How to Get a Washington Assigned Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)

How to Get a Washington Assigned Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)

If you want to claim your Washington state excise tax from a car, truck or motorcycle that’s been sold within the last 9 months, then you will need a vehicle identification number (VIN).

The easiest way is by using the VIN Checker on our website. It takes less than 10 seconds and it can display up to 12 characters of your VIN.

Washington has the Department of Licensing (DOL). Other states might call it something different, like the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV), Motor Vehicles Division (MVD), Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (HSMV), Driver Services Department (DSD), Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV), Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA), Driver and Vehicle Services (DVS), Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV), Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC), Department of Driver Services (DDS), Department of Public Safety (DPS), or Department of Transportation (DOT).

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How Do I Get a Washington Assigned Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)?

1. Your car must be inspected in order to get a VIN.

2. Submit the required documents, which include a completed inspection request, a bill of sale or title certificate, and photo identification.

3. If you are buying the car from a private party, the bill of sale must be notarized.

4. The state patrol will assign a VIN to the car and attach plates if needed.


What Documents Do I Need to Get a Washington VIN?

-The DMV VIN verification form

-A valid photo ID

-The correct paperwork for the reason for the inspection

(rebuilding a salvage vehicle, title car verification)


Why Should I Get a Washington VIN Check/Car ID Check?

1. In order to title a car in Washington, you must undergo a VIN verification.

2. There are other circumstances where you may have to submit your car for an inspection.

3. The main purpose of a WA VIN inspection is to reduce the number of incidents of trafficked parts and stolen vehicles.

4. If your VIN is missing or has been tampered with in any way, you will be assigned a new one.”


Vehicle & Driver VIN Inspections in Washington

What to Bring to Your Inspection

You will need to bring a completed Washington State Patrol Inspection Request Form and other documents depending on the type of inspection. You should schedule an appointment depending on the type of inspection you need.


When is a Washington VIN Verification Required?

You will need to obtain the proper DMV VIN verification form from a licensing agent.


Where Can I Go to Obtain a VIN Inspection in Washington? Do I Need a Vehicle Title?

If you need to get a Washington VIN inspection, you have a few options. You can either go to a Washington State Patrol office, or you can contact a private dealership or mechanic.

At a Washington State Patrol office, you will need to first collect the necessary paperwork. You can then schedule a verification by using the WSP’s official scheduling system. You will need to create an account and select a password before confirming your appointment.

When you arrive for your appointment, be sure to arrive at least five minutes early. If you are late for your inspection, you will be forced to reschedule. Also, keep in mind that you cannot inspect an off-road or all-terrain vehicle at a Washington State Patrol office – for these types of vehicles, you’ll need to contact a private dealership or mechanic instead.


Obtain a Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) for a New Trailer in Washington

If you are building a new trailer, you can request a low volume VIN. You will need to present your trailer for an examination in order to obtain a surrogate VIN. If you have a VIN and your trailer is not built in the current calendar year, contact the Department of Transport.

To apply for a low volume VIN for a new trailer, please complete the online form or the Request for Low Volume VIN for a New Trailer or Crane (E70) form.


How Do I Register an Out-of-State Vehicle in Washington?

In order to register an out-of-state vehicle in Washington, you must first obtain a Washington State Patrol vehicle verification. You can do this by scheduling an appointment through the WSP’s website.

You will need to provide the following paperwork when you arrive for your appointment:

• Your out-of-state registration

• Proof of insurance

• The vehicle’s odometer reading

• A completed Application for Certificate of Title form

After your vehicle has been verified, you will then need to take it to a licensed emissions testing station in order to have it inspected. Once it passes inspection, you will be able to register your vehicle and obtain license plates.


Washington Smog Check/Emissions Inspection Report

As of 2009, all new cars, light-duty trucks, SUVs, and passenger vans sold in Washington must meet emission standards. If you’re buying a vehicle with less than 7,500 miles, make sure it meets these standards.

If the vehicle is certified for California emission standards, for sale in all 50 states, or for sale in the northeast, you may register it in Washington. Clean car emission requirements are changing in 2021. For more information see the Clean Car Emission Requirements passage.



Now that you know how to get a Washington assigned VIN, you can begin the process of registering your vehicle. Be sure to bring all the required documents to your inspection, and don’t hesitate to contact the DMV if you have any questions.