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How Can I Find Out If a Vehicle Has Been Used as a Commercial Vehicle Using the VIN?

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What is the VIN?

The Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) is a unique code assigned to every motor vehicle when it is manufactured. It consists of 17 characters (digits and capital letters) that act as a unique identifier for the vehicle. The VIN can provide a wealth of vital information, including engine type and original product details, and can also be used to determine whether the vehicle was part of a recall or how often the car has been purchased. The VIN displays the car’s unique features, specifications, and manufacturer, and is often found on the driver’s side dashboard or door jamb. By using the VIN, buyers can quickly get detailed information about a commercial truck before making a purchase.

 

What Information Can be Found in the Vehicle’s VIN?

1. Manufacturer/Brand

The information found in the vehicle’s VIN for the manufacturer/brand is: The first three characters of the VIN, which are the World Manufacturer Identifier (WMI) code, which uniquely identify the manufacturer of the vehicle; the fourth through eighth characters, which represent the attributes of the vehicle; the ninth character, which is the check digit used to verify accuracy of the VIN transcription; the tenth character, which represents the model year; the eleventh character, which represents the plant of manufacture; and the twelfth through seventeenth characters, which represent the number assigned by the manufacturer in the production process.

2. Model

The model of the vehicle is listed under the category of custom and replica vehicles. This category includes vehicles which have been altered from the manufacturer’s original design or have a body constructed from materials not original to the vehicle such as Reconstructed, Replica and Street Rod vehicles. The information available for these vehicles includes the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN), the Vehicle Engine, the Country of Origin and the Driver Record Form. Additionally, the CBSA will verify the importer’s declaration to ensure that it complies with all applicable legislative provisions prior to releasing the vehicle at the border. Furthermore, the importer is responsible for abiding by the terms of the entry and may be required to fulfill additional requirements. An image of the vehicle may be uploaded in the Online Services Look Up with photo tool to assess whether it has been damaged exclusively by flood water.

3. Engine Type

The engine type section of a vehicle’s VIN (characters 10-11) typically contains information about the vehicle’s engine size, fuel type, and number of cylinders. This section is determined by the manufacturer and may include information such as engine displacement (in cubic inches or cubic centimeters), fuel type (e.g. gasoline, diesel, electric, or hybrid), and the number of cylinders in the engine (e.g. 4, 6, or 8).

4. Vehicle Type

The Vehicle Type Description found in a Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) is a set of characters that uniquely identify the make, model or line, series, gross vehicle weight rating, engine type, brake system, cab type, and chassis of a specific vehicle. The first three characters are the World Manufacturer Identifier (WMI) which is unique to the manufacturer of the vehicle. The next six characters are the vehicle descriptor section which describe the car and include the model, body type, transmission type, engine code, etc. The following eight characters are the vehicle identifier section which includes the model year, and where the vehicle was assembled. The final six digits in the VIN indicate the sequence number of the vehicle.

5. Body Style

The different body styles for vehicles in the VIN depend on the manufacturer and model of the vehicle. The possible body styles include coupes, sedans, convertibles, station wagons, hatchbacks, mini vans, SUVs, and pickups. Additionally, replica or custom vehicles constructed from materials not original to the vehicle may also be present. Finally, a vehicle that has been damaged by flooding, and would require more than a given jurisdiction’s defined percentage of the retail value to be reconstructed to its pre-accident condition and made roadworthy, would also be included in this category.

6. Serial Number

The Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) is a unique 17-character code that acts as an identifier for each individual motor vehicle. It includes information about the car’s manufacturer, model, body type, restraint system, transmission, engine, and fraud detector. The Hull Identification Number (HIN) is a 12 or 14 character serial number that uniquely identifies a motorboat or vessel. VIN verification is necessary in order to obtain a title for the vehicle. The first three characters of every VIN number uniquely identify the manufacturer of the vehicle, which is known as the World Manufacturer Identifier (WMI) code. Knowing a vehicle’s VIN number or HIN provides information about the vehicle’s history, such as its ownership, title, registration, recalls, and other details.

7. Year of Manufacture

The year of manufacture for a vehicle’s VIN can be found in the last 8 digits of the VIN. The 10th digit indicates the year of manufacture, with ‘A’ representing the year 2010, ‘B’ representing 2011, and so on. The 11th digit indicates the manufacturing plant, and the 12th-17th digits indicate the vehicle’s unique serial number determined while it’s on the assembly line. The year of manufacture can also be determined using a VIN decoder guide.

8. Make

What information is found in the vehicle’s VIN for make? [Expanded list]: The vehicle’s VIN can provide information about the vehicle’s make, model, body type, engine size, manufacture year, and production plant location.

9. Assembly Plant

The information that can be found in the vehicle’s VIN at the assembly plant includes the manufacturer identifier, vehicle attributes, check digit, model year, plant of manufacture, and number assigned by the manufacturer. Additionally, the attributes of the vehicle must include the make, model or line, series, gross vehicle weight rating, engine type, brake system, cab type, and chassis.

10. Weight Rating

Weight rating is the maximum weight that a vehicle is designed to carry and is typically indicated by a number, such as 10,000 lbs. It is an important factor that affects the information found in a vehicle’s VIN.

The weight rating of a vehicle is indicated in positions 4-8 of the VIN. For trucks with a gross vehicle weight rating of 10,000 pounds or less, position 7 of the VIN is alphabetic. The content of each VIN varies by the type of vehicle and information decipherable, as detailed in Part 565.15: positions 1-3 of the VIN consist of three characters uniquely identifying the manufacturer and motor vehicle type, while positions 4-8 of the VIN uniquely identify the attributes of the vehicle.

The effect of weight rating on a VIN is that the characters used and their placement within positions 4-8 may be determined by the manufacturer, as long as the specified attributes of the vehicle align with information in 565.15(c). The gross vehicle weight rating must follow Part 565.15 Table II. If the manufacturer is a high-volume manufacturer, positions 12-17 of the VIN represent the number assigned by the manufacturer in the production process. However, for low-volume manufacturers, positions 12-14, combined with positions 1-3, identify the manufacturer and the type of the motor vehicle while positions 15-17 represent the number sequentially assigned by the manufacturer in the production process.

Overall, it is important to note that the weight rating is a key factor in understanding the information found in a vehicle’s VIN, as it affects the characters used and their placement within positions 4-8 and the numbers that are assigned by the manufacturer in the production process.

11. Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)

What information is found in a vehicle’s VIN? [Expanded list]

A vehicle’s VIN is composed of 17 characters (digits and capital letters) that act as a unique identifier for the vehicle. This VIN provides a wealth of vital information, including country of manufacturer, engine type, make and model, and serial number. It can also be used to determine whether the vehicle was part of a recall or how often the car has been purchased. Additionally, a commercial VIN check can reveal information such as damage, the last recorded odometer reading, accident history, inspection information, title information, and much more.

12. Engine Number

The engine number found in a vehicle’s VIN is the eight-digit vehicle identifier section. This section of the VIN provides information about the model year and where the vehicle was assembled. The engine number also helps to determine the car’s unique serial number on the assembly line. The engine number is part of the 17-character string used to identify each motor vehicle when it is manufactured. It is composed of letters and numbers without intervening spaces or the letters Q (q), I (i), and O (o). Each group of the VIN provides specific information about the vehicle, including its country of manufacturer, make and model, and the serial number.

13. Safety Standards

The safety standards found in a vehicle’s VIN include the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) administered by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in the United States, as well as the Canadian Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (CMVSS) administered by Transport Canada. Both the FMVSS and CMVSS contain requirements for the design, construction, performance, and durability of motor vehicles, as well as their equipment and components. The VIN also contains information regarding the vehicle’s compliance label, which certifies that the vehicle conforms to applicable federal laws in the United States. Finally, the VIN also includes information on the vehicle’s pre-clearance status with regard to the Appendix F and G Pre-clearance Programs, as well as the Case-by-Case Importation process.

14. Model Year

The model year of a vehicle’s VIN can be found in the last eight characters of the 17-character Vehicle Identification Number. The model year is usually the tenth character in the VIN sequence, and it usually indicates the year in which the vehicle was manufactured. The model year is then followed by a letter or number that indicates the exact month of the year in which the vehicle was made. The year is generally a four-digit number, however, some manufacturers may use a two-digit number. This information is provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) from the data submitted by the manufacturers to NHTSA. Knowing the model year can help you to determine the features and recalls associated with a specific vehicle, as well as its resale value.

15. Vin Checks

VIN checks are a way to verify the identity of a vehicle and to find out information about its history. VIN stands for Vehicle Identification Number, and it is a unique code that is assigned to each vehicle. This code can be used to obtain information such as the vehicle’s make, model, year, and other details. VIN checks can be used to determine whether a vehicle has been damaged in an accident, stolen, or salvaged. They can also be used to check for any recalls or safety issues associated with the vehicle. To perform a VIN check, you may use an approved provider or do an internet search for a provider. The approved providers will provide reports that meet federal requirements, and you may need to bring the original title and the vehicle to a municipal police department if the title is from another state or if the vehicle was registered in another state. VIN checks are an important step you can take to protect yourself when purchasing a used vehicle.

 

How to Find out if a Vehicle has Been used Commercially Using the VIN?

Step 1: Check the vehicle identification number

Checking the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) to find out if a vehicle has been used commercially can be done by following these steps:

Get the VIN of the vehicle you want to buy. The VIN is visible through the windshield on the driver side dashboard or printed on a sticker on the driver’s side door or door jamb.

Have your credit card available.

Select one of the approved providers. Prices vary, so you may want to shop the vendors before making a selection. Be sure to note what is offered for the price.

Follow the steps to obtain the report.

Check the VIN via the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System (NMVTIS), a national consumer protection database that provides title information from states across the country.

Enter the 17-character VIN into the provided field to look up and receive an instant report on its manufacturer, brand, make and model, body style, engine size, assembly plant, and model year.

Check the VIN report to see if the vehicle was used commercially. The report will provide information regarding the vehicle’s title, accident history, odometer readings, and more.

Step 2: Research the manufacturer’s vin code options

Step 1: Begin by obtaining the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) of the vehicle. The VIN is usually visible through the windshield on the driver side dashboard or printed on a sticker on the driver’s side door or door jamb.

Step 2: Visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) VIN Decoder at https://vpic.nhtsa.dot.gov/decoder/. Enter the full VIN into the field and click “Decode VIN”.

Step 3: Refer to the field at the bottom of the page result, which expressly lists the build plant and country for the searched vehicle.

Step 4: Research the manufacturer’s VIN code options. Depending on the manufacturer, this information can be found on their website. Some manufacturers may also have a VIN decoder available on their website to look up specific code details.

Step 5: After researching the VIN codes, you can determine if the vehicle has been used commercially. If the VIN includes codes such as “cab,” “chassis,” “taxi,” “fleet,” or any other code related to commercial use, then the vehicle was likely used commercially.

Step 3: Find out if a vehicle has been registered for commercial use

Step 1: Obtain a World Manufacturing Identifier (WMI) from the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE). This WMI will be embedded in the VIN for all manufactured commercial vehicles and will be used to identify your company as the manufacturer of record.

Step 2: Register with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Step 3: Request a physical inspection of the vehicle from the DMV prior to completing a vehicle registration application. This will be necessary for registration of a vehicle last registered out of state, reregistration of a previous “junk” or “salvage” vehicle, and registration of a specially constructed (SPCNS) motor vehicle or trailer.

Step 4: Submit a secure manufacturer’s certificate/statement of origin (MCO/MSO) for trailers that have never been registered and have not been modified, altered, or assembled from a kit.

Step 5: Submit the appropriate documentation (such as a CHP Certificate of Inspection form, REG 397 form, etc.) for the vehicle according to the DMV’s requirements.

Step 6: Have an authorized vehicle verifier or peace officer verify the vehicle’s VIN and emission label.

Step 7: If the federal safety label is missing or illegible, an alternate, accessible VIN must be located by a DMV employee.

Step 8: If the vehicle is an off-highway vehicle, the VIN must not have been altered.

Step 4: Search online for information about the vehicle’s verifications

Step 1: Get the vehicle’s VIN (Vehicle Identification Number). This can usually be found on the dashboard or door jamb of the vehicle.

Step 2: Have your credit card ready and select one of the approved providers listed below: Carsforsale.com, Carvertical.com, Checkthatvin.com, Clearvin.com, Cvrconnect.com, Titlecheck.us, Vinaudit.com, Vindatahistory.com, Vingurus.com, or Vinsmart.com.

Step 3: Follow the steps provided by the provider to obtain the report.

Step 4: The VIN will be run through the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System (NMVTIS) which provides title information from states across the country.

Step 5: The report from the NMVTIS database will give you the vehicle’s title history, including whether the vehicle was ever in the possession of a junk or salvage yard or declared a “total loss” by an insurance company.

Step 6: If you receive a letter from the Department of Motor Vehicles indicating that a title brand was applied to your title from another state, contact the state that reported the brand to verify the accuracy of the information and obtain a written statement. The statement should be issued by an official from the state and on that state’s official letterhead.

Step 5: Contact the previous owner to get details about the vehicle’s use

Para poder contactar al anterior dueño de un vehículo para conocer detalles acerca del uso del vehículo, siga estos pasos:

Obtenga el número de identificación del vehículo (VIN) del vehículo que desea comprar. Haga clic aquí para ver cómo encontrar el VIN.

Obtenga un informe de historial del vehículo por el número de identificación del vehículo (VIN) a través de uno de los proveedores aprobados por el Departamento de Justicia para proporcionar información del Sistema Nacional de Información sobre el Título del Vehículo (NMVTIS).

Revise el informe del historial del vehículo para obtener la información de la propiedad del vehículo, como el nombre y la dirección del anterior dueño del vehículo.

Póngase en contacto con el anterior dueño del vehículo para obtener detalles sobre el uso del vehículo. Puede llamar al anterior dueño, enviarle un correo electrónico o visitarlo si está cerca.

Step 6: Check the vehicle documents for verification details

Step 1: A verification of vehicle is always required for registration of a vehicle last registered out of state, reregistration of a previous “junk” or “salvage” vehicle, registration of a specially constructed (SPCNS) motor vehicle or trailer, a vehicle for which DMV does not have a record, recording an engine change, motorcycle engine case change, or change from engine number to vehicle identification number (VIN), or when the VIN shown on certificates is different from the VIN shown on record (including vehicles being junked).

Step 2: Authorized Vehicle Verifiers are DMV employees, peace officers including military police, employees of auto clubs that provide registration services, or persons licensed as vehicle verifiers by DMV.

Step 3: The verification of a vehicle is always completed on the Verification of Vehicle (REG 31) form unless an Application for Assigned Vehicle Identification Number Plate (REG 124) form is required.

Step 4: Verifications of incomplete or unassembled vehicles (parts) are not acceptable. For an electric motorcycle, the serial number on the electric motor will be used as the engine number.

Step 5: Emission label verification for nonresident vehicles may be completed by an authorized vehicle verifier or peace officer.

Step 6: The federal safety label is used as a second source of public VIN verification. When missing or illegible, an alternate, accessible VIN must be located by a DMV employee.

Step 7: All descriptive information requested on the form must be physically inspected and completed, except axles (completed only for commercial vehicles and trailers other than camp trailers or trailer coaches), estimated weight (completed only for trailers other than camp trailers or trailer coaches), and length/width (completed only for camp trailers, trailer coaches, and motor homes).

Step 7: Contact the law enforcement agency that last registered the vehicle

Step 1: Contact the law enforcement agency in the state where the vehicle was last registered.

Step 2: Ask the law enforcement agency if they have any records that indicate whether the vehicle was used commercially.

Step 3: Provide them with the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) of the vehicle.

Step 4: Ask the law enforcement agency if they can provide you with a Vehicle Verification Certificate.

Step 5: If you receive the Vehicle Verification Certificate, you will need to have a peace officer, DMV employee, or persons licensed as a vehicle verifier by the DMV to conduct a verification of the vehicle.

Step 6: Take the vehicle and its title to the police department, DMV, or auto club to have the vehicle inspected.

Step 7: After the inspection is complete, the inspector will provide you with a completed verification form.

Step 8: Submit the verification form to the DMV when applying to register the vehicle in your state.

Step 8: Search online for recommendation lists for different types of vehicles

Searching for recommendation lists for different types of vehicles can be done online. To get started, follow these steps:

Go to a website like Edmunds.com, Kelley Blue Book, or National Automobile Dealers Association Guides and search for the type of vehicle you are interested in.

Compare the features and prices of the different options that appeal to you.

Check the title of the vehicle with an approved provider like VinGurus, VinAudit, or VinSmart to ensure the car you are considering is not salvaged, rebuilt, or damaged in a flood.

Read reviews and ratings from other customers and experts to get an idea of the vehicle’s performance.

Once you have determined the best vehicle for your needs, contact the seller or dealer to arrange a test drive.

Step 9: Verify eligibility requirements for vehicles used as commercial vehicles

In order to use a vehicle as a commercial vehicle, it must meet certain eligibility requirements. DMV may require a physical inspection of the vehicle (verification of vehicle) prior to completing a vehicle registration application. This is always required for registration of a vehicle last registered out of state, reregistration of a previous “junk” or “salvage” vehicle, registration of a specially constructed (SPCNS) motor vehicle or trailer, a vehicle for which DMV does not have a record, recording an engine change, motorcycle engine case change, or change from engine number to vehicle identification number (VIN), and assignment of an identifying VIN number by DMV.

Verifications of incomplete or unassembled vehicles (parts) are not acceptable. For an electric motorcycle, the serial number on the electric motor will be used as the engine number. Emission label verification for nonresident vehicles may be completed by an authorized vehicle verifier or peace officer, and the federal safety label is used as a second source of public VIN verification.

Authorized vehicle verifiers include DMV employees, peace officers, employees of auto clubs that provide registration services, and persons licensed as vehicle verifiers by DMV. In addition, a new trailer purchased in another state and eligible for registration under the permanent trailer identification (PTI) program, a new commercial vehicle purchased in another state, and off-highway vehicles may not have to meet the verification requirements. All descriptive information on the REG 31 form must be physically inspected and completed, except for axles, estimated weight and length/width, which must only be completed for commercial vehicles and trailers other than camp trailers or trailer coaches.

Step 10: Get involved with local government policies related to vehicle verifications

Getting involved with local government policies related to vehicle verifications can help determine if a vehicle has been used commercially by providing an avenue to verify the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). By requiring a VIN check before registering vehicles with model years of 2001 or newer that come from out of state, local government policies can help ensure that all vehicles are legal, operational and meet all Connecticut laws and regulations. This in turn can help determine if a vehicle has been used commercially as it can provide a more thorough inspection of the vehicle. Furthermore, getting involved with local government policies can provide resources such as the link to local Police Departments with their hours, locations and fees which can be beneficial in getting the VIN verification done.