National Motor Vehicle Theft Act Law and Legal Definition

National Motor Vehicle Theft Act (“Act”) is a U.S. federal law enacted in 1919 to obstruct and control the interstate trafficking of stolen vehicles by organized thieves. The provisions of the Act are codified at 18 USCS § 2311 et seq. The Act is also known as the Dyer Act. Pursuant to the Act, the interstate transportation of a stolen vehicle is a crime.

There are three elements that must be established beyond a reasonable doubt in order to invoke a punishment under the Act:

1. A vehicle is stolen;

2. The defendant knows that the vehicle is stolen; and

3. The defendant transports the vehicle in interstate or foreign commerce.

Any person who violates the provisions of the Act are punishable with an unspecified fine, an imprisonment of not more than ten years, or both. A person who aids and abets in the commission of this offense is equally culpable as a principal who has actually committed the crime.