Message Formats

This page describes the different message format types in use by states offering an Electronic Liens and Titles program. We’ll look particularly at what states are currently doing.

Message Construction

The following file formats are currently in use:

  • The AAMVA ELT message format. AAMVA’s format for ELT message exchange is a subset of their general message exchange format. See the section below for more details.
  • Fixed Length, single format. All messages adhere to a single file format type. Message records are fixed length and are proprietary to each state.
  • Fixed Length, multiple formats. Each transaction has a separate file format defined. Message records are fixed length and are proprietary to each state.

Message packaging

This explains how messages are grouped together for delivery to the partner:

  • Not grouped. Messages are sent individually.
  • Plain text file. Messages are added to a text file and sent together.
  • Batched. A file containing the messages also contains a header and/or footer record to batch the messages. Frequently used to indicate the total number of messages included.

Evaluation of Practices by State

State Construction Packaging Comments
Arizona AAMVA+ Batched
California Fixed Length, multiple formats Plain text file
Florida Fixed Length, multiple formats Batched As part of the lien notification record, owner records are sent separately. This allows for flexibility in the number of owner records that can be included. File headers are used to verify message totals and confirm receipt. Inherent in Florida’s file format is a resend indicator when confirmation of receipt not received by the state.
Georgia Fixed Length, single format Batched Proprietary flat-file format.
Hawaii AAMVA Plain text file
Idaho Fixed Length, multiple formats Plain text file
Iowa Fixed Length, multiple formats Plain text file
Louisiana Delimited text file Plain text file
Massachusetts AAMVA Plain text file
Nebraska Fixed Length, multiple formats Plain text file
New York XML Plain text file
Ohio AAMVA+ Plain text file Ohio has some unique transactions (including for adding a lien to an existing title) and modifies the AAMVA standard message structure to make them work.
Pennsylvania Fixed Length, single format Batched Proprietary flat-file format.
South Carolina AAMVA+ Not grouped Messages are sent individually via web services and thus not stored in a file.
South Dakota Fixed Length, single format Batched
Texas AAMVA+ Plain text file
Virginia AAMVA+ Plain text file
Washington Fixed Length, multiple formats Plain text file
Wisconsin Fixed Length, multiple formats Plain text file