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
Comments
  • (will not be published)

16 Responses to “THE NUMBERS GAME”

  1. Nancy L
    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
    • Brian Murphy
      Brian Murphy

      Your advice on this important subject to the collector car owner is greatly appreciated.
      Thank you :o)

      Reply
  2. Rick johnson
    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
      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
    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
      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
    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
      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
  5. Marvin L. Wollam
    Marvin L. Wollam

    I purchased a 1941 Ford Fordoor for $600.00. It had not been license since 1976. When I went to get a title there was no record on file. Apparently it was destroyed due to a certain number of years without and registration or title transfer. DMV had to rebuild and create a record for the car. Therefore I cannot check the history of the car. It appears to have a staff car for the Army. At least in the beginning it had an Army Green baked on enamel that is tough as nails.

    Reply
  6. Bob Bond
    Bob Bond

    First, why do people say “VIN number”? It’s VIN – period.
    Second, I’m trying to find any history of my car, but so far, Oregon (where I am, California and Washington have no history of the VIN.

    Reply
  7. Joe Hughes
    Joe Hughes

    Marti reports will give a detailed information about a vehicles history.

    Reply
  8. john
    john

    I tried the DMV as far as trying to find a vin# for my vehicle which only has 13 numbers. There is no site to help you with this issue. So all the people with older cars you will probably never be able to find out what your vehicle came from the factory with as far as information, You would think somebody would have a site for this.

    Reply