Using the Internet for Motor Vehicle Department Transactions: Is It Safe?
Today, using the internet for almost everything we do has become the norm for many of us. The internet has had a powerful impact on personal lives and upon businesses all over the world. This impact is, for the most part, is positive; but it also, in some cases, can be negative as well. If you're considering doing your vehicle related transactions online to avoid standing in long lines at the local MVD office, there are some things you should know.
The Arizona Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Division wants to alert customers that there are fraudulent websites falsely offering motor vehicle services such as Arizona driver licenses, IDs, and vehicle titles and registration. The fraudulent websites appear in searches with keywords such as MVD or DMV.
There are misleading and even criminal scams on websites that appear to be official, but are not. If you are not careful, you can end up on a website that purports to be an official MVD site, but is actually a substitute that is not only misleading, but can be dangerous as well. Those not familiar with the web, especially seniors, are the most vulnerable to these types of scams.
What You Need to Know
There is no such thing as a “DMV” website in Arizona. Many states use the acronym DMV which stands for Department of Motor Vehicles, but in Arizona it's called an MVD, which stands for Motor Vehicle Division. Typing in “DMV” or even "MVD" as a keyword search can lead you to a website that will attempt to take your money, or even worse steal your identity.
When using a search engine to find a legitimate government agency’s website, the first results that are listed are usually paid advertisements.
Avoid being directed to a fraudulent website by typing the government agency’s official web address into the address bar.
In Arizona, the only legitimate MVD choices are: your local MVD office, an Authorized Third Party office, and ServiceArizona.com.
What Is an Authorized Third Party Office?
If you don’t want to experience the lines and the wait at the MVD office, and you are not comfortable using the internet for your transactions, there is a third alternative to consider, an Authorized Third Party office (ATP).
According to the Arizona Department of Transportation Website, an authorized Third Party Office is a private company, under contract to the Arizona Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Division, which can provide “an alternative means of receiving services tha