The American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA) has advised all states to be on the lookout for flood-damaged vehicles.
“Though not all states were directly affected by Hurricane Florence, flood-damaged cars could potentially wind up on the market across the country. Every state could ultimately be affected …”
Most states participate in the National Motor Vehicle Title Information system (NMVTIS), putting title and brand data on vehicles titled in those states into the national database. However, AAMVA notes that a few states do not contribute data or check the system before retitling an out-of-state vehicle. A flood-damaged vehicle could be issued a clean title and then be resold to an unsuspecting buyer.
Since NMVTIS reporting is on a 30-day cycle, it is possible that a check of the database will not show a report that a specific vehicle has flood damage. Prospective purchasers of used vehicles should always request a vehicle history check and have an independent inspection of the vehicle to uncover any problems.
The AAMVA Web site is www.aamva.org.