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#4606849 - 12/18/17 12:33 AM Salvage title washed into clean title ?
rubberchicken Offline


Registered: 07/07/08
Posts: 399
Loc: Maryland USA
I found out my sister got caught up in some sort of vehicle fraud. She bought a used car, tried to get it titled and the DMV flagged it and refused to offer her title, and took the existing title.
Apparently the VIN had been somehow altered, and the titled had been washed in another state to get it clean, but the DMV checked with the following agency and flagged it as possible fraud.

https://www.vehiclehistory.gov/ National Motor Vehicle Title Information System. I had never heard of them before and suspected something goofy like a Carfax clone, and in fact that is sort of what it is, but apparently Carfax itself does not participate for consumers. Anybody used this before ?

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#4606850 - 12/18/17 12:44 AM Re: Salvage title washed into clean title ? [Re: rubberchicken]
Colt45ws Offline


Registered: 08/15/06
Posts: 9648
Loc: Central Washington
Ive heard about this. Did she buy it private sale or at a used car lot?
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#4606852 - 12/18/17 12:54 AM Re: Salvage title washed into clean title ? [Re: rubberchicken]
KneeGrinder Offline


Registered: 11/28/17
Posts: 221
Loc: North of you Idaho
I have not used the service you speak of, however I did have a dealer license and did buy and sell salvage for 25 years. There were some dealers that I knew of that "washed" titles by taking them to specific states and selling them. The titles would come up clean. The practice is illegal, they always get caught, it just takes time. I heard of a few of the dealers at the auction getting their licenses suspended.

When I moved to Idaho, 1 of my vehicles seamed to lose its salvage, or rebuilt title, but I'm never going to sell that vehicle so I don't see it as an issue.
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#4606856 - 12/18/17 01:32 AM Re: Salvage title washed into clean title ? [Re: rubberchicken]
zvm77us Offline


Registered: 09/01/09
Posts: 171
Loc: USA
Was the car ever titled in Texas by any chance?

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#4606876 - 12/18/17 04:33 AM Re: Salvage title washed into clean title ? [Re: rubberchicken]
3800Series Offline


Registered: 08/02/14
Posts: 1452
Loc: Gulf Coast, MS
The most common way to wash a title is taking the salvaged title to one of a few states that do not/did not offer salvaged titles then transfer that title through your local state. People have really started to catch on to this however.

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#4606900 - 12/18/17 05:28 AM Re: Salvage title washed into clean title ? [Re: rubberchicken]
Mainia Offline


Registered: 04/06/15
Posts: 205
Loc: Upper midwest
Minnesota is a title washing state, we get screwed because someone or a group of people in government here look the other way and keep this craap happening here. It surprises me though, this state is SO SO extremely liberal and they let this craap happen screwing the people when other states protect the people from craap cars. The some top large dealer try to buy used cars from different states that have laws on keeping salvage titles salvage titles because they don't want the bad reputation. Plus there are dealers that have very aggressive programs calling Craigslist ads of personal sellers trying to buy those cars they know are clean titles. It has always bugged me for 35 years how our crooked politicians keep this loophole here in Minnesota....



Edited by Mainia (12/18/17 05:31 AM)

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#4606913 - 12/18/17 05:54 AM Re: Salvage title washed into clean title ? [Re: rubberchicken]
quint Offline


Registered: 12/14/09
Posts: 371
Loc: Cincinnati
I've been out of the business for a while but I used to route every title through Indiana, not because they would wash the title (they would) but they were the quickest. After a while it was apparent nobody there knew or cared about what they were doing as lots of the titles we sent them that were salvage came back clean anyway. We weren't trying to clean the title, we weren't interested in hiding anything as we had a good reputation and we wanted to keep it. But we had to send a lot of the cleaned ones back to get them properly branded because we didn't want people think we were washing the titles. We also went through Indiana because if you had a piece of paper with a VIN on it and a handwritten note from your mom stating you really did own this car, they'd give you a title. So simple it was scary.
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#4606969 - 12/18/17 07:55 AM Re: Salvage title washed into clean title ? [Re: rubberchicken]
InhalingBullets Offline


Registered: 08/07/12
Posts: 533
Loc: TEXAS
There is a big difference between a salvage titled vehicle and an altered VIN or Vin switch. It sounds like the vehicle may have been stolen or salvaged and the VIN was switched/altered to title the vehicle in the other state, Either way is a Federal Felony. Be aware that in most states a vehicle with an altered VIN is considered stolen and is impoundable to determine custody.
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#4607061 - 12/18/17 10:12 AM Re: Salvage title washed into clean title ? [Re: rubberchicken]
KGMtech Offline


Registered: 10/17/14
Posts: 967
Loc: SW Ontario Canada
FWIW, there should be a law that forces the cars that have been flood damaged or otherwise rendered un-usable, to have the A pillar on each side of car crushed with jaws of life. This won't prevent all of these cars from re-entering the general population, but it would put a big bite in the problem.
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#4607078 - 12/18/17 10:24 AM Re: Salvage title washed into clean title ? [Re: rubberchicken]
69GTX Offline


Registered: 09/23/15
Posts: 3815
Loc: Connecticut
Besides washing titles in other states some of these outfits roll back odometers when filing for a title in a different state. Happened to me. Some of these auto/salvage yards buying cars from nearby states, then refiling with a lower mileage. If the previous seller doesn't fill in the mileage, they can pick any number they want....especially on vehicles over 10 yrs old where govt/local jurisdictions don't seem to care much.
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#4607197 - 12/18/17 12:10 PM Re: Salvage title washed into clean title ? [Re: 69GTX]
Linctex Offline


Registered: 12/31/16
Posts: 6178
Loc: Waco, TX
Originally Posted By: 69GTX
especially on vehicles over 10 yrs old where govt/local jurisdictions don't seem to care much.


Texas doesn't care at all once over 10 years and over 100,000 miles
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#4607204 - 12/18/17 12:16 PM Re: Salvage title washed into clean title ? [Re: Linctex]
Mr Nice Offline


Registered: 09/12/04
Posts: 21209
Loc: Orlando, FL
Originally Posted By: Linctex
Originally Posted By: 69GTX
especially on vehicles over 10 yrs old where govt/local jurisdictions don't seem to care much.


Texas doesn't care at all once over 10 years and over 100,000 miles


Really doesn't surprise me they don't care.... by then most vehicles are only worth a few thousand dollars.

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#4607748 - 12/18/17 10:33 PM Re: Salvage title washed into clean title ? [Re: InhalingBullets]
KneeGrinder Offline


Registered: 11/28/17
Posts: 221
Loc: North of you Idaho
Originally Posted By: InhalingBullets
There is a big difference between a salvage titled vehicle and an altered VIN or Vin switch. It sounds like the vehicle may have been stolen or salvaged and the VIN was switched/altered to title the vehicle in the other state, Either way is a Federal Felony. Be aware that in most states a vehicle with an altered VIN is considered stolen and is impoundable to determine custody.


I think they would have impounded the vehicle on the spot. The state I was in, they would have. If it was a discrepancy on the paper title, they would play the paper game. Sounds like its the latter.
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#4607755 - 12/18/17 10:44 PM Re: Salvage title washed into clean title ? [Re: 69GTX]
KneeGrinder Offline


Registered: 11/28/17
Posts: 221
Loc: North of you Idaho
Originally Posted By: 69GTX
Besides washing titles in other states some of these outfits roll back odometers when filing for a title in a different state. Happened to me. Some of these auto/salvage yards buying cars from nearby states, then refiling with a lower mileage. If the previous seller doesn't fill in the mileage, they can pick any number they want....especially on vehicles over 10 yrs old where govt/local jurisdictions don't seem to care much.


Correct, and don't think for a second that turning back odometers stopped with digital odometers, it just took them a little while to figure out how to turn the digital odometers back. ALL odometers can be turned back, it just takes a special scanner to turn back specific make and model vehicles, but all can be turned back to what ever mileage you want it to read.
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#4607758 - 12/18/17 10:50 PM Re: Salvage title washed into clean title ? [Re: KGMtech]
KneeGrinder Offline


Registered: 11/28/17
Posts: 221
Loc: North of you Idaho
Originally Posted By: KGMtech
FWIW, there should be a law that forces the cars that have been flood damaged or otherwise rendered un-usable, to have the A pillar on each side of car crushed with jaws of life. This won't prevent all of these cars from re-entering the general population, but it would put a big bite in the problem.


There is a Non Rebuild title, parts only, unfortunately not enough of them are filed.
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