How Can I Verify the Integrity of a VIN Number?

If you own a vehicle, you’re likely familiar with the process of registering it with your state’s department of motor vehicles. This usually involves filling out some paperwork and paying a fee. You can also access such services at licensed third-party providers such as Quick VIN Verification.

But have you ever wondered why registration is necessary? For starters, it helps ensure that all vehicles on the road have a valid VIN or vehicle identification number.

This number tracks a vehicle’s history, including any accidents or thefts. By requiring registration of all vehicles, states can help ensure the validity of each VIN. In turn, this helps protect drivers and passengers by ensuring that only safe, roadworthy vehicles are allowed on our roads.

So, how do you go about verifying the integrity of a VIN? Usually, the process involves browsing online databases that provide VIN information. Here are potential ways and databases you can browse to establish whether your car’s VIN is authentic.

1. Car History Websites

Various websites offer free and paid car history reports. These reports provide detailed information about a vehicle’s past, including any reported incidents involving it. Some of the most popular vehicle history websites include CARFAX and AutoCheck.

To get started, you’ll need the vehicle’s VIN. You can usually find this on the dashboard, driver’s side door, or vehicle registration paperwork. Once you have the VIN, enter it into the website’s search bar. In most cases, you’ll be able to view a report with information about the vehicle’s history.

2. Government Databases

This option is best if you’re looking for more detailed information about a vehicle’s history. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, or NHTSA, is a government agency that maintains a safety recall database.

Visit the NHTSA website and enter the vehicle’s VIN into the search bar. If there have been any safety recalls issued for the vehicle, they will be listed here.

You may also browse the National Insurance Crime Bureau’s (NICB) database. The organization’s website has a tool called the VINCheck, a free service you may use to check for reported thefts.

3. Private VIN Verifiers 

You can also hire a private VIN verifier to get a more comprehensive report. These businesses will run a detailed check on the vehicle’s history and provide a report that includes information about accidents, thefts, and more.

To find a reputable VIN verifier in your area, search online or ask for recommendations from friends or family members who have recently purchased a vehicle. And when you’re ready to start, provide the verifier with the vehicle’s VIN, and they’ll handle the rest.

Some verifiers, such as Quick Vin Verification, offer expedited mobile services. Thus, the firm is a good choice if you need a private verifier who can come to you.

4. DMV Offices

You may also visit your local DMV office for VIN verification services. Contact your local DMV office to get started and request a vehicle history report. You’ll need to provide the office with the vehicle’s VIN. In most cases, you’ll have to pay a fee for this service. Once the report is ready, you can pick it up from the DMV office or have it mailed to you.

5. Checking for Physical Damage

Besides checking online databases, you can also look for physical signs of damage. This is especially important if you’re considering buying a used vehicle. When inspecting the vehicle, pay close attention to the VIN plate.

It should be metallic, containing the 17-digit VIN. If the VIN plate is missing or looks damaged, this could be a sign that the vehicle has been in an accident. Here are some quick tips to verify the integrity of a VIN:

  • Check to ensure the VIN is 17 characters long. If it’s shorter or longer, it’s likely not valid. But, this applies to vehicles manufactured after 1981. Vehicles made earlier may have VINs with fewer characters.
  • Make sure the characters are all numbers and letters. If you see any symbols, it’s likely not a valid VIN.
  • Compare the VIN on your vehicle to the one listed on your registration paperwork. If they don’t match, something may be wrong.
  • Take your vehicle to a licensed inspection station. The staff there will be able to tell you if the VIN is valid and whether or not it matches the one on your registration.

These are just a few of the ways you can use to verify the integrity of a VIN. And hopefully, by following this mini guide, you can ensure the validity of your vehicle’s VIN and that it matches the one on your registration. This will give you peace of mind when buying or selling a vehicle.

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