LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) – We know the DMV as the place with long lines and where we need to go if we need a new license or car registration.

However, behind all the hustle and bustle, there is a police department within the DMV that strictly focuses on everything motor vehicle-related.

“My officers have to be prepared to be able to handle anything,” Chief JD Decker with the DMV Compliance Division said.

You may remember Chief Decker from our report last month, when FOX5 tagged along with him as his team as they raided an unlicensed mechanic shop.

The Nevada DMV Compliance Division told FOX5 they are constantly dealing with complaints about unlicensed mechanics or body shops.

“We got thousands and thousands of cases and these are the ones where people knew to report it to us. A lot of people don’t realize that car dealerships, body shops, salvage yards are licensed by the DMV and of course, when we license them, we have to have the investigation arm to make sure they aren’t committing violations,” Decker said.

Several customers who had their cars sitting at that unlicensed shop for months had filed complaints with the DMV, and a few of them were able to get their cars back the day of the raid.

Due to the investigation from the DMV Compliance Division, the owner of the body shop was slapped with seven criminal citations and later arrested by LVMPD.

This scenario falls into their industry-related crimes.

Decker’s team focuses on a number of issues under these categories:

-Fraud : usually a fugitive using a fake identity

– Emissions: Like fraudulent smog checks or someone who avoids getting one

– Patrol: looking for expired or fake licensed plates

“You got metro officers running call to call to call. They may be three calls deep, they are not looking for traffic violations,” Decker said.

While FOX5 was in the car with Decker, one of his officers pulled someone over as they spotted an expired licensed plate.

Though the stop did not lead to any arrests, sometimes Decker said that is just the start of catching someone not obeying the law.

“We have an investigative bureau that’s able to not only follow through on traffic citations but also what the status of the vehicle is, and follow it many times to stolen vehicles from other states,” Decker said. “ We are the only agency specially looking for registration violations of course that leads into all kinds of situations as well.”

Decker said during the pandemic his team saw an increase in drivers using illegal paper tags and now they are seeing people driving without a license plate.

However, there are times when a stop can lead to an arrest of a criminal.

“People try to come in and establish a fictitious identity. Most of those people are hiding from crimes that they are committing,” Decker said.

There are only 23 officers with the DMV Compliance Division in Southern Nevada, which makes them very busy whether they are out on the roads or following up on the next complaint.

If you feel you need to make a complaint, you can go to the DMV website:

Nevada DMV Forms and Publications (

CED20 Complaint Submission Form (


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *