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VIN # Check

What is a VIN # Check?
VIN (vehicle identification number) is a unique alphanumerical code including a serial number, used by the auto industry, DMV, Insurance companies, Title Companies & Vehicle sales to identify individual motor vehicles, towed vehicles, motorcycles, scooters and mopeds as defined in ISO 3833.

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Starting in 1954 to 1981, there was no accepted standard for the VIN, confusingly different manufacturers used different formats.

Luckily for all of us in 1981, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration of the United States (NHTSA) standardized the format. It required all road bound vehicles sold to contain a 17-character VIN, which does not include the letters I (i), O (o), or Q (q) the omissions were to to avoid confusion with numerals 1 and 0.

The Value of using VINs in the Car Buying Process
Depending on age of vehicle, number of owners, & how the vehicle was previously purchased, there may be many things the seller may not disclose to you, such as a salvage title, flood damage or an odometer rollback. Many of these and other issues can affect the safety, performance and even value of a used car.

It’s important to always physically verify the VIN number for yourself.

Locating your vehicles VIN (Vehicle Identification Number)
The VIN is located in a number of places on a car, but most commonly on the dashboard (you can see it through the windshield) and the driver’s side door jamb sticker. On some vehicles the VIN is also placed on the engine, hood, and other parts. The VIN may also appear on car titles, insurance policies, service records and police reports for the vehicle.

Simple Fraud Protection Tips:

  • Request the VIN from the seller or physically collect it off of the vehicle yourself. If the seller is slow to provide or refuses to disclose the VIN, that’s a red flag proceed with caution that vehicle could have a troubled or unknown past.
  • Request a Vehicle History Report. Ask the seller for a Vehicle History Report. If the seller does not provide it, use the VIN to purchase a Report HERE.
  • Confirm the vehicle’s identity. It’s extremely important to physically match the VIN provided by the seller to the VINs on the vehicle, the vehicle’s title documents, and the History Report. If any of the VINs do not match, this may not be the vehicle for you.

Vehicle History Information

The alphanumeric characters within a VIN indicate the vehicle’s year, make, model, where it was manufactured, and more. VIN decoding is the process of deciphering the vehicles details.

The VIN can also be used to access a Vehicle History Report. Vehicle history reports contain important information that can impact your decision about a used vehicle through a detailed VIN # check.

Reports can include:

  • Vehicle registration
  • Title information, including salvaged or junked titles
  • Lemon Car history
  • Service and repair information
  • Odometer readings
  • Total loss accident history
  • Frame/structural damage
  • Vehicle usage (taxi, rental, lease, etc.)
  • Service and repair information
  • Recall information



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