deal.
The process by which buyers can find vehicle title information is largely the same in every state. The search should cost no more than a few dollars and can be conducted entirely online, from the comfort of your own home. The only information you will need to complete the vehicle title search is the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) of the used car you are hoping to buy. Every new vehicle is assigned a 17-digit VIN at the point of manufacture and no two of these codes are the same. Whenever a vehicle is sold, stolen, damaged, repaired or scrapped, this information is recorded in the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System and linked to its unique VIN. Ask the person selling the vehicle for the identification number before any money changes hands. You can then enter this number into one of dozens of different online search facilities to access records of the vehicle’s history.
When conducting a vehicle title search, the first thing buyers should check is whether the person selling the vehicle has a right to do so. It is also important to make sure the make, model and year of the car are correct; if there are any discrepancies here, you may be dealing with a fake VIN. Your final consideration should be checking for brands linked to the title. These are notations which tell you whether a vehicle is listed as salvage, rebuilt, flood damaged or junk. A ‘salvage’ brand without a ‘rebuilt’ brand is bad news, as it means the vehicle may not be legally registered or driven on public roads in the United States.
It pays to be cautious when buying a used vehicle from a private seller, even if that person is somebody you know. After all, they may not have been the first owner and may not know the car’s full history. Taking a few minutes to run an Arkansas vehicle title check could save you a great deal of money and stress, if the vehicle is not all that it seems.