February 26, 2024

Transforming Vehicle Titling with Blockchain 

Champ Titles CEO Shane Bigelow appeared on The Business of Blockchain with Jane King to discuss how Champ Titles has achieved the largest deployment of blockchain for the U.S. government to date. Sitting opposite the renowned TV anchor, Shane specifically addressed blockchain’s role in digital vehicle titling. We’ll dive into the interview and explore how blockchain is transforming the way we handle vehicle titling and registration. 

For years, departments of motor vehicles (DMVs) have grappled with slow and cumbersome processes, often leaving both consumers and industry professionals frustrated. As Shane Bigelow puts it, "Oftentimes, DMV professionals don't have the right system of record that can move at the pace of business." Champ Titles is addressing these challenges by partnering with states to implement blockchain technology, offering a seamless and modern solution to constituents. 

At the heart of Champ Titles' innovative technology is blockchain, a secure and transparent system of record for managing and tracking title data. Unlike traditional systems, which are often paper-based and time consuming, blockchain enables users such as car dealers, fleet operators, insurance carriers, lenders, and consumers to execute transactions swiftly and efficiently. Champ Titles' success with the adoption of the West Virginia DMV’s National Digital Titling Clearinghouse underscores the tangible benefits of adopting blockchain for digital titling. For example, processing a title in West Virginia used to take up to 45 days, but now it can be done in as little as half a day.  

Using a novel pay-for-performance model, the company's success depends on the adoption and effectiveness of its blockchain-based system. In the words of Bigelow, "Our commitment to the government is that unless the user behavior changes, unless users go from the paper world to the digital world, we shouldn't get a transaction fee for that." 

Beyond the immediate advantages of efficiency, the shift from paper to digital transactions has broader implications, including a positive environmental impact. An average state will reduce their annual paper usage by 15 million sheets. Moreover, the faster movement of titles means more savings for auto retailers and insurance companies who may pass on those savings to the consumer in the form of reduced interest rates and lower insurance costs, creating a more sustainable and cost-effective system. 

Champ Titles leverages artificial intelligence to assist in decision making for title applications, enhancing the speed and efficiency of processing. Bigelow explains, "We do use AI to help decision the title applications as they come in." This integration ensures a seamless experience for industry professionals, further contributing to the overall success of the blockchain-based system. 

Looking ahead, blockchain systems could also be used by the government to address challenges posed by the rise of self-driving cars and the impact of EVs on gas tax revenue. Shane highlights the need for an immutable record to prepare for a potential mileage tax that would replace the gas tax, emphasizing, " how do you have an immutable record that can be audited, that you can rely on and know that the cryptography attached to it is secure enough that you as a consumer feel that your data is protected? You need something like a blockchain-based system to do that.”  

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