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NCDOT: New Salvage Yard Reporting Law Quickly Locates Stolen Vehicles


Jan. 8, 2013. Since a new salvage yard reporting law went into effect a month ago, the N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles’ License and Theft Bureau has received 41 reports of stolen vehicles, stopping 22 from being sold to salvage yards and confiscating 19 following sales. 

The new law requires salvage yards and metals recyclers to verify vehicle information before selling parts or crushing vehicles they buy. Of those identified, the Bureau and several local law enforcement agencies have recovered 33 vehicles and also uncovered three fictitious IDs still under investigation. Additionally, the Bureau is beginning to receive reports of illegal activities in buying and selling junked cars.

“This is a great example of how one new law has already made a big difference in a very short amount of time,” said Motor Vehicles Commissioner Kelly J. Thomas. He said the number of vehicles stolen in North Carolina during 2012 totaled more than 15,876.

DMV’s new North Carolina Scrap Vehicle Reporting System requires metals recyclers and salvage yards to verify whether a vehicle brought to them without a title and more than 10 model years old has been reported stolen prior to purchase. With access to the system, these recyclers can cross-reference DMV files. North Carolina salvage yards and recyclers were required to begin verifying the status of vehicles brought to them as of Dec. 1. Businesses who have not registered with the Division will be audited and are subject to felony charges if unregistered.

“I am thankful the law is now in effect and that the N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles will be able to more quickly identify stolen vehicles,” said Rep. Tim Moore of Kings Mountain, the bill’s sponsor. “I have talked with constituents, detectives, recyclers and others who wanted to see our law strengthened, and it is very encouraging to have the new law show such an immediate impact.”

The Carolina Auto Recycler Association and the Recycle Association of North Carolina also worked to help shape the legislation.

If a vehicle is reported stolen, the system notifies the salvage yard or recycling business to verify the vehicle identification number and stop the purchase of the vehicle. The system immediately notifies the Division’s License and Theft Bureau about the stolen vehicle and the business notifies local law enforcement. If the vehicle is not reported stolen, the system will allow the sale to continue, requiring a copy or scanned image of the seller’s driver license and identifying information about the vehicles to be maintained by the business.

The system will continue to check the vehicle’s status for up to 30 days after the initial request. The metals recycler or salvage yard will not be held liable if the motor vehicle later turns out to be stolen.