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How Do I Check If a Vin is Valid? The [Best] Free VIN History and VIN Check Reports

What is a VIN?

A Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) is like a car’s social security number combined with a thumbprint. It is a unique, 17-digit code used to identify a vehicle and keep track of its history, such as country of origin, make and model, features, recalls, registrations, warranty claims, thefts, and insurance coverage. The numerals and letters that comprise the VIN are assigned specific meaning that references the car’s details. A VIN is essential for doing a VIN number lookup to ensure that you are not buying a lemon or being mislead by the seller. Through a VIN lookup, buyers can get a free vehicle history report, which includes vehicle specifications, fuel efficiency, safety rating, inspection checklist, recalls and defects, and auto insurance information.

 

What are the Benefits of Checking the VIN history?

1. You can verify the make, model, year and trim of the car

Checking a VIN history can help you verify the make, model, year, and trim of a car by providing detailed information about the car’s specifications, title brands, recalls, and even if the vehicle has been reported stolen. Knowing this information is essential for any buyers looking to make a sound purchase decision. A VIN check can tell you the car’s registration(s) by state, type of title, and if anyone has made an insurance claim on the vehicle following an accident. This can also provide information about the car’s production date, engine type, and where it was manufactured. Knowing these details can help buyers decide if the car is worth the cost and ensure they are getting what they are expecting out of their purchase.

2. You can verify if there are any outstanding liens or salvage titles

Checking the VIN history of a used vehicle can help verify if there are any outstanding liens or salvage titles. Here are the steps to verify a VIN history:

Get the vehicle’s VIN number. It can usually be found on the dashboard near the windshield or on the vehicle’s registration papers.

Have your credit card available.

Select one of the approved providers listed below, such as Experian, Carfax, Carsforsale.com, or Vingurus.

Follow the steps to obtain the report.

The VIN will be run through the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System (NMVTIS). The report from the NMVTIS database will tell 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.

Review the report. This will help you verify if there are any outstanding liens or salvage titles.

By following these steps, you can easily verify the VIN history of a used vehicle and find out if there are any outstanding liens or salvage titles.

3. You can verify if there have been any safety recalls or odometer discrepancies

Checking the VIN history of a used car can help a buyer to understand potential safety issues and odometer discrepancies. By running a VIN check, a buyer can get access to information about the car’s history such as reported accidents, frame or structural damage, total loss accident history, ownership history, service history, open recalls, vehicle usage, title information, odometer rollbacks, flood damage, and airbag safety. This data can help uncover potential safety issues and help a buyer decide if the car is right for them. Additionally, the odometer reading can be reported as either true or not true, giving buyers an extra layer of protection against odometer fraud and discrepancies. When looking for a used car, researching the VIN history should be a critical step in the buying process.

4. You can verify the mileage of the car

Checking the VIN history can help you verify the mileage of a car by uncovering the car’s true odometer reading, as well as any discrepancies between the reported mileage and the car’s true mileage. Additionally, checking the VIN history can also reveal any accidents, damage, defects, or recalls that the car has experienced, which can help you determine the car’s overall condition. This can be especially helpful when buying a used car, as it can help you make an informed decision about whether or not to purchase the vehicle.

5. You can verify the service history of the vehicle

Checking the VIN history of a vehicle can help with vehicle maintenance by providing detailed information about the vehicle’s history and the current condition of the car. This information includes title history, maintenance and repair records, vehicle specifications, equipment details, market value, fuel efficiency, and safety rating. Additionally, it can provide information on any recalls or defects that may be associated with the car. This can help buyers make an informed decision when purchasing a used vehicle, and can also help sellers prove that their vehicle is worth the asking price. Furthermore, having access to the vehicle’s history can help owners stay up to date on any upcoming services or maintenance needs, as well as any open recalls.

6. You can confirm if the vehicle has been in any accidents or has suffered flood damage

Checking the VIN history of a vehicle can be immensely helpful for vehicle safety. A basic VIN check can provide a potential buyer information on the vehicle’s history, including any accidents or damage caused by natural disasters like floods. More advanced VIN checks can reveal inspection records, safety ratings, warranty information, vehicle registration and DMV information, and title information like salvage or junk titles. This information can help potential buyers uncover any potential safety issues with the vehicle and ultimately decide if it’s the right car for them. It can also provide grounds for price negotiation and help buyers avoid purchasing vehicles with flood or fire damage.

7. You can verify if there are any open recalls on the vehicle

When checking the VIN history of a potential car, it can help with recalls by providing a comprehensive overview of the car’s current condition, past issues, vehicle specifications, and equipment details – all of which can help identify potential safety issues and detect any manufacturer recalls. Additionally, a National Motor Vehicle Title Information System (NMVTIS) report can verify whether the information on the title is correct and whether the car has ever been reported as salvage or junk. This kind of information can be invaluable in making an informed decision when buying a used car.

8. You can verify the vehicle’s autocheck and cartech checks results

Checking the VIN history can help with autocheck and cartech checks by providing a comprehensive overview of the vehicle’s history. This data is pulled from several industry and government sources, including the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System (NMVTIS). It will include information on the car’s current condition, past issues, vehicle specifications, equipment details, market value, fuel efficiency, and safety rating. Additionally, the VIN history can provide information on recalls and defects, as well as whether the information on the title is correct. This can help to determine if the vehicle has had major repairs that were not reported to an insurance company, or if any hail damage or rolled-back odometers have occurred. The VIN check can also provide details on the vehicle’s past owners, where it was originally sold, and if it has seen service as a government or police vehicle. Ultimately, checking the VIN history can provide a deeper level of assurance when purchasing a used car, as it can help to identify potential issues that a free VIN check might miss.

9. You can verify the vehicle’s manufacturer specifications

Checking the VIN history of a vehicle can help verify the vehicle’s manufacturer specifications by providing a detailed overview of the car’s current condition, past issues, vehicle specifications, equipment details, and other important information related to the vehicle. This data is pulled from a number of industry and government sources, and is verified against the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System to ensure the information is accurate. The VIN also helps detect invalid VINs based on a mathematical formula developed by the U.S. Department of Transportation. All of this data can give the buyer a comprehensive overview of the car’s condition and history and help them make an informed decision.

10. You can verify the accuracy and comprehensiveness of the reports

Checking the VIN history of a vehicle is essential to ensure the accuracy and comprehensiveness of reports. By running a VIN check, you can access important information such as reported accidents, frame or structural damage, total loss accident history, ownership history, service history, title information, odometer rollbacks, flood damage, airbag safety and vehicle usage. This information can help you uncover potential safety issues and ultimately help you decide if a car you’re considering is right for you. Additionally, it is a good idea to use a trusted provider such as CarFax or autoDNA to obtain a VIN report to get up-to-date data, as these services have access to databases that store billions of records from over 20 different countries.

 

How do You Check if a Vehicle’s VIN is Valid?

Step 1: Look for the VIN

To find the VIN of a vehicle, you can stand outside the vehicle on the driver’s side and look at the corner of the dashboard where it meets the windshield. You can also open the driver’s side door and look at the door post, where the VIN may be displayed. Additionally, the VIN can be found on the vehicle’s title, insurance documents, and proof of registration. To verify the VIN, you can use Vehiclehistory.com, where you can enter the VIN in the search box in the middle of the page. If your car was manufactured after 1980, the VIN should be 17 digits long and will never contain the letters I, O, or Q. After entering the VIN, you will be able to view the year, make, model, style, and country of assembly for your VIN, as well as the number of vehicle history records available for it.

Step 2: Start the VIN search

How do you start a VIN search? [Step-by-Step Instructions]

Go to VehicleHistory.com and enter the VIN in the search box in the middle of the page.

Get your report. Once you’ve entered the VIN, you may view the report.

Navigate to a VIN look-up page. Popular examples include CarFax, DMV.org and AutoCheck.

Write down the VIN. Using a Pen and Paper, record the VIN that you want to check. You can also use a camera or smartphone to take a picture of your VIN to refer to, later on.

Step 3: Get VIN report

How do you get a VIN report? [Step-by-Step Instructions]

Step 1: Go to VehicleHistory.com. Use your browser to navigate to Vehiclehistory.com.

Step 2: Enter the VIN in the search box in the middle of the page. If your car was manufactured after 1980, your VIN should be 17 digits long. It will never contain the letters I, O, or Q, so as to avoid confusion with the numbers 1 and 0.

Step 3: Get your report. Once you’ve entered the VIN, you may view the report.

Method 5: Write down the VIN. Using a Pen and Paper, record the VIN that you want to check. You can also use a camera or smartphone to take a picture of your VIN to refer to, later on.

Step 4: Inspect the VIN location label

Inspecting the VIN location label on a vehicle is an important step in verifying the vehicle history, so it is important to know where to look for it. To start, it is important to know that the VIN is physically etched into the car or truck, and can be located in several different places depending on the model.

First, check the bottom of the driver’s side window, as well as the driver’s side door jamb. The VIN may also be listed on the vehicle’s title, insurance documents, and proof of registration. To view the VIN, stand outside the vehicle and check the driver’s side dashboard. You can also open the driver door and look for a sticker on the door jamb. If the automaker has stamped the VIN somewhere unusual, you can usually find out where it is by checking the owner’s manual.

Finally, use a free VIN check online to verify the information. Go to VehicleHistory.com and enter the VIN in the check box under “Run an AutoCheck ® vehicle history report.” Enter the VIN and click “Check VIN” to view the year, make, model, style, and country of assembly for the vehicle. Additionally, you can view a full vehicle history report by choosing one of the report options and filling out your information to purchase the package you want.

Step 5: Inspect the vehicle identification number (VIN) plate

Inspecting a vehicle’s VIN plate to check if the VIN is valid is an important step in ensuring the legitimacy of a vehicle. A VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) is a unique set of 17 characters (digits and capital letters) that is used to identify a specific vehicle. It is important to verify the VIN of a vehicle prior to purchase to make sure it is legitimate and that its history is accurate. Here are the steps to take to inspect a vehicle’s VIN plate to check if a vehicle’s VIN is valid:

Stand outside the vehicle and check the driver’s side dashboard. Look for a small plate or sticker with a barcode above the series of numbers and letters.

Open the driver’s side door and look for a sticker on the door jamb.

Check the title and insurance documents for the VIN.

If the automaker stamped the VIN somewhere strange, you can usually find out where it is by checking the owner’s manual.

Once you have the VIN, you can run a free VIN check by entering the VIN in the VIN check box below under “Run an AutoCheck ® vehicle history report.”

Above the order form, you will be able to view the year, make, model, style and country of assembly for your VIN. In addition, you will also be told how many vehicle history records there are for this vehicle.

To view a full vehicle history report, choose one of the report options and fill out your information to purchase the package you want.

By following these steps, you can easily inspect a vehicle’s VIN plate to check if a vehicle’s VIN is valid and learn more about its history before making a purchase.

Step 6: Compare the VIN with records in other vehicles

Step 1: Locate the VIN of the car in question. You can find the VIN in the insurance card, on a metal strip on the dashboard, on the driver’s side door or on the car’s title and registration.

Step 2: Open a VIN lookup page. Popular examples include CarFax, DMV.org and AutoCheck.

Step 3: Enter the VIN into the search box and hit “Continue” to launch the database search.

Step 4: Check the results of the VIN lookup to compare the vehicle’s VIN with records in other vehicles and verify its validity.

Step 5: If desired, investigate further by obtaining a Vehicle History Report to learn more information about the vehicle’s past records, such as theft and fraud records and potentially recalled vehicles.

Step 7: Analyze possible issues with the VIN

When analyzing a Vehicle Identification Number (VIN), it is important to verify that it is valid before performing any further research. To do this, go to the DMV website and enter the VIN. If you get a message indicating that the VIN is invalid or you’ve incorrectly entered it, re-enter it to ensure that you didn’t make a typing error. If the message keeps appearing, it is likely that the VIN has been tampered with and isn’t valid. Be sure to double check the VIN and replace any letters with numbers (ie. O, I, and Q with 0, 1, and 9 respectively) to ensure it is correct.

Once you have a valid VIN, there are other research items to be aware of before making a purchase. It is important to check the vehicle specifications, fuel economy, and pricing details, as well as the VIN for theft and fraud records, and any potentially recalled vehicles. You may be able to get a Vehicle History Report for free or by other means. Additionally, it is wise to ask for service records for the vehicle and to have a mechanic look it over for any potential problems.

Step 8: Verify that the VIN is 17 characters long

A 17-character VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) is the standard used by most cars manufactured after 1981. This VIN is used to uniquely identify a single vehicle and contains a combination of letters and numbers. To verify a 17-character VIN, you must first make sure that you have the correct VIN and that it is less than 17 characters. After verifying that it is a 17-character VIN, you can use a service such as AutoCheck to get detailed information about the car. The first character of the VIN indicates the country of origin, the second and third characters tell you the manufacturer and division, the fourth through eighth characters indicate vehicle description, safety and type of engine, the ninth character is the manufacturer’s security code, the tenth character tells you the vehicle’s model year, the 11th character is the assembly plant identifier and characters 12 through 17 are the plant sequential number/vehicle serial number.

Step 9: Check for valid signatures on the vehicle history reports

To check for valid signatures on vehicle history reports, it is important to first purchase a comprehensive vehicle history service report from a trusted company, such as VehicleHistory.com. This report will provide you with a comprehensive overview of the car’s current condition, past issues, vehicle specifications, and other important data. Additionally, you can use the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System (NMVTIS) report to verify the accuracy of the vehicle’s title.

When examining the vehicle history report, it is important to pay special attention to the ninth character or check digit which is used to detect invalid VINs. To ensure that your report is valid and up to date, you should also consider running a VIN check on the vehicle in question. Finally, it is advised that a reputable mechanic inspects the car before making a purchase.

Step 10: Consider alternative methods of verifying a valid Vin

Alternative methods of verifying a valid VIN include asking the seller of the vehicle to supply a VIN check and running a VIN look-up online. To run a VIN look-up online, start by navigating to a VIN look-up page such as CarFax, DMV.org, or AutoCheck. Then, enter the VIN and consider the next page. If you get a message indicating that you’ve incorrectly entered the VIN or that the VIN is invalid, reenter it to ensure you didn’t make a typing error. If the message keeps reappearing, you likely have an invalid VIN, meaning that it has been tampered with.

If the VIN is valid, you’ll receive a message that a VIN report is available. You can also calculate the check digit of the VIN to ensure its validity. To do so, remove all of the letters from the VIN by transliterating them with their numeric counterparts and then multiply this new number with the assigned weight. Sum the resulting products and modulus the sum of the products by 11, to find the remainder. If the remainder is 10 replace it with X. Finally, compare the old value of the check-bit with the new to ensure the VIN’s validity.

 

What are the Best Free VIN History and Vehicle Title Report Options?

1. Step 1: Find the VIN

To find the VIN for a vehicle or motorcycle, you will need to stand outside the vehicle and check the driver’s side dashboard. Alternatively, you can open the driver door and look for a sticker on the door jamb. Additionally, the VIN is also written on the vehicle’s title, insurance documents, and proof of registration. If the automaker has stamped the VIN somewhere unusual, you can usually find out where it is by consulting the owner’s manual. The VIN can also be found by looking at the dashboard on the driver’s side of the vehicle.

2. Start the VIN search

How do you start a VIN search? [Step-by-step instructions]

Step 1: Go to VehicleHistory.com and enter the VIN in the search box in the middle of the page. If your car was manufactured after 1980, your VIN should be 17 digits long.

Step 2: Get your report. Once you’ve entered the VIN, you may view the report.

Step 3: If you are unable to secure a vehicle history report, you can use VinCheck.info to access vehicle information collated from trusted sources. Look up vehicle records by VIN, any model or make, across 50 states in a minute or less.

3. Find the VIN

Step 1: Locate the VIN of the car whose history you wish to search. If the person selling the car cannot provide it, you should be able to find it in many locations, including but not limited to the insurance card, on a metal strip on the dashboard, on the driver’s side door or on the car’s title and registration.

Step 2: Stand outside the vehicle and check the driver’s side dashboard. Alternatively, open the driver door and look for a sticker on the door jamb. You may also find the VIN written on the vehicle’s title, insurance documents, and proof of registration. If the automaker stamped the VIN somewhere odd, you can usually learn where it is by checking the owner’s manual.

Step 3: Look for the VIN in other locations such as the insurance card, vehicle title and registration, and the bottom of the driver’s side window.

Step 4: Obtain a free VIN check by entering it in the VIN check box beneath “Run an AutoCheck ® vehicle history report”. Enter the VIN in the space provided and click “Check VIN”.

Step 5: Navigate to a VIN look-up page such as CarFax, DMV.org, or AutoCheck. Enter the VIN into the search box, and hit “Continue” to launch the database search.

Step 6: Use your browser to navigate to VehicleHistory.com.

4. Enter the VIN

Step 1: Search for an entry box where a VIN code can be entered. For cars manufactured since 1981, valid VINs are 17 characters long, and they contain only letters and numbers; cars produced before that date may have slight variations in VIN coding, depending on the car’s manufacturer.

Step 2: Enter the VIN into the search box and hit “Continue” to launch the database search.

Step 3: Consider the next page. If you get a message indicating that you’ve incorrectly entered the VIN or that the VIN is invalid, reenter it to ensure you didn’t make a typing error. If the message keeps reappearing, you likely have an invalid VIN, meaning that it has been tampered with.

Step 4: If the VIN is valid, you’ll receive a message that a VIN report is available.

Step 5: Go to the website where you can obtain a free VIN check and enter your VIN in the space provided and click “Check VIN”.

Step 6: Above the order form, you will be able to view the year, make, model, style and country of assembly for your VIN. In addition, you will also be told how many vehicle history records there are for this vehicle.

Step 7: To view a full vehicle history report, choose one of the report options and fill out your information to purchase the package you want.

5. Select the model

Open any web browser and locate a VIN decoder tool.

Enter the VIN into the search box and hit “Continue” to launch the database search.

The 11th character identifies the manufacturing plant where the vehicle was assembled and characters 4 through 8 are the Vehicle Descriptor Section (VDS).

Use the VDS information from Step 3 to identify the vehicle brand, model, body style, engine type, transmission, and more.

Once the vehicle information is identified, use it to select the correct model for the vehicle in the VIN history report and vehicle title report.

6. Select the year of manufacture

Step 1: Go to NHTSA’s VIN Decoder (https://vpic.nhtsa.dot.gov/decoder/) and enter the full VIN into the search box, then click Decode VIN.

Step 2: Refer to the field at the bottom of the page result, which explicitly lists the build plant and country for the searched vehicle.

Step 3: The tenth character in the VIN indicates the car’s model year. Consult the VIN year chart to determine the model year of the vehicle. Certain letters and numbers are not used, as they can be confused with others.

Step 4: Consult a local dealer or the manufacturer’s website for further details about pre-1981 automobiles.

Step 5: Once you know the vehicle’s model year, you can select it for your free VIN history and vehicle title report.

7. Select the transmission type

Step 1: Enter the VIN into the search box of the VIN Decoder tool.

Step 2: Hit the “Continue” button to launch the database search.

Step 3: The Vehicle Descriptor Section (VDS) is displayed which includes the vehicle brand, model, body style, engine type, and transmission type.

Step 4: The 11th character in the VIN identifies the manufacturing plant where the vehicle was assembled.

Step 5: The Vehicle Identifier Section (VIS) is displayed which includes characters 10 through 17 which make up the unique serial number for the vehicle.

Step 6: Use transliteration to remove all of the letters and substitute them with the numerical counterparts found in the provided chart. Note that the letters I, O and Q are not allowed and cannot exist in a valid VIN.

Step 7: Check for left-alignment linearity.

Step 8: After entering the VIN and completing the above steps, a free VIN history and vehicle title report can be selected which includes the transmission type.

8. Select the color

Step 1: Open any web browser and navigate to the VINCheck website.

Step 2: Sign up with either Google, Facebook, or Email and Password.

Step 3: Select the “Look Up with Photo” option and choose the file you would like to upload.

Step 4: Enter the VIN into the search box, then hit the “Continue” button to launch the database search.

Step 5: If you are not seeing the camera icon next to the “Enter VIN” field, try clearing your browser’s cache.

Step 6: Once the search results are returned, you will be able to select the color of the free VIN history and vehicle title report.

9. Check the odometer reading

Step 1: Obtain the VIN from the vehicle. The VIN can typically be found on the driver’s side dashboard, the door jamb, the vehicle’s title, insurance documents, and proof of registration. Make sure the VIN is 17-digits long and contains no letters such as O, I, and Q, or o, i and q.

Step 2: Calculate the weight factor for each position in the VIN. The 9th position is that of the check digit, but you can substitute it with a 0, which will cancel it out in the multiplication step.

Step 3: Use a free VIN history and vehicle title report service to verify the odometer reading.

Step 4: Research the vehicle before making a purchase. Do a VIN check, license search, and compare the odometer reading to the one reported on the car’s title and other documents.

Step 5: Make sure the odometer reading is accurate to ensure the car has not been driven excessively.

10. Get the report

Step 1: Go to VehicleHistory.com. Use your browser to navigate to Vehiclehistory.com.

Step 2: Purchase a CARFAX Report. Enter your credit card information to pay for a report. You should see a page with a message such as “Get Report” or “Get the CarFax.” On the following page, enter your credit card information. In 2010, reports typically cost about $20.

Step 3: Receive the report. A standard report from Vehicle History will be several pages long, and will cover all the critical details on a used car. This data will be pulled from a number of industry and government sources in order to give the reader a comprehensive overview of the car’s current condition, past issues, vehicle specifications, equipment details, and even things like market value, fuel efficiency, and safety rating. Most importantly, where safety is concerned, you’re getting the inspection checklist, auto insurance information, and all the data you need on recalls and defects. All that, and the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System (NMVTIS) report, which will verify whether the information on the title is correct.

Step 4: Do a VIN lookup. After seeing the report at the dealership, go home and try a VIN lookup site to make sure the information on the report you received is valid.