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Mike Byrnes & Assoc. , Inc. Names the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators as Bumper To BumperŪ People of the Month for May, 2009


Those big commercial vehicles on the highway are impressive. But if it weren't for PEOPLE, those trucks would be sitting idly in terminal yards. With an eye to shining the spotlight on the PEOPLE behind the trucking industry, this month Mike Byrnes and Associates, Inc., highlights the American Association of Motor Vehicle Adminstrators. 

AAMVA logoThe American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators began in 1933 with the idea of standardizing driver's licensing and traffic laws. Today the AAMVA is a non-governmental, voluntary, tax-exempt, nonprofit educational association. It is a private corporation. Even though it is not a part of the US government, it is very influential. Its members are US state and Canadian provincial officials who administer and enforce motor vehicle laws. (The States of the Republic of Mexico are invited to join as well, especially since the passage of the North American Free Trade Act or NAFTA.) AAMVA communicates the consensus views of members to the public, state legislatures, Congress and other organizations such as the American Trucking Association, the National Conference of State Legislatures and the National Governors Organization.

Neil Schuster

 Pictured to the left is Neil Schuster, President and CEO of AAMVA. Pictured to the right is George Valverde, Chairman of the Board.George Valverde

AAMVA facilitates communication and fosters standardization among member jurisdictions concerning:

  • traffic safety
  • titling of motor vehicles
  • licensing of drivers

AAMVA members work together to support and improve:

  • motor vehicle administration
  • safety
  • identification security
  • law enforcement

A private corporation, the AAMVA strives to develop model programs in motor vehicle administration, police traffic services and highway safety. The association serves as an information clearinghouse and acts as a spokesman around the world for these issues. It publishes the technical standards for driver's licenses compliant with the Real ID Act. Of  importance to those in the trucking industry is AAMVA's role as the operator of the Commercial Driver's License Information System (CDLIS). This system enables jurisdictions to exchange commercial driver information, including out-of-state convictions, in accordance with the Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act and the Motor Carrier Safety Improvement Act. AAMVA also supports the Problem Driver Pointer System, which is a system that enables jurisdictions to report serious convictions and withdrawals of drivers to the National Driver Register operated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or NHTSA. (The NHTSA was profiled last month. That profile is available in our Article Archives.)

AAMVA also oversees the International Registration Plan. The IRP is a registration reciprocity agreement among the contiguous United States and Canadian provinces. This agreement provides payment of license fees on the basis of total distance operated in all jurisdictions. The benefit of this is that the carrier only needs one license plate (often specially marked as "Apportioned") and cab card for each one of their vehicles. A cab card is the vehicle's registration which lists each jurisdiction that it is valid for travel, and for how much weight.

Vehicles are eligible for apportionment under the provisions of the International Registration Plan if they:

  • are intended for use in two or more jurisdictions
  • have a power unit with two axles and a gross vehicle weight in excess of 26,000 pounds (11,794 kg)
  • are used in combination, when the weight exceeds 26,000 pounds (11,794 kg) gross vehicle weight
  • have a power unit with three or more axles

AAMVA also maintains the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System (NMVTIS). This enables vehicle titling agencies to verify the information on a title with the issuing state's electronic records in order to reduce vehicle theft and fraud. By making this information available across jurisdictions, forms of title fraud such as "title washing" are reduced. Title washing occurs when the condition of a vehicle due to flood, junk or salvage (known as a "brand"), as previously documented by a state, is lost when the title travels to another state. That could put an unsuspecting buyer at risk of paying more than a vehicle is worth or operating a vehicle inadequately repaired and potentially unsafe to drive.

More information about AAMVA can be found on the Web site at There you can also access many reports, surveys, tutorials and public documents.