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Registry of Motor Vehicles - Stolen and Wrecked Vehicle Program

iBeginning June 30, 2000, a new Stolen and Wrecked Vehicle Program will help make Nova Scotia's roads safer and reduce auto theft.

What is the Stolen and Wrecked Vehicle Program?

The Stolen and Wrecked Vehicle Program is a national database designed to reduce auto theft, track stolen vehicles, and improve road safety by creating a registry of stolen and wrecked vehicles. The program also ensures that if wrecked vehicles are ever returned to the road, it is only after meeting stringent safety requirements.

How does it work for stolen vehicles?

For stolen vehicles, police report the theft to the Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) and the database is updated to reflect this information. A vehicle branded "stolen" on this database can only be changed when the vehicle is recovered by police. All provinces in Canada have access to this database and can check the status of any vehicle.

How does it work for wrecked vehicles?

For vehicles involved in accidents, information is reported to the Insurance Bureau of Canada by insurance companies within five days of an accident. Vehicle permits are then permanently red-flagged, or branded. Once these vehicles are back on the road, potential buyers will know from the vehicle registration if it has been in a major accident. Consumers can also be assured that it is only after inspection requirements are met that rebuilt vehicles are allowed back on the road.

What does it mean when vehicles are branded?

Vehicles can be branded "stolen," "salvage," "non-repairable," or "rebuilt."  Vehicles are recorded as "stolen" on a national database after police report a car theft to the RMV.  Vehicle registrations are marked "salvage" or "non-repairable" depending on the extent of damage from an accident. "Salvage" vehicles can be rebuilt but must pass strict safety requirements. Only then will the permit be changed to indicate that the vehicle has been "rebuilt."

A "rebuilt" vehicle means the vehicle was once "salvage" and has undergone some form of body or structural repair. A vehicle branded "rebuilt" has met safety requirements and passed inspection.

"Non-repairable" vehicles are not allowed back on the road and their registrations cannot be upgraded. They must be junked or sold as scrap or parts.

How do I know if a car I'm thinking of buying has been branded?

For vehicles involved in accidents after June 21, 2000, the certificate of registration and permit will include branding information. If you are considering buying a used vehicle, you can check the registration and/or permit to obtain this information. Consumers then have the opportunity to ask the seller about the extent of repairs.

Do I have to report damage to my vehicle after an accident?

If your vehicle is insured, your insurance company will report the damage to the Insurance Crime Prevention Bureau. If you do not have collision insurance you must complete a Damaged Vehicle Report and present it to an RMV location within five days of the accident. Damaged Vehicle Reports are available at RMV locations listed on the back of this brochure.

Important: You are still required to report to the police any accident where there is personal injury or damages exceeding $2,000.

What if I buy a car in another province and register it in Nova Scotia?

The Stolen and Wrecked Vehicle Program is a national program where information is shared by all provinces. For example, a vehicle registration which has already been branded "salvage" in one province will still be branded "salvage" in another province.

How do I change the brand of a car from "salvage" to "rebuilt"?

If you purchase a salvage vehicle, it can be transferred into your name, but the vehicle cannot be operated on the road until it has completed and passed the safety inspection process. Contact an RMV location listed in this brochure or call 424-5851 or toll free
1-800-898-7668 for more information.

Can a vehicle branded as "non-repairable" be rebuilt and registered?

No, a "non-repairable" vehicle can never return to the road. It must be used for parts or sold as scrap.

How do I "junk" an aged vehicle that is no longer safe for operation?

You are required to complete a Damaged Vehicle Report and file it with an RMV location. The vehicle will be branded according to the information provided on the report.

How will this program help prevent auto theft?

Once police report a stolen vehicle to the RMV, this information is recorded in a national database. If a stolen vehicle is moved to another province to be registered, the national database is checked and the vehicle identification number is red-flagged as "stolen."  The vehicle cannot be registered and police are notified.

Where can I get more information?

You can visit any one of the RMV offices throughout the province.  You can also call 424-5851 or toll free1-800-898-7668.

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