Anti-Car Theft Act:

Implementation Status of Certain Provisions of the 1992 Act

GGD-96-77: Published: Apr 22, 1996. Publicly Released: May 22, 1996.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on the implementation of the Anti-Car Theft Act, focusing on the: (1) status of national information systems on motor vehicle titles and stolen passenger cars and parts; (2) marking of major component parts of passenger cars with identification numbers; and (3) issues that may impede the act's implementation.

GAO found that: (1) the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Department of Transportation (DOT) have begun developing information systems and DOT has issued initial parts-marking regulations; (2) a DOT task force has made recommendations on the legislative and administrative actions needed to address problems in titling, registration, and controls over salvage to deter motor vehicle theft; (3) states need about $19 million in federal grants to implement their part of the titling system; (4) the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has proposed legislation to implement the task force's recommendations; (5) issues affecting the implementation or effectiveness of the proposed titling information system include prosecution immunity, major vehicle damage disclosure, the system's complexity, and state participation, funding, and responsibility; (6) the association that DOJ authorized to set up the stolen vehicle and parts database and complete a pilot study on the database's concept and maintenance feasibility expects to begin studying parts-marking effectiveness in May 1996; and (7) potential barriers to the implementation or effectiveness of the act's parts marking provisions include state funding for the database, confusion over what vehicles and parts are to be marked, whether local law enforcement agencies have the resources necessary to follow up on identified stolen vehicles and parts, and the potential adverse economic impact on insurance companies and small businesses.

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