The State Department of Motor Vehicles is warning New York residents to be cautious against unintentionally purchasing pre-owned vehicles damaged by flooding from Hurricane Ian and other severe weather across the country.
The DMV’s website includes a link to the National Insurance Crime Bureau database, where consumers can enter the VIN number of a used vehicle to determine if it was ever flooded or stolen. Some sellers will attempt to hide damage on used cars they’re selling by removing the vehicle from the flooded area and getting a new title in a different state before trying to sell it.
The DMV checks the history of every automobile in New York State and will alert a consumer if they’ve bought a flood-damaged vehicle. A seller who’s failed to disclose a car’s salvage history can face a maximum $2000 fine and any added penalties from State Penal Law.