The art of vehicle identity cloning is not new to the law enforcement community or the insurance industry. A specific method of vehicle cloning, salvage switching, dates back to the early 1970s, when salvage switching was used to hide the identities of stolen vehicles from law enforcement, insurance companies, departments of motor vehicles, and the public.

In response, the National Auto-mobile Theft Bureau, the predecessor to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, and the insurance industry began to track salvage vehicles by building a salvage reporting system. Insurance companies and salvage pools began reporting vehicle salvage information to NICB's database. Years later, salvage switching to hide the identity of stolen vehicles and other vehicle-related crimes have been slowed due to the databases created and managed by the NICB.

In addition, in 1989 and 1992, the Federal Anti-Car Theft Act was created and enhanced, respectively, to protect consumers from vehicles that were not roadworthy and to help law enforcement fight vehicle theft by limiting the potential for title washing. Title washing occurs when a salvage designation is removed from a title by moving the title of a vehicle from one state to another without carrying its prior salvage history forward. The Anti-Car Theft Act mandated the creation of a database, the National Motor Vehicle Titling Information System, to resolve this problem.

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