All Aboard

All Aboard

As NMVTIS nears 99% completion, Texas shares its NMVTIS Guide

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With Tennessee and Vermont’s recent implementations, the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System (NMVTIS) will be hitting a milestone in 2021 when Kansas and Washington, D.C., join the system, making it 99% complete.

This means that motor vehicle department employees in almost all of the 51 jurisdictions will be able to compare their records against the NMVTIS database, achieving the system’s goals of protecting consumers from fraud and unsafe vehicles, and limiting the number of stolen or unsafe vehicles reintroduced back into the market. For many jurisdictions, the advantages are clear the moment the system is turned on and the first title errors come through.

“From the very beginning, we realized the benefits,” says Clint Thompson, chief of title services at the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles (TxDMV). “One of the main things for me was brands being left off of titles. And this was not just folks who had their brands washed in other jurisdictions, but also processing errors.”

Texas fully implemented the NMVTIS system in 2014, but even before that, Thompson and his team started working on a NMVTIS Guide that helps ensure county and TxDMV employees can effectively and efficiently use the system. Work on the guide started in 2013, and it is updated quarterly.

“We’ve traditionally provided publications, such as our Title Manual or Salvage and Nonrepairable Manual, and we recognized that [NMVTIS implementation] would require a number of changes to our publications,” says Thompson. “So instead of only updating those manuals, we thought it would be a better idea to have a NMVTIS Guide.”

As Thompson notes, connecting to the NMVTIS database means adapting to a new process. In their approach to creating the document, Thompson and his team asked a series of questions:

  • What information do the employees who are using our interface and processing these transactions need?
  • How will these transactions be handled?
  • What is the new process and how does that affect the current process?

“That’s really the thrust of it,” he says. “We’ve got a user group that is going to need information, and we don’t want them to have to contact the department with questions. So we tried to work through those procedural issues and capture that in the guide.”

Thompson has seen the guide help in his own jurisdiction firsthand, and he has been sharing it with other jurisdictions, including at the inaugural NMVTIS State Users Workshop in February. “Just from the content, I think it’s certainly worthwhile for folks to take a look at it and see if it’s something they can implement,” he says. “[For jurisdictions that do implement it,] the most important thing is to know who your audience is. Make sure you’re writing to that audience and the information matches their process.”

Vivienne Cameron, senior director at AAMVA, echoes Thompson’s comments and suggests how other jurisdictions can take advantage of the Texas NMVTIS Guide.

“To have something like what Texas has created, their folks have this resource which gives them really clear guidance,” she says. “It’s a really good example of the kind of documentation and resources states should develop and maintain. One of the great things about the Texas guide is it’s maintained and updated frequently.”

Access Texas’ NMVTIS Guide at txdmv.gov/nmvtis-resources.


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