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Can I Use a VIN to Find Out if a Vehicle Has Been Stolen?

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How Do I Use the Vehicle Identification Number to Find out if a Car has Been Stolen?

Step 1: Check the VIN

Checking the VIN on a car can help you determine if it has been stolen. To do this, you should first find the VIN. It is typically located in the lower left corner of the dashboard in front of the steering wheel, the bottom-left hand side of the windshield, the inside of the driver-side doorjamb, the front of the engine block, the rear wheel well directly above the tire, in the front of the car frame near the container that holds windshield washer fluid, and underneath the spare tire.

Once you have the VIN, you should check that it hasn’t been tampered with. The entire VIN label should be securely fastened to the vehicle without any loose corners. Look for any scratches, tears, or gouge marks on the label and run your fingers over it – it should be smooth to the touch. Also, the VIN label should not be obscured with a screw or plug.

After that, you should search for the VIN on the free National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) VINCheck website. If the vehicle has been reported stolen, the information will be displayed on the website. Finally, if it is indeed stolen, you should report it to the NICB at 800-835-6422 or submit an anonymous tip to TIP411 and contact your local police.

Step 2: Find Your Stolen Car with VIN (VIN number)

Find the vehicle identification number (VIN). Every car has a VIN, which can be used to search for information about the vehicle. The VIN is made up of 17 characters and is like the car’s Social Security Number. It can be found in the following places:

bottom-left hand side of the windshield

lower-left corner of the dashboard in front of the steering wheel

where the hood latch mounts to the top of the hood

inside the driver-side doorjamb

in the rear wheel well directly above the tire

in the front of the car frame, near the container that holds windshield washer fluid

the front of the engine block

underneath the spare tire

Check that the VIN hasn’t been tampered with. The entire VIN label should be securely fastened to the vehicle without any loose corners. Also check for scratches, tears, or gouge marks. Additionally, run your fingers over the VIN label. It should be smooth to the touch. If it is scratchy, then it may have been tampered with. The VIN label should not be obscured with a screw or plug. If so, the owner might be trying to hide the VIN.

Search the VINCheck website. The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) has a VINCheck database which collects the VINs for vehicles reported as stolen. Enter the VIN at the NICB website. You can perform five searches within 24 hours.

Report fraud. If the vehicle has been stolen, call the police and report the vehicle. In the U.S., you should call the NICB at 800-835-6422 or submit an anonymous tip to TIP411. You can also call your local police. Share as many details about the seller as you can: name, address, and appearance.

Step 3: Use a VIN decoder

If you are considering buying a used car, you can use a VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) decoder to help you determine if the car has been stolen.

Step 1: First, you need to find the car’s VIN number. It is usually located at the bottom-left hand side of the windshield, the lower-left corner of the dashboard in front of the steering wheel, where the hood latch mounts to the top of the hood, inside the driver-side doorjamb, in the rear wheel well directly above the tire, in the front of the car frame, near the container that holds windshield washer fluid, the front of the engine block, and underneath the spare tire.

Step 2: Once you locate the VIN, make sure it hasn’t been tampered with or changed in any way. The VIN should be marked as a simple series of numbers and a bar code. If the code is scratched or if the label looks loose or like it has been peeled off, it could be a sign that it was replaced and the vehicle is stolen.

Step 3: Once you have found the VIN code, you can proceed to perform a VIN check. If you discover that the car has been reported as lost or stolen, it is best to walk away from the deal and inform the police.

Step 4: Use a VIN decoder to compare the data to what you’re seeing when checking a vehicle. Discrepancies can warn you about possible VIN tampering and theft. This can help you determine if the car you are considering buying has been stolen.

Step 4: Check the VIN plates

Checking the VIN plates of a car to see if it has been stolen is an important step in the process of buying a car. There are several steps you should take to be sure that the car has not been stolen:

Find the vehicle identification number (VIN). Every car has a VIN, which you should check so that you can perform a search. The VIN is made up of 17 characters and is like the car’s Social Security Number. You can find the VIN in the following places: bottom-left hand side of the windshield, lower-left corner of the dashboard in front of the steering wheel, where the hood latch mounts to the top of the hood, inside the driver-side doorjamb, in the rear wheel well directly above the tire, in the front of the car frame, near the container that holds windshield washer fluid, the front of the engine block, and underneath the spare tire.

Check that the VIN hasn’t been tampered with. The entire VIN label should be securely fastened to the vehicle without any loose corners. Check for scratches, tears, or gouge marks. Also run your fingers over the VIN label. It should be smooth to the touch. If it is scratchy, then it may have been tampered with. The VIN label should not be obscured with a screw or plug. If so, the owner might be trying to hide the VIN.

Search the VINCheck website. The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) has a VINCheck database which collects the VINs for vehicles reported as stolen. Enter the VIN at the NICB website. You can perform five searches within 24 hours.

Report fraud. If the vehicle has been stolen, call the police and report the vehicle. In the U.S., you should call the NICB at 800-835-6422 or submit an anonymous tip to TIP411. You can also call your local police and share as many details about the seller as you can: name, address, and appearance.

You can also check the VIN with government agencies and your state’s department of motor vehicles. You can also check a car’s VIN through the NICB’s VIN Check. This free service can inform you if there are any insurance records of a stolen car, including a vehicle that is not yet recovered.

Step 5: Contact your insurance company

Step 1: Gather the relevant information. To contact your insurance company to use the vehicle identification number to find out if a car has been stolen, you’ll need to have the following information ready: contact information of your leasing or financing company (if any); description of your vehicle; information on the last known whereabouts of your vehicle; list of personal items that were in the car at the time of the theft; location of all of the keys to the vehicle; and the title for the vehicle.

Step 2: File a police report. Contact your local police department and fill out a police report regarding the theft of your vehicle. Make sure to keep a copy of the police report for your records.

Step 3: Contact your insurance company. Call your insurance company and explain the situation. Let them know that you want to use the vehicle identification number to find out if the car has been stolen. They will likely need to see the police report in order to start the claims process.

Step 4: Request an inspection. Ask your insurance company if it’s willing to inspect a car for safety and any red flags of fraudulent activity. You should still do your own due diligence, but your insurance company may be able to find additional information to confirm that the vehicle is above board.

Step 5: Consider rental car coverage. If you have rental reimbursement coverage, your insurer will cover some of the cost of a rental car. Reimbursement coverage varies by insurer so you should check with your insurance company to see what the maximum coverage per day is, and how many days they’ll cover.

Step 6: Know the contract terms. If your stolen car is rented, contact the leasing company after you find the vehicle is missing. Inform them that you’ve already reported the stolen car to the police and ask for the car’s identification numbers and tag. Also, remember to request an incident form from the rental company and review the contract terms about the liability insurance you have chosen.

Step 6: Check security camera footage

Checking security camera footage can help you determine if a car has been stolen by providing evidence and facts of the theft. It is important to check the security camera footage of your home and the garage where your car was parked immediately after it’s been stolen. Video recordings from security cameras can provide clear images of the car thief and his general escape route, which can help increase the chances of finding your stolen car. You can also check the community’s security camera footage (if permitted) to find traces of your stolen car. Furthermore, if you don’t already have a security camera installed, you can consider investing in a car security camera system, such as the Reolink RLC-410, to better monitor your car’s safety.

Step 7: Ask the seller for the vehicle’s service records

When purchasing a used car, it is important to establish that it is not stolen. To ensure this, it is essential to ask the seller for the car’s service records. Following these steps will help you in this process:

Request to see the seller’s previous bill of sale from when they first purchased the car.

Ask for the car’s service receipts. Ensure the VIN on the receipts matches the one on the car.

Check to see if the VIN, make and model on the receipts matches the vehicle.

Compare the maintenance records with the vehicle history report and see if they match.

Order a vehicle history report using the VIN to get information on service history, title information, liens held on the car, accident history, and previous owners.

Make sure the VIN label on the car is not tampered with and is fastened securely.

If the history is up to the present, there’s a good chance it’s well taken care of and not stolen.

By following these steps, you can ensure the car is not stolen and can make an informed decision when purchasing a used car.

Step 8: Do a title search

Checking if a car has been stolen can be a complicated process. To find out if a car is stolen, there are a few steps you can take.

First, find the vehicle identification number (VIN) of the car. Every car has a unique VIN, which you will need for a title search. Thoroughly inspect the car to find the VIN, which can usually be found at the bottom-left hand side of the windshield, lower-left corner of the dashboard in front of the steering wheel, where the hood latch mounts to the top of the hood, inside the driver-side doorjamb, in the rear wheel well directly above the tire, in the front of the car frame, near the container that holds windshield washer fluid, the front of the engine block, and underneath the spare tire.

Once you have the VIN, check that it hasn’t been tampered with. The entire VIN label should be securely fastened to the vehicle without any loose corners, scratches, tears, gouge marks, or plug obscuring the label. You should also be able to run your fingers smoothly over the VIN label.

Next, visit your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles or DMV office or website and give them the VIN. This will allow you to run a title search for the car. The title search report will tell you whether the car was declared a loss, salvaged, or if any other major events occurred in the past. Note that it does cost a little bit of money to run a title search, but it is worth it for peace of mind.

You can also search for a car’s title through the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System. If the person trying to sell you the car isn’t the person listed on the title, you’ll know it’s a stolen car. Having access to the car’s title can help you detect any discrepancies in what the seller is telling you versus what’s on the title, like if the car is a salvage and the mileage when it was last sold.

Finally, you can check a vehicle’s title and local records, depending on your country. You can also get its history report here. It will run through police database records in multiple countries.

By following these steps, you can make sure you aren’t buying a stolen vehicle.

Step 9: Purchase a vehicle history report

Step 1: Obtain the vehicle’s VIN (Vehicle Identification Number). This will be found on the car itself, the title, or the registration.

Step 2: Find a company that provides vehicle history reports. Popular companies include AutoCheck and Carfax.

Step 3: Provide your VIN to the company and pay the required fee.

Step 4: Receive the report. It should include information like service history, title information, liens held on the car, accident history and damage, and previous owners.

Step 5: Look for any gaps in the history or outdated information. This could be a sign that the car is stolen.

Step 6: Ask the seller for service records. If they refuse to give you this information or claim they don’t have them, this is a red flag.

Step 7: Have an auto mechanic verify if the car was repaired properly if the vehicle history report shows that it has been in serious accidents.

Step 8: Consider the other data that can be found in a vehicle history report, such as activity, mileage, damages, specifications, and photos. This information can be useful when negotiating with the used car seller.

Step 10: Use a VIN number to check stolen car databases

Step 1: Find the vehicle identification number (VIN). Every car has a VIN, which you should check so that you can perform a search. The VIN is made up of 17 characters and is like the car’s Social Security Number. Don’t just accept whatever VIN the seller gives you. Instead, thoroughly inspect the vehicle yourself to find the VIN. This can be found in the bottom-left hand side of the windshield, the lower-left corner of the dashboard in front of the steering wheel, where the hood latch mounts to the top of the hood, inside the driver-side doorjamb, in the rear wheel well directly above the tire, in the front of the car frame, near the container that holds windshield washer fluid, the front of the engine block, and underneath the spare tire.

Step 2: Check that the VIN hasn’t been tampered with. The entire VIN label should be securely fastened to the vehicle without any loose corners. Also check for scratches, tears, or gouge marks. Run your fingers over the VIN label. It should be smooth to the touch. If it is scratchy, then it may have been tampered with. The VIN label should not be obscured with a screw or plug. If so, the owner might be trying to hide the VIN.

Step 3: Search the VINCheck website. The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) has a VINCheck database which collects the VINs for vehicles reported as stolen. Enter the VIN at the NICB website. You can perform five searches within 24 hours.

Step 4: Report fraud. If the vehicle has been stolen, call the police and report the vehicle. In the U.S., you should call the NICB at 800-835-6422 or submit an anonymous tip to TIP411. You can also call your local police. Share as many details about the seller as you can: name, address, and appearance.

Step 5: Call your insurance company. Most car insurance companies have stolen car databases. It’s no trouble for you to ask about a used car’s status by referring to its vehicle identification number or license plate.

 

What to Consider When Using the Vehicle Identification Number to Determine Whether a Car has Been Stolen

1. Vehicle Identification Number: Accuracy and security

The vehicle identification number, or VIN, is an extremely accurate and secure way to identify a vehicle. It is comprised of 17 characters and is unique to each vehicle, serving as an identifier similar to a Social Security number. By running a free VIN check through a database like NICB Vincheck, you can track a vehicle’s past owners, accident history, maintenance records, product recalls, and even if the car has ever been stolen. Additionally, the VIN should be marked as a simple series of numbers and a barcode, and it should be located in various places on the car, such as on the dashboard, door jamb, rear wheel well, engine block, spare tire slot, and front of the frame. If any of these places appear to have been tampered with in any way, this could be a sign that the car is stolen and the seller is trying to cover it up. Therefore, the vehicle identification number is a reliable and secure method of identifying a vehicle.

2. Vehicle Identification Number: Cost

The cost of using a vehicle identification number to determine if a car has been stolen can vary depending on the service used. AutoCheck offers a vehicle history report for between $30 and $40. The National Insurance Crime Bureau also offers a free VIN check service. Additionally, iSeeCars.com provides a basic VIN check report, basic car specs and a detailed pricing analysis at no cost.

3. Vehicle Identification Number: Time required

Step 1: Get the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) for the vehicle you want to check the history of. It should be located on the dashboard of the driver’s side of the vehicle or on the post of the driver’s side door.

Step 2: Run a free VIN check using a database like the NICB Vincheck site.

Step 3: Look for any signs of VIN manipulation. If you’re unable to locate the number or it appears to have been tampered with, this could be a sign that the car is stolen and the seller is trying to cover it up.

Step 4: Check the NICB VIN database of stolen vehicles. It takes only a few minutes to determine whether the vehicle has been stolen.

Step 5: If the vehicle is not listed as stolen, you can continue with the purchase. If it is listed as stolen, you should walk away from the deal.

4. Vehicle Identification Number: Professionalism

When using the vehicle identification number (VIN) to determine if a car has been stolen, it is important to exercise professionalism. This means that you should not just take the seller’s word for it when it comes to the VIN, but should check for yourself. It is also important to take note of any signs of VIN manipulation. For example, if you can’t locate the VIN or it appears to have been tampered with, this could be an indication that the car is stolen and the seller is trying to hide this fact. It is also important to use a reputable source, such as the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) to run a free VIN check. Finally, it is important to check the vehicle identification number on several areas of the body, including a stamped plate on the dashboard and printed on a sticker that is located inside the door jamb on the driver’s side of the car. If the VIN on the vehicle does not match the number provided by the seller, the deal could turn out to be too good to be true. By exercising professionalism when using the vehicle identification number, you can uncover a vehicle’s history and potentially avoid being scammed.

5. Vehicle Identification Number: Availability

The availability of the vehicle identification number, or VIN, is quite common. Every vehicle produced since 1981 comes with a unique 17-character code for identification, and for vehicles produced before that, the VIN can range from 11 to 17 characters. The VIN is typically stamped on the dashboard and printed on a sticker located inside the door jamb on the driver’s side of the car. Furthermore, the VIN is also printed in the rear wheel wells, the engine block, beneath the spare tire, and the frame under the hood. The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) also has a VIN database of stolen vehicles, which is updated with the help of law enforcement and insurance companies.

6. Vehicle Identification Number: Customer service

When using the vehicle identification number (VIN) to determine if a car has been stolen, customers should consider both the possible risks associated with the vehicle and the importance of verifying the accuracy of the information provided. It is essential that customers take the time to look for the VIN on the car, or else the seller could be attempting to provide false information. Customers should also conduct a free VIN check on the NICB website in order to find out whether the car has any past records of theft or other negative histories. Additionally, customers should take the time to check for any signs of VIN manipulation, such as a missing or tampered VIN sticker. These steps will help customers to make an informed decision before buying a used car.

7. Vehicle Identification Number: Services offered

Services offered with the vehicle identification number include: checking accident history, maintenance records, past owners, product recalls, theft information, verifying that the number is legitimate, locating the VIN on the car, finding out if the VIN has been tampered with, using the VIN to check if the car is stolen, using the VIN to access a Vehicle History Report (VHR) for the vehicle, and using the VIN to access the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recalls by VIN.

8. Vehicle Identification Number: Special requirements

The vehicle identification number (VIN) is a unique seventeen-character code that is used to identify each individual vehicle. When using the VIN to determine if a car has been stolen, there are several special requirements to take into consideration.

Insist on seeing the VIN number in person. Don’t take the seller’s word for it.

Make sure the VIN on the vehicle matches the number provided by the seller. If it doesn’t, the deal could be too good to be true.

Run a free VIN check using a database like the NICB Vincheck site.

Look for the VIN on the car while you or your mechanic inspects it.

Take note of any signs of VIN manipulation. If you’re unable to locate the number or it appears to have been tampered with, this could be a sign that the car is stolen and the seller is trying to cover it up.

Check for VIN stickers placed all over the car. If there are any discrepancies between records or missing stickers where there should be a VIN, red flags should start popping up in your head.

9. Vehicle Identification Number: Reputation

The reputation of a Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) can help determine if a car has been stolen by providing information about its past owners, product recalls, accident history, and maintenance records. Vehicle thieves may try to provide fake VIN codes to potential car buyers, so it is important to insist on seeing the VIN to avoid being scammed. Additionally, it is important to note any signs of VIN manipulation, as this could be a sign that the car is stolen. By running a free VIN check with a database like the NICB Vincheck site, consumers can search for a car’s VIN number and get information regarding its past and whether or not it has been stolen.

10. Vehicle Identification Number: Size of the fleet

The size of a fleet can have a significant effect on the use of the vehicle identification number to determine if a car has been stolen. The larger the fleet, the more difficult it can be to track individual vehicles and their histories, as the same VIN may be used on multiple vehicles. This can make it more challenging to cross-reference the VIN with a database of stolen vehicles, as the same number could be registered to multiple cars. Additionally, in a larger fleet, it can be more difficult to track down and verify the VIN across multiple sources, as the car may have been used in multiple locations and may have worn off or been tampered with in the process. As such, having a smaller fleet can make it easier to accurately track records and verify the VIN across multiple sources.

11. Vehicle Identification Number: Location

The vehicle identification number, or VIN, is a 17-digit code that is used to uniquely identify each vehicle. This code can usually be found stamped into the dashboard of the driver’s side of the vehicle or on a sticker inside the door jamb on the driver’s side of the car. It can also be found in the rear wheel wells, the engine block, beneath the spare tire, the frame under the hood, and on documents like the insurance certificate or vehicle registration. When examining a car for purchase, it is important to make sure that all of these locations have the same VIN and that it has not been tampered with.

12. Vehicle Identification Number: Compliance

The compliance rate for using a vehicle identification number to determine if a car has been stolen is quite high. According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), VIN checks are highly effective in identifying stolen vehicles. They report that the accuracy of VIN checks is approximately 98%, making them one of the most reliable methods for determining a vehicle’s stolen status. The NICB also states that VIN checks are an effective way to identify if a vehicle has any open safety or recall issues as well.

13. Vehicle Identification Number: Security

When using the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) to check if a car has been stolen, there are several security considerations to take into account. Firstly, you should always verify the VIN provided by the seller in order to ensure it is accurate and hasn’t been tampered with. Make sure to look for the VIN on the car while you or your mechanic inspects it, in places such as the dashboard, door jamb, rear wheel well, spare tire slot, engine block, and frame. Additionally, you should run a VIN check using a free online service such as the NICB Vincheck. This will provide information about the car’s accident history, maintenance records, past owners, product recalls, and theft. Finally, take note of any signs of VIN manipulation, as this could be a sign that the car is stolen and the seller is trying to cover it up. By taking these security considerations into account, you can help make sure that you are not purchasing a stolen car.

14. Vehicle Identification Number: Maintenance records

Maintenance records are documents that detail the service history of a car, including when and where it received routine maintenance and major repairs. These records can be used to verify that a car is legitimate and has not been stolen. A car thief would most likely not be able to provide the records, and a discrepancy between the VIN on the car and the VIN on the service records could be a sign that the car was stolen and the seller is trying to cover it up. Checking the car’s VIN on service records, as well as the VIN itself on the car, is key in determining whether a car has been stolen or not.

15. Vehicle Identification Number: Insurance policy

Insurance companies use vehicle identification numbers (VINs) to determine if a car has been stolen. If a VIN number is matched to a vehicle in the National Insurance Crime Bureau’s VINCheck database, which contains Vehicles that have been reported as stolen, it can be used as evidence that the car is stolen. Insurance companies use this information to deny coverage for stolen vehicles or investigate a claim related to a stolen car. Furthermore, insurance companies may use the VIN to track the vehicle’s history, including any previous accidents or repair work. It is important to ensure that the VIN matches the car you are buying in order to avoid being caught in a stolen vehicle situation.

16. Vehicle Identification Number: Purchase history

The purchase history of a car can help determine whether it has been stolen by providing important information about the vehicle. A vehicle history report can provide information about a car’s accident history, maintenance records, past owners, and product recalls. Additionally, if the VIN number appears to have been tampered with or is missing, this can be a sign that the car is stolen. By running a vehicle history report with the VIN number, car owners can learn if the car has been reported stolen. This report can also provide details such as service history, title information, liens held on the car, and accident history and damage. Furthermore, carVertical offers a unique history report that can be obtained by entering the car’s VIN number. This report can reveal if the car has been registered as stolen in police records or with insurance companies. If the report indicates the car has been stolen, a warning message will appear under the THEFT tab in the Spotted activity section.

17. Vehicle Identification Number: Warranty period

The Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) is a unique seventeen-character code that is used to identify every car. It typically consists of letters and numbers and serves to help authenticate the car. A VIN is essentially a car’s social security number and is used to track its history, such as past owners and any accidents or recalls it has been involved in. The warranty period for a VIN is typically determined by the car manufacturer, but can also be affected by the age and condition of the vehicle. For example, a used car may not have the same warranty period as a new car. It is important to check the warranty information when purchasing a used car to ensure that you are adequately covered in the event of any problems.

18. Vehicle Identification Number: Emissions control

Using the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) to determine if a car has been stolen can be a helpful way to ensure that you are purchasing a legitimate vehicle. However, there are a few considerations to keep in mind when using the VIN to check for stolen cars.

One of the major considerations is the accuracy of the VIN check. While checking for stolen vehicles with the VIN is generally reliable, it is always important to double-check that the VIN provided by the seller is genuine and has not been tampered with. If there is any discrepancy between the VIN and the records, it is wise to be cautious. Additionally, you should perform an in-person inspection of the vehicle to make sure the VIN is present in the areas it should be, such as the dashboard, door jamb, and frame under the hood.

Another consideration involves emissions control. When a vehicle is stolen, it may not go through the necessary emissions tests and may not meet the required standards in its new location. When purchasing a used car, it is important to check with the DMV in the local area to make sure the car meets the emissions standards.

Overall, the VIN can be a useful tool when confirming the ownership and history of a car, but it is important to take into account the accuracy of the VIN and the emissions control considerations when making a purchase.

19. Vehicle Identification Number: Ignition key

Using the vehicle’s ignition key can help determine whether a car has been stolen. The ignition key is linked to the vehicle’s unique Vehicle Identification Number (VIN), which is a 17-character code that car manufacturers must place several places in a vehicle, including the dashboard and the side of the driver’s door. When the ignition key is used, it will match the VIN number and any discrepancies between records or missing stickers where there should be a VIN can indicate that the car was stolen. A VIN check can be done to uncover a vehicle’s history and to determine if the vehicle was ever stolen, in a crash, flood, repossessed, or declared a total loss.

20. Vehicle Identification Number: Steering wheel

The steering wheel is an important factor in determining if a car has been stolen with the vehicle identification number. By looking at the steering wheel, you can assess if the VIN has been tampered with or changed in any way. The VIN should be marked as a simple series of numbers and a bar code, and if it looks scratched or the label looks loose or like it has been peeled off, it could be a sign that the VIN has been replaced and the vehicle may have been stolen. Therefore, it is important to check the steering wheel when looking for the VIN in order to determine whether the car has been stolen.