How to Check VIN Information

Internet

1.

Check the vehicle and note its VIN.

2.

Determine which website to use. Some sites have a charge associated with pulling up the vehicle history report. Cross reference with more than one site if the information seems incomplete.

3.

Enter the vehicle identification number and obtain the report.

Police

1.

Call the local police station or pay them a visit. You can request that they visit you or the vehicle's seller, or bring the vehicle in question directly to them.

2.

If requesting that they come to you, set up an appointment to run the VIN information.

3.

Ask the police officer for a printed copy of the report.

Tips and Warnings

  • Though using the local police may take longer, it isfree. Checking for yourself on the Internet is fast and convenient, but generally it is a paid service. You can determine which option is better for you.
  • Running a VIN is no substitute for having a certified mechanic inspect the car before it is purchased. This is a good step to take whenever buying a used car, whether from a dealership or an individual.
  • VIN stands for vehicle identification number, and VIN information is useful in buying or selling an automobile. With the VIN information, a customer can find the vehicle history report, including whether or not the car has been stolen. The VIN is generally located on the left side of the dashboard, near the windshield. On some vehicles, however, this information is also in other locations. Vehicle identification numbers of varying kinds have been in use since the 1950s, though they did not come into standardized use until 1977.