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I order vehicle registration information for a vehicle I don't own, get the address, then mail the title to myself to register it as my own.

What crime have I committed? Is it grand theft auto even though I never possessed the car, just forged a signature on the title? It is obviously fraud but is that all? Even with fraud, I can't find a specific NRS statute where this is covered.

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It is not "grand theft auto", assuming that you didn't actually steal someone's car. It's hard to tell how many crimes this is since we'd need to know what forms you falsified. To make this concrete, I assume you ordered a duplicate title for some person's car, had the title mailed to you, then forged the owner's signature. You filled out this form, and some number of statements that you made on the form are false, thus you committed the crime of perjury. With this title, you can transfer title to yourself, submitting the bill of sale form with falsified information and forged signature, which is a count of forgery, and you falsify the title transfer (let's assume you magically have the correct odometer reading). Assume that every involved piece of paper is a separate count of forgery, or perjury is the paper has a perjury warning. Falsifying the information on the title (e.g. the odometer statement) is also a federal crime.

It's not clear that fraud is involved, since the vehicle owner is apparently out of the picture (you're just paper-stealing his car), but if you lied to the vehicle owner in order to get something then you can add fraud. Also, I assume the outcome here is that you now appear to "own" the vehicle on paper, but you don't possess it.

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  • How is falsifying the title a federal crime? The title is not a federal document. I don't see how information on the title constitutes a "matter within the jurisdiction of the executive, legislative, or judicial branch of the Government of the United States." – phoog Feb 28 at 22:15
  • I thought the current odometer reading is on the title. Do I need a new reading every sale? – user30225 Feb 28 at 22:34
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    Because of the Truth in Mileage Act, it is a federal matter. – user6726 Feb 29 at 0:50
  • Would federal mail fraud charges also be a possibility? – Charles E. Grant Feb 29 at 18:15
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Here are some possibilities:

NRS 205.330  Fraudulent conveyances.  Every person who shall be a party to any fraudulent conveyance of any lands, tenements or hereditaments, goods or chattels, or any right or interest issuing out of the same, or to any bond, suit, judgment or execution, contract or conveyance, had, made or contrived with intent to deceive and defraud others, or to defeat, hinder or delay creditors or others of their just debts, damages or demands; or who, being a party as aforesaid, at any time shall wittingly and willingly put in use, avow, maintain, justify or defend the same, or any of them, as true and done, had, or made in good faith, or upon good consideration, or shall alien, assign or sell any of the lands, tenements, hereditaments, goods, chattels or other things before mentioned, conveyed to him or her as aforesaid, or any part thereof, is guilty of a gross misdemeanor.


NRS 205.375  False written statements to obtain property or credit.  Any person:

1.  Who shall knowingly make or cause to be made, either directly or indirectly, or through any agency whatsoever, any false statement in writing, with intent that it shall be relied upon, respecting the financial condition or means or ability to pay, of himself or herself, or of any other person, firm or corporation, in which he or she is interested, or for whom or which he or she is acting, for the purpose of procuring in any form whatsoever, either the delivery of personal property, the payment of cash, the making of a loan or credit, the extension of a credit, the discount of an account receivable, or the making, acceptance, discount, sale or endorsement of a bill of exchange, or promissory note, for the benefit of either himself or herself or of such person, firm or corporation;

2.  Who, knowing that a false statement in writing has been made, respecting the financial condition or means or ability to pay, of himself or herself, or of such person, firm or corporation, in which he or she is interested, or for whom he or she is acting, procures, upon the faith thereof, for the benefit either of himself or herself, or of such person, firm or corporation, either or any of the things of benefit mentioned in subsection 1; or

3.  Who, knowing that a statement in writing has been made respecting the financial condition or means or ability to pay, of himself or herself or of such person, firm or corporation, in which he or she is interested, or for whom he or she is acting, represents on a later day, either orally or in writing, that such statement theretofore made, if then again made on that day, would be then true, when, in fact, the statement if then made would be false, and procures upon the faith thereof, for the benefit either of himself or herself or such person, firm or corporation, either or any of the things of benefit mentioned in subsection 1,

shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.


NRS 205.570  Obtaining or negotiating document of title for goods with intent to defraud. [Effective through June 30, 2020.]  A person who, with the intent to defraud, obtains a negotiable document of title for goods to which the person does not have title, or which are subject to a security interest, and negotiates the document for value, without disclosing the want of title or the existence of the security interest, shall be punished:

1.  Where the value of the goods purported to be covered by the document of title is $650 or more, for a category D felony as provided in NRS 193.130. In addition to any other penalty, the court shall order the person to pay restitution.

2.  Where the value is less than $650, for a misdemeanor.


NRS 205.570  Obtaining or negotiating document of title for goods with intent to defraud. [Effective July 1, 2020.]  A person who, with the intent to defraud, obtains a negotiable document of title for goods to which the person does not have title, or which are subject to a security interest, and negotiates the document for value, without disclosing the want of title or the existence of the security interest, shall be punished:

1.  Where the value of the goods purported to be covered by the document of title is $1,200 or more, for a category D felony as provided in NRS 193.130. In addition to any other penalty, the court shall order the person to pay restitution.

2.  Where the value is less than $1,200, for a misdemeanor.

I imagine there are others; my search was fairly cursory.

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