SCHAUMBURG, Ill., — Experian Automotive, a part of global information services company Experian, announced that it is actively working with other automotive industry companies to reverse a proposal by the Missouri Department of Revenue to increase the cost of individual motor vehicle records to $7 per record.
The increase translates into a jump of more than 3,000 times the original cost, and is an amount many times greater than the acquisition cost of vehicle records from all other U.S. states combined. With this pricing change in place, Missouri would effectively become the only state in the country to prohibit its data from being used for such important purposes.
The increase would impact Missouri citizens, businesses, and state and national law enforcement agencies. By increasing costs, the department is keeping these records from being included in a number of socially beneficial uses like vehicle history reports, recalls by auto manufacturers, and market analyses for Missouri businesses.
Based on recent testimony from Experian Automotive and other automotive industry businesses, a temporary injunction was granted on May 30, 2008, halting the price increase until a final ruling can be made. The injunction helps to ensure that consumers and businesses will continue to benefit from the inclusion of Missouri’s motor vehicle records in services such as vehicle history reports, recalls by auto manufacturers, vehicle fraud investigations by law enforcement, and market analyses for Missouri businesses.
"Experian Automotive has actively sought to reverse the proposed price increase on vehicle records and we are pleased with the decision to place a temporary stay on this action," said Scott Waldron, president of Experian Automotive. "Such an exorbitant price increase would prevent Experian from including Missouri data in its automotive database and have a direct and negative impact on Missouri’s citizens, municipalities and businesses. We will continue to work hard to ensure this information will be available to those that need it most."
Experian Automotive incorporates motor vehicle records into several services that provide consumers, businesses, and state and national law enforcement agencies with important information about vehicle histories and registrations. The proposed vehicle record cost increase would mean information on Missouri vehicles would not be available in the following ways.
Experian Automotive’s vehicle history report service provides used car buyers with crucial vehicle information such as salvage, junk or flood brands. Without Missouri motor vehicle records, any consumer buying a used vehicle titled in Missouri at any point in time would not have access to these important events in a vehicle’s history.
Experian Automotive also provides motor vehicle records to Missouri and national law enforcement for investigations into title fraud. Without updated Missouri title records, law enforcement will have one less tool of investigation. Without the current registration information provided by these motor vehicle records, Experian will be unable to work with auto manufacturers to notify Missouri residents of vehicle safety recalls.
Earlier this year, Experian joined a lawsuit against the Missouri Department of Revenue protesting the price increase on motor vehicle records. Experian has provided testimony against the increase and notified the Missouri Department of Revenue, Attorney General and Governor of its position on this important issue. Experian will continue to be actively involved in actions opposing the increase as hearings and reviews continue.