New Law Affecting California Dealers as of July 1, 2012

Signed into law on September 26, 2011, by California Governor Jerry Brown, CA AB 1215 will require all licensed car dealers in the state to obtain and disclose vehicle history reports from the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System (NMVTIS) as of July 1, 2012.

This bill will:

Require a "salvage" warning sticker placed on vehicles with a junk, salvage, or title-brand in the NMVTIS vehicle history report.
Require new car dealers to use electronic title registration in the state DMV's Business Partner Automation (BPA) program
Increase the document processing fee charged ($80 for BPA, $65 for non-BPA).
Reduce the time allowed for consumers to operation without a license plate from months to 90 days.

By enforcing this new bill, California legislation will accomplish three goals:

  1. Increase the fees that California car and truck dealers can charge for licensing.
  2. Require dealers to use Electronic Titling (ELT).
  3. Govern how dealers disclose previously damaged used cars.


Click here to read the full bill  Arrow

VINSmart Can Help!

VINSmart, an approved NMVTIS Access Provider, will enable California dealers to comply with the new law. Dealers can check VINSmart's vehicle history reports and property place the warning sticker if needed. When there are no reported problems found in the NMVTIS database, the dealer can show VINSmart's vehicle history reports to potential buyers, showing that vehicles are free of NMVTIS-sourced salvage title history and other issues.

"AB 1215 is, at its essence, a simple measure. NMVTIS information disclosure will aid consumers in the car-buying process so that they can better understand exactly what kind of vehicle they are purchasing from a licensed dealer. By leveraging the already successful DMV EVR program and expanding it to cover the "birth" of all new cars, the timeliness and accuracy of vehicle registrations will be vastly improved. Under this bill, license plates will be issued and installed much more quickly to the benefit of law enforcement, toll agencies and local government, all at a modest cost to consumers. Finally, in this difficult economic climate for the state, AB 1215 is that rare measure that will have a net positive fiscal effect for state and local government."

-Brian Maas, Director of Government Affairs, CNCDA.


  • NMVTIS National Motor Vehicle Title Information Systems
  • J.D. Power - NADA
  • NSV - National Vehicle Service