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ODPS Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles Odometer Tampering

ODPS | BMV | Citizens Advisory Committee

Violating the Law

            • A first offense is a fourth-degree felony, which carries a penalty of 6 to 18 months in jail and up to a $5,000 fine.
            • A second offense is a third-degree felony, which carries a penalty of one to five years in jail and up to a $10,000 fine.

Take Action

If you suspect a vehicle’s odometer has been tampered with, please call the hotline number for odometer rollback fraud at 1-800-686-2587. Calls will be answered on a 24-hour basis and referred to the BMV Investigations Section for follow-up. Citizens calling should be prepared to give pertinent information and complete a complaint form for the investigation.


Protecting Yourself

            • Examine the vehicle thoroughly before purchase.
            • Observe excessive wear on the brake pedal, accelerator, ignition and door keyholes.
            • Try to contact the previous owner. Do a title search through the county title department or with the BMV. Due to privacy laws, however, the previous owner's name and address will not be revealed. Information that will be made available include: year, make, model, body code, mileage, lien holders, purchase price and any BRANDS. There is a fee for this service.
            • If the vehicle was previously titled out of state, seriously consider checking further with the issuing state before purchasing the vehicle.
            • Simple inexpensive tools can be used to spin or erase odometer figures. Odometer "spinners" know how to launder a vehicle's title history by transferring the ownership from state to state, making it difficult for investigators to trace the fraud.
            • Ask the seller questions, and be skeptical if the seller is being evasive
ODPS | Bureau of Motor Vehicles

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