• Manufacturer's Certificate of Origin (MCO)

  • Suggested Resources:

    Federal Requirements
    For new manufacturers of motor vehicles and motor vehicle equipment (including 49 CFR Part 565--Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) Requirements), see the New Manufacturers Handbook of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration   on the NHTSA's Product Information Catalog and Vehicle Listing (vPIC) Web site.

    VIN Requirements
    Contact the federal government (NHTSA VIN Coordinator at 202-366-5302) and ask about VIN requirements, vehicle safety standards and registering as a manufacturer

    Homemade Trailers
    For additional information and guidance on how to register homemade trailers (a fee applies for the service), contact the National Association of Trailer Manufacturers (NATM) at (785) 272-4433.


    While there are other vendors that can assist, the following AAMVA associate members provide MCO services:

    Rachael Porter, Customer Service Associate
    American Banknote Corporation
    Office: +1 931 490 1708 | Mobile: +1 931 388 3003
    711 Armstrong Lane, Columbia, TN 38401
    Garth Zambory, Director of Sales
    Ashton Potter ( www.ashtonpotter.com)
    Mobile: +1-571-276-3930
    Email: gzambory@ashtonpotter.com
    40 Curtwright Drive, Williamsville, NY 14221

    AAMVA Policies on Certificate of Origin

    It is the policy of AAMVA that a Certificate of Origin (CO) be required for conveying ownership of all new vehicles. The CO should be uniform in all jurisdictions, and when printed, conform to the standards set forth in Appendix “B” of this publication listed below. 

    AAMVA also urges manufacturers of motive and non-motive powered vehicles to adopt a standard machine-readable Certificate of Origin, utilizing the appropriate American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standard that provides the criteria for character set and print quality for optical character recognition. 

    AAMVA recommends that vendors of the uniform Certificate of Origin be instructed that applicants who wish to purchase uniform CO documents must furnish verification from an AAMVA member jurisdiction that the applicant is recognized as a bona fide manufacturer or distributor before the order can be accepted. In the interest of reducing fraud and vehicle theft, it is the policy of AAMVA that manufacturers’ use standardized codes when transmitting CO data electronically. 

    In accordance with the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System specifications, AAMVA supports the use of the NCIC codes, as found in the latest edition of the NCIC Code Manual, as the standard for the electronic transmission of all CO data. Special emphasis should be placed on the vehicle’s make, series, model, body type and major and minor colors. 

    AAMVA supports the cooperation of manufacturers, the Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and if necessary, U.S. Congress to promote this policy. [Amended 2014] 

    Duplicate Certificate of Origin

    All duplicate Certificates of Origin issued by the manufacturer and used as replacement for the original Certificate of Origin shall incorporate the same security features as the original. The duplicate shall state clearly on the face that it is a “Duplicate.” The vehicle and owner information on the duplicate shall be identical to the original Certificate of Origin, and any discrepancy, except the date issued, shall invalidate the duplicate. 

    All continuation documents, issued by manufacturers and used to facilitate additional transfers between dealers, shall have the same security features as the original Certificates of Origin. The continuation shall state clearly on the face that it is a “Continuation,” with page number, and must be used in conjunction with the original Certificate of Origin to be considered valid. The vehicle information on the continuation shall be identical to the original except for the issuance date, and any discrepancy shall invalidate the continuation.


    STANDARDS SECURITY FEATURES – All Certificates of Origin should contain the following nine security features:

    1. Paper (a) Sensitized Security Paper – paper that is reactive to chemicals commonly used to alter documents (b) Non-Optical Brightener Paper – paper without added optical brighteners which will not fluoresce under ultraviolet light.
    2. Engraved Border – a border produced from engraved art work which shall appear on the front of the document.
    3. (a) Prismatic – rainbow printing which is used as a deterrent to color copying, and/or (b) Copy Void Pantograph – the word “void” appears when the document is copied.
    4. Complex Colors – colors which are developed by using a mixture of two or more of the primary colors (red, yellow or blue) and black if required.
    5. Erasable Fluorescent Background Inks – fluoresces under ultraviolet light and reacts to any attempt to erase in such a manner as to be immediately detectable. 
    6. Background Security Design – a repetitious design consisting of a pattern which hinders counterfeiting efforts. 
    7. Microline – a line of small alpha characters in capital letters which requires a magnifying glass to read. 
    8. Consecutively Numbered – documents that contain a number which is consecutively numbered for control purposes.
    9. (a) Security Thread – with or without watermark, and/or 
      (b) Intaglio Print – with or without latent image. 

      DOCUMENT SIZE – “Certificates of Origin” size specifications shall be seven (7) inches by eight (8) inches. 
      APER STOCK – Sixty (60) pound offset or equivalent durability. 
      LAYOUT – Text matter space for 1/10 inch horizontal and 1/6 inch deep characters per AAMVA H-12 Policy for standard format. 
      FACILITY SECURITY – To insure the integrity of the manufacturers “Certificate of Origin,” the user should require the vendor to maintain secure printing and storage facilities. 

    Additional questions may be directed to: 

    Casey Garber, Manager of vehicle Programs, AAMVA