Press Release - 06-27-2019

DMV News


Thursday, June 27, 2019

Lisa Koumjian
[email protected]
Tim O’Brien
[email protected]



 Awards Highlight DMV’s Consumer Protection Efforts and Traffic Safety Initiatives

 Photos of Award-Winning Investigators and Billboard


The New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has been nationally recognized by the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA) for creating a billboard discouraging texting while driving and for an investigation into criminal networks that were altering vehicle titles. The award-winning advertising billboard and investigation highlight DMV’s continued efforts to raise awareness of traffic safety issues and protect consumers. 

“The DMV is honored to be recognized by AAMVA for both our consumer protection efforts and our focus on promoting traffic safety awareness,” said DMV Commissioner and Chair of the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee Mark J.F. Schroeder. “These awards represent the hard work, dedication, and innovation of our employees. We are proud to be recognized and will continue to serve the people of New York with the level of excellence demonstrated by these awards.”

DMV won the following awards:

 Fraud Prevention and Detection Award - Motor Vehicle Individual: Regional and International Award

Senior Investigators Antoine Rainville and William Corp of the DMV’s Division of Field Investigation were awarded the individual security award for helping to expose two criminal networks that were altering vehicle documents to defraud unsuspecting customers and conceal automotive theft.

The investigators determined that one criminal network was altering vehicle titles to conceal that the vehicles they were selling were ‘rebuilt salvage’ vehicles. DMV regulations require a title certificate be marked with “REBUILT SALVAGE” if the vehicle is eight-model-years-old or newer and was destroyed or received damage of 75 percent or more of the retail value. The suspects were indicted on federal wire fraud and conspiracy charges.

The investigation also uncovered another criminal network involved in vehicle theft, Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) altering, and the use of altered/counterfeit motor vehicle documents to conceal stolen vehicles. So far, a total of 75 stolen vehicles have been linked to this network and more than 45 of them have been recovered, resulting in the arrest of eight people. Some may face both federal and state charges. This investigation is ongoing and may result in additional arrests.

The work done in this investigation was earlier recognized with the John J. Kennedy Award, presented by the New York Anti Car Theft and Fraud Association (NYACT). More details on that award are available here.

Public Affairs and Consumer Education (PACE), Indoor or Outdoor Print or Digital Advertising: Division and Category Award

The DMV’s Communications Office won the Indoor or Outdoor Print or Digital Advertising award for its “Don’t Text! Just Drive” billboard.

To deter motorists from the dangerous behavior of texting while driving, DMV designed a 14-foot by 48-foot poster depicting the aftermath of a distracted driving crash and the message, “Don’t Text, Just Drive.” The poster was installed on 275 billboards located on major highways across the state. Additionally, a digital version went up at 35 locations statewide.

The billboards, both print and electronic, offered large format visibility on New York’s major highways, expressways, and primary arteries.

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Founded in 1933, AAMVA represents the state and provincial officials in the United States and Canada who administer and enforce motor vehicle laws. AAMVA encourages uniformity and reciprocity among the states and provinces and serves as a liaison with other levels of government and the private sector.