THE NUMBERS GAME

QA-DMV-1

Q:

How would I trace the VIN number of my car to find its history? Glen Williams El Paso, TX

A:

Your best bet would be the DMV. It’s possible they might have registration and ownership records for your car going back to when it was originally purchased, but how much of this they can (or will) share with you varies greatly from state to state. I’d recommend a phone call to your local DMV office just to get a feel for what kind of reception your inquiry receives. If they are willing to help you out (even for a fee) it could be a fun addition to the information you already know about your vehicle. If your request for information is flat-out refused, you might be left wondering about your car’s past. Additionally some years, makes, models of cars have avid followers and keep track of vehicles through registries; a little research along these lines could yield huge results. Mark Simpson Managing Editor
Discussion
  • (will not be published)

10 Responses to “THE NUMBERS GAME”
  1. Nancy L

    The absolute best way to find the history on any vehicle sold or imported into the United States is through the National Insurance Crime Bureau. They have ALL of the records from ALL manufacturers of cars either made or imported into the United States. I used to work for them when they were known as the National Auto Theft Bureau. They are a non-profit that is supported by the insurance industry. You might have to get some help from your insurance carrier to get what you are looking for as they usually only deal with insurance companies and law enforcement agencies. I checked out a Camaro for a friend of mine and found that it had actually started life as a hard top and then was sent from the factory to have the convertible conversion done. The VIN still showed it as a hard top! The NICB should still have records dating back to the early 1900s.

    Reply
  2. Rick johnson

    Am thinking of buying a 62 corvette, no vin, has title & reg,st. i know many vin fell of the steering column due to vibration . Any thing else i should look for? Thanks

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hi, Rick. On a 1962 Corvette, the frame is also stamped with the serial number in a couple of places. My sources claim they are stamped on the top side of the frame rail, just above the rear wheel and also near the driver seat location.

      Reply
  3. EUGENE

    I HAD A 1955 CHEVROLET 2 DR THAT WAS STOLEN FROM IN FRONT OF MY HOUSE ON 10/22/1968. I HAVE THE REGISTRATION WITH THE V.I.N. FROM THE D.M.V. AND A RECEIPT FROM MY INSURANCE COMPANY. IS THERE ANY WAY I CAN FIND OUT IF THE CAR IS OR WAS REGISTERED SINCE.

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hello Eugene,

      While there are resources to identify whether or not a cars VIN is reported stolen or salvaged (https://www.nicb.org/home)… I am not aware of a resource to identify if a cars VIN has been reused. Generally VIN numbers are tracked by the state and every state has a different method of doing so. making it difficult to do any nation wide searches.

      If you were paid off by the insurance company, the car belongs to the insurance company and it is possible the car could have been recovered years later without your knowledge. So it may even be possible for the car to be legally registered again.

      I encourage anyone buying a used car they have questions about, to ask the seller if it’s alright to contact the police about running the VIN. most police agencies will do this for you, as time permits, and can give you peace of mind in completing the sale.

      Wrench Safe,
      Mark CCRC Video Membership

      Reply
  4. Roger Casagrande

    On 4/18/2017, I paid $42.39 with a Visa card for premium membership. When I tried to view a video as a member today, I was denied. Your website is not set up for my email address. Please correct this mistake.

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hello Roger,

      We are sorry to hear that you are not able to log into the website. We will send you an email with login instructions. If you are still not able to access the site, please contact our customer service team at 1-855-706-3534, and they will troubleshoot the issue with you.

      Thanks
      Becky CCRC Video Membership

      Reply