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Beware of Potential Fraud and Export Only Stamp

The Arizona Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Division cautions consumers to beware of potential fraud when buying a car.

“The best defense is to do your research,” says Ralene Whitmer, MVD Title and Registration Specialist. “This is especially true for people buying vehicles from individuals. The possibility for fraud exists and it’s wise for every consumer to thoroughly look into a vehicle’s history. Reputable dealers will always be willing to provide this information, and that same standard should be expected of anyone who sells a vehicle in a private sale.”

A vehicle’s title will include information about its origin and whether it’s been stolen, water-damaged, wrecked, destroyed, or suffered other damage. In addition, some titles will be stamped “Export Only”, which means they were purchased by a dealer from out-of-state or a foreign country and they cannot be legally sold in Arizona.

“The advice from the Motor Vehicle Division is to avoid buying cars in Arizona that are stamped ‘Export Only’”, Whitmer added. “Dealers or individuals who attempt to sell vehicles with an Export Only title stamp within Arizona are breaking the law. Those vehicles can only be sold where the dealer is actually licensed. We have seen problems with this in Arizona communities that border Mexico and other U.S. states.”

Buying a new or used vehicle is a major purchase, and it can be a complicated process, but by following some guidelines and doing the right research before the sale, consumers can minimize or eliminate common buying errors.

Regardless of where they are making a purchase, consumers need to know how to protect themselves from a fraudulent deal. An unscrupulous seller may try to get rid of a stolen vehicle, tamper with an odometer by rolling back the mileage, alter a title, or sell a car with extensive water or collision damage that has not been properly repaired.

Buyers are encouraged to do their homework and not be pressured into purchasing a vehicle before doing some basic research.

Here are some more valuable tips to keep in mind when purchasing a vehicle:

Car Buying Checklist

Federal Trade Commission — Buying a Used Car

Vehicle History Tools

National Motor Vehicle Title Information System (NMVTIS)  NMVTIS is a national vehicle electronic system established to help protect consumers from vehicle related fraud.  A consumer can obtain information on the vehicle’s title, history and condition by obtaining a vehicle history report from an NMVTIS approved provider.

Arizona Vehicle Emissions History   This free service is from the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality.

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)  NHTSA provides information on vehicle safety ratings and vehicle recalls.

Arizona Motor Vehicle Inquiry   Request a title and registration motor vehicle record online.

Lien Motor Vehicle Inquiry   Check for liens and unrestricted financial obligations on an Arizona titled vehicle.

Come into one of our four FooteWork offices in Arizona and we can search the title and registration as well as see if there are any liens against the vehicle. Our offices are also a good place to conduct vehicle buying or selling transactions because you get the paperwork done at the same time!

FooteWork provides full service motor vehicle registration, title, and driver license services with offices in Prescott, Prescott Valley, Williams and Cottonwood. Faster, Friendlier, FooteWork!