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news release

P.O. Box 600
Trenton, NJ

Contact: Rick Remington

RELEASE: March 25, 2003

DMV improves security

features on new motor vehicle titles


(Trenton) – In an effort to thwart the creation and illegal sale of fraudulent motor vehicle titles, the Division of Motor Vehicles has redesigned the titles to include several new security features that will curb counterfeiting of these documents.

The events of the past few years have disclosed the vulnerability of documentation issued at motor vehicle agencies across the country, and specifically, in New Jersey.

“Thanks to Governor McGreevey’s leadership and commitment to a secure, customer-friendly DMV, we’ve made much progress in the past year in Fixing DMV,” said Transportation Commissioner Jack Lettiere. “A redesign of our titles is another critical step in reforming this agency. But while much has been accomplished, much work remains and we will not stop until the job is done.”

“We have aggressively attacked the problem of fraudulent documents on all fronts,” said DMV Director Diane Legreide said. “We’ve initiated mandatory document fraud training for all of our agency employees and we will issue digitized driver’s licenses this summer and eliminate our old paper licenses.”

“Redesigning our titles is an essential part of our efforts to make DMV documents more secure,” she added.

Legreide said New Jersey developed the reputation of the “Title Washing Capital” because it was relatively easy to create new titles for salvage vehicles and to change the odometer readings to increase their value.

“The new secure titles will also protect consumers because the titles will make it very difficult for someone to sell a salvage vehicle as a brand new automobile,” Legreide said.

Some of the new security features include:

  • An embedded watermark of a specific pattern that cannot be scanned or copied.
  • Microlines that can only be read with a magnifying glass.
  • A high resolution, detailed border surrounding the printed portion of the title which is difficult to scan or copy along with a legend on the border alerting the viewer to the watermark.
  • A pattern of the word “void” that appears when attempting to copy or scan the document. This feature is difficult to reproduce and will not result in the same effect.
  • Shading, or prismatic printing, across the face of the document varying from gray to red to gray which is difficult to copy.
  • Embedded fibers that appear blue-green under a black light.
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  Department of Transportation
  P.O. Box 600
  Trenton, NJ 08625-0600
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  Last Updated:  April 30, 2007