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DMV Audits Car Dealerships & Mechanics For Title Fraud

Here we are again, here’s another fraudulent vehicle title case that resulted in a dealership being shut down by state regulators. However, that’s not the main takeaway; the main takeaway has to do with how the fraud was discovered. 

Here’s the big takeaway from this story, Wisconsin DOT spokesperson says the Wisconsin DMV routinely works with and reviews dealerships. This is the main takeaway. Just because you file a title application or a dealership does it for you, it doesn’t mean that’s the end of it. These title applications entitled packages are reviewed on a regular basis. During the course of the investigator’s work, he came across 168 vehicles that were problematic. The investigation led to the recommendation for revocation. 

So here’s what happens. If you are a dealership, the DMV or title agency in your state will regularly review title applications. And if the title application is coming from an automotive company doing mechanics liens or some title company that’s actually filing the title paperwork, they might notice a trend and find out that it’s not being done correctly. So if you’re getting a title for a vehicle you want to make sure that you are the one that is reviewing and making sure your paperwork is correct and ultimately that you are the one submitting it to the DMV. Because if you allow somebody else to apply for a title on your behalf, if there’s an error either intentional or otherwise, that’s made, you may be liable for that title being revoked or if somebody signs your name for you somebody’s getting the title for your vehicle other than you.

The DMV reviews this they’re not just an agency that rubber stamps everything. They have investigative agencies that look into this, especially with mechanics’ liens. They’ll look at a body shop that’s applying for 20 mechanics liens a month, but only is remitting sales tax on $10,000 worth of sales. It doesn’t add up. Right, $10,000 in sales might only be three body repairs, but they’re sending 20 mechanics liens a month. That place should only be doing maybe one or two mechanics liens a year because not all of your repairs end up in a mechanics lien. They use investigative techniques. They’re not stupid at the DMV. They know what techniques people use to try to evade proper title processes and they keep an eye out for it. 

So before you use some kind of scheme or sidestep something, make sure you look at all your options. There are almost always legal proper channels to do it. Like if you want to do a mechanics lien and you’re not a repair shop sometimes you might say well I’ll just pay my buddy that has an auto shop to do it for me. Do not do that, just do a civil lien. A civilian non-licensed business can file for a civil lien or sometimes called a court order title. That’s something you can use to get a vehicle titled your name without having to maybe take shortcuts that you might not want to take. If you have questions you can reach us on our website. We’ll be glad to be of assistance.

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