AAMVA MCO/MSO Recommendations

Guidelines for minimum security features of Manufacturer Certificate of Origin or Statement of Origin forms as proposed by AAMVA.

Specifications for printing a manufacturers certificate of origin form (CO) for motor vehicle standards.


All Certificates of Origin’s 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. Background

(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. Embedded security features.

(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.

PAPER STOCK – Sixty (60) pound offset or equivalent durability.

CONSTRUCTION – Unless otherwise specified by the user, the forms should be constructed and fan-folded for use on high-speed pinfed computer printer and/or continuous typewriters.

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. [Revised 1990]

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