Thinking about buying a used car? You’ll want to know the car’s history, including previous owners, accident and theft history, or pending recalls.
You can find this information if you first find and verify the car’s VIN (Vehicle Identification Number.) This number is unique to that car alone.
For many car transactions, you need to both find the VIN and get it verified in writing. Googling “VIN verification near me” will send you to a long list of procedures that can vary from state-to-state.
Want to save a little time? Click here to learn some places to verify a VIN.
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VIN Verification in My Area: DMV
When you buy or sell a car, especially if you plan to register the car in a different state, you will need to have the VIN verified. This ensures the transfer of title is legitimate.
You can take the car to the Department of Motor Vehicles in any state to fill out the appropriate paperwork for a VIN verification. It is the DMV’s job to make sure your car’s VIN is correct, and that your car, where required, can pass an emissions test.
DMV offices are notorious for long lines, and confusing rules. Before making an appointment, either in-person or online, consider some other options that may be available for a VIN verification.
VIN Verification: Law Enforcement or AAA
Some states have different options than the DMV for VIN inspections.
One option is to take the car to a law enforcement station, such as the state’s highway patrol. Check with your state’s DMV website to see which law enforcement agencies can conduct your VIN inspection, and how paperwork is submitted to the DMV afterward.
If you are a member of the American Automobile Association (AAA) you can get your VIN inspection there for free, but you DO need to be a paying member.
VIN Verification Online: Licensed Vendor
For an easy VIN verification online, check to see if your state will accept a VIN inspection from a private, licensed VIN inspector.
For example, in California, Placas Al Instante is an authorized VIN verifier that can help you get all the paperwork, as well as the inspection, done at your convenience for a small fee. This saves folks in that state from the aggravation of the DMV, and the cost is very reasonable.
Using the VIN to Check Car History
If you’re looking for a car’s history of ownership, or accident/theft, you can find the VIN of the car on your own, and then plug that number into an online site that can trace the history for you.
A free service through the National Insurance Crime Bureau can tell you if your car has ever been stolen or is a salvage vehicle.
For a small fee, you can check out Carfax.com or Edmunds.com, among others, to get a more comprehensive vehicle repair and sales history.
Choosing “Vin Verification Near Me” Services
The right vendor for your VIN inspection will be influenced by the state you live in, or where the car will be driven.
Now that you know your options, try googling “VIN Verification Near Me,” and find the most convenient vendor for you.
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