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How to Check if a VIN is Valid? Ways to Get a Free VIN Check for a Used Car

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What is the VIN Number?

A Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) is a unique, 17-character code given to each car sold in the United States. It acts as a fingerprint for the car and provides information about the vehicle’s make, model, features, specifications, and manufacturer. The VIN can also be used to track recalls, registrations, warranty claims, thefts, and insurance coverage. It is found on the dashboard at the base of the windshield, on the driver’s door jamb sticker, engine, frame inside the hood, and in the trunk near where the spare tire is stored. To understand what a VIN means, a VIN decoder is needed. VINs are helpful in identifying a car’s history and making sure buyers are not misled by the seller and sold a lemon.

 

What to Consider When Checking the VIN of a Used Car

1. Vin Check: Accuracy and Completeness

A VIN check is an essential part of the car buying process, as it provides buyers with a wealth of information regarding a car’s history. Through a basic VIN check, buyers can uncover information such as if the car has ever been involved in an accident or flood, if it was ever stolen, or if it has a salvaged or branded title. More advanced VIN checks can provide additional insight into the car’s inspection records, safety ratings, warranty information, and vehicle registration and DMV records.

Overall, a VIN check is a reliable tool for used car buyers as it provides comprehensive information about the vehicle’s past, giving buyers the ability to make a more informed decision about their purchase. It is important to note, however, that a VIN check is only as accurate and complete as the data provided. Due to this, buyers should look for additional ways to research the car, such as verifying the VIN with the seller and double-checking for any recalls on the vehicle. By doing this, buyers can be sure that the car they are purchasing is safe, reliable, and worth their money.

2. Vin Check: Time Taken

How long does it take to check the VIN of a used car? [Step-by-step instructions]

Step 1: 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 2: Open up your web browser to the VINChecker.net website. Enter your VIN number and press the Check Your VIN button.

Step 3: View the Vehicle Specifications. Receive information about the vehicle such as options, fuel efficiency, NHTSA and IIHS crash test ratings, and other specifications.

Step 4: Check the VinCheck.info website. VinCheck.info offers free access to vehicle information collated from trusted sources. Look up vehicle records by VIN, any model or make, across 50 states in a minute or less.

Step 5: Do additional research. To make sure buyers make sound decisions, research items such as the car’s history, service records, and accident reports.

The time it takes for a VIN check of a used car varies depending on the source of the information and the type of information requested. Generally, a basic VIN check can be completed in a minute or less using VINChecker.net. More in-depth VIN searches, such as those provided by VinCheck.info, may take slightly longer depending on the number of records that need to be searched.

3. Vin Check: Cost

Checking the VIN of a used car can be relatively inexpensive if you use one of the trusted sources, such as Carfax, Edmunds, AutoCheck, or Gapless. While free VIN checks can provide basic information, such as whether the car has a salvage title, paid VIN checks can provide more detailed information, such as the number of owners the car has had, its history of recalls, thefts, or crashes, where it was originally sold, and states in which it was previously registered. The cost of a paid VIN check can range from $30 to as much as $50, depending on the provider and the services you opt for. Therefore, spending a little bit of money on VIN checks can save you a bundle on repairs down the line and help you make a sound decision when buying a used car.

4. Vin Check: Methods Used

What methods are used for checking the VIN of a used car? [Step-by-step instructions]

Step 1: Write down the VIN.

Step 2: Ask the seller of the vehicle to supply a VIN check. Sometimes, sellers will do potential buyers a favor by paying for it themselves, saving the PDF or printout, and sending a copy over to would-be buyers. Always keep your eyes and ears open and be cautious, since sellers could doctor the VIN Check and try to mislead you.

Step 3: Shell out a little bit of money from a trusted VIN check provider. This obviously isn’t free, but — as noted above — very few options truly are free. Carfax, Edmunds, AutoCheck, and Gapless are all reliable sources to obtain a VIN check.

Step 4: Find out how to verify your VIN at the DMV. A VIN check is especially helpful when buying a used car since the VIN can provide a vehicle history report with details about the car’s accidents and damage during its lifespan.

5. Vin Check: Availability

The availability of a VIN check is important when checking a used car’s VIN because it provides a wealth of important information that would not be visible when simply looking at the car or even test driving it. A VIN check can tell a potential buyer about any previous damage or accidents, whether it was ever totaled, if it was ever involved in a flood or fire, or if it was stolen and recovered. Additionally, more advanced VIN checks can provide vehicle inspection records, safety ratings, warranty information, and vehicle registration and DMV information. This comprehensive information is necessary when considering a used car purchase and can help buyers make an informed decision or provide them with grounds to negotiate a lower price.

6. Vin Check: Service Availability

When checking the VIN of a used car, service availability is an important consideration. VIN checks provide comprehensive vehicle history, market value, and car title information, and there are several options available to access this information. VinCheck.info offers access to vehicle information collated from trusted sources and a basic VIN check can tell potential buyers about previous accidents and damage, whether the car was ever totaled, stolen or salvaged, and more. More advanced VIN checks can provide additional information, such as vehicle inspection records and warranty information.

Alternatively, sites like CarFax, DMV.org, and AutoCheck offer free access to paid services, while the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), VehicleHistory.com, and iSeeCars.com/VIN offer free VIN checks. However, it is recommended to use more than one of these sites to get the full picture of the car’s history and details. Ultimately, doing research and running a VIN check before purchasing a used car can save a buyer from making a potentially costly mistake.

7. Vin Check: Quality of Results

When researching a used car, a VIN check is an essential step in the process. By checking the VIN of a car, a buyer can get a detailed look at its history, including any accidents, damage, theft, or salvage information. With this information, a potential buyer is able to make informed decisions and purchase a vehicle with confidence.

The quality of results when checking a car’s VIN depends on the service used. When looking for a reliable and accurate VIN check, it is important to find a service that provides comprehensive and up-to-date information. VinCheck.info and iSeeCars are two free services that offer detailed results, including price analysis, price history, projected depreciation, and the best times to buy and sell.

In addition, it’s important to make sure that the results match across all services used. If there’s no match, this could be a potential sign of VIN forgery, which should be investigated further. By taking the time to look up the VIN of a used car, buyers are able to make an informed decision and avoid making any costly mistakes.

8. Vin Check: Customer Service

When evaluating customer service for a car’s VIN check, it is important to compare and contrast the features, benefits, and costs of the service. For example, consider the type of information provided by a VIN check, such as whether the car has been in an accident or suffered any damage, if the car has been stolen or salvaged, and whether there are any outstanding recalls. Additionally, evaluate the cost of the service, as well as the accuracy and reliability of the results, and the user-friendliness of the website or application. Finally, consider the customer service support available if any questions or issues arise. By comparing and contrasting these factors, consumers can make an informed decision and find the best VIN check service for their needs.

9. Vin Check: Security Features

When checking the VIN of a used car, it’s important to consider a variety of security features. A basic VIN check can tell a potential buyer important information such as whether the car was ever totaled in an accident, if it was ever involved in a flood or fire, if it was ever stolen and recovered, and if it has a salvaged or branded title. More advanced VIN checks can provide additional information, such as vehicle inspection records, safety ratings, warranty information, and vehicle registration and DMV information. All of this information is valuable when buying a car and can help buyers make sound decisions. Additionally, Carfax has VIN lookup tools that can provide consumers with quick, free VIN checks for common safety issues, such as open recalls, flood damage, odometer fraud, and airbag issues.

10. Vin Check: Tips and Tricks

What tips and tricks can be used to check the VIN of a used car? [Step-by-Step Instructions]

Step 1: 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 2: Visit VINChecker.net. Enter your VIN number and press the “Check Your VIN” button.

Step 3: Review the Vehicle Specifications. Receive information about the vehicle such as options, fuel efficiency, NHTSA and IIHS crash test ratings, and other specifications.

Step 4: Visit VinCheck.info. This website offers free access to vehicle information collated from trusted sources.

Step 5: Look up Vehicle Records. Look up vehicle records by VIN, any model or make, across 50 states in a minute or less.

11. Vin Check: Verification and Confirmation

12. Vin Check: Use in Vehicle Identification

The purpose of a vehicle identification check (VIN check) for a used car is to verify the car’s details, such as make, model, year, and other specifications. A VIN check also provides information about the car’s title, such as whether it has been reported stolen, or if it is subject to any recalls or has a lien on it. A VIN check is also important for insurance purposes and can help ensure that the car has not been tampered with in any way. The VIN is a unique 17-digit string of numbers and letters, usually found on the driver’s side dashboard. This number can also be found on the car’s title and registration documents. To perform a VIN check, you will need to enter the VIN into an online database or visit your local DMV office.

13. Vin Check: Identification of Manufacturers

The Vin Check helps identify the manufacturers of a used car by decoding the 17-character Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). Each character in the VIN allows for a different type of information to be discovered. The first character indicates the country of origin, the second and third characters indicate the manufacturer and division, and the fourth through eighth characters indicate vehicle description, safety and engine type. The ninth character is the manufacturer’s security code, the tenth character is the model year, and the eleventh character is the assembly plant identifier. The last six characters are the plant sequential number/vehicle serial number. Through the Vin Check, car buyers can use this information to look up the make, model, year, and other details of the used car they are considering.

14. Vin Check: Identification of Model Years

Step 1: Find the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) of the car you are wanting to check. The VIN is a 17-digit string of numbers and letters that is usually located on the dashboard near the windshield on the driver’s side of the vehicle.

Step 2: Look at the tenth digit of the VIN. This will indicate the car’s model year. To determine the model year, reference the VIN Year Chart. Each letter represents a different model year.

Step 3: Use VinCheck.info to look up the VIN and access vehicle information. With VinCheck.info you can look up vehicle records by VIN, any model or make, across 50 states in a minute or less.

Step 4: If the title is from another state or the vehicle was registered in another state, and the model year of the vehicle is 2001 or newer, a Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) check is required before you register the car.

Step 5: Take the title and vehicle to your local police department for verification. Please note that the title must be presented along with the vehicle at the time of the VIN check. If you own the vehicle, bring the original title. If there is a lien on the vehicle, bring a copy of the title.

15. Vin Check: Identification of Body Types

The body type of a car is an important factor when it comes to checking the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) of a used car. There are a number of different body types that can be identified based on the VIN. These body types include sedan, coupe, convertible, hatchback, wagon, minivan, SUV, and pickup.

Sedans are four-door cars typically with a trunk and a separate engine compartment. Coupes are two-door cars with a sloped roofline and a separate engine compartment. Convertibles have a retractable roof that can be folded down for open-air driving. Hatchbacks have a rear hatch that opens up for cargo storage. Wagons are similar to hatchbacks but are usually longer and have a raised roof. Minivans are similar to sedans, but have a higher roof and cargo space. SUVs have a truck-like body with a raised roof and larger cargo capacity. Pickups have a cab and an open cargo bed in the back.

By looking at the VIN of a used car, you can determine the body type of the vehicle and use that information to make sure that you are getting the car that you want.

16. Vin Check: Identification of Engine Displacements

The identification of engine displacements can help with the checking of a used car’s VIN by allowing service centers to accurately identify the exact model and make of vehicle from the Vehicle Descriptor Section (VDS) of the VIN. This information can then be used to determine the car’s features, specifications and manufacturer, as well as any recalls, registrations, warranty claims, thefts and insurance coverage associated with the VIN. By providing an accurate description of the car’s engine, the VIN can be verified and any potential issues with a used car can be investigated.

17. Vin Check: Identification of Trims

Step 1: Locate the VIN of the used car. It will be a 17-character combination of numbers and letters. It can usually be found on the driver’s side dashboard, the door jamb, the vehicle title, insurance documents, and proof of registration. If the automaker stamped the VIN somewhere weird, you can usually find out where it is by checking the owner’s manual.

Step 2: Understand the meaning of the VIN. The first character 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 10th character tells you the vehicle’s model year, and the 11th character is the assembly plant identifier.

Step 3: Use a VIN decoder tool to identify the trim of the used car. This can be done by entering the VIN into an online VIN decoder, which will provide information about the vehicle, including the trim.

18. Vin Check: Identification of Paint Colors

Step-by-step instructions on how to identify the paint colors of a used car using the VIN:

Locate the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) of your car. You will find the VIN from outside the vehicle by looking at the dashboard on the driver’s side or on a sticker on the door jamb of the driver’s door. The VIN is also written on the title, vehicle registration, and insurance documents.

Use an online VIN lookup tool such as VinCheck.info to get access to the vehicle’s full history report.

The report will provide you with a Vehicle Equipment List, which will give you the paint color information you are looking for. The list will include the exterior paint color, interior trim color and other information about the vehicle.

You can then use the paint color information to do an online search, either on the manufacturer’s website or through paint suppliers, to get more information on the exact shade and name of the paint color.

19. Vin Check: Identification of Damage

A VIN check is a great way to check for any potential damage to a used car before making a purchase. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to do it:

Get the car’s VIN. This can usually be found on the dashboard, near the windshield, or on the driver’s side door jam.

Look up the VIN on a third-party service like Carfax or AutoCheck. This will give you the car’s history, including any accidents or damage sustained.

Check for any issues related to flooding. Flood damage can be difficult to identify and may not be noticeable at first glance. A VIN check can help identify any past flooding damage.

Look for any other reported issues. A VIN check can also provide information about safety ratings, vehicle registration information, and more. This can help you make an informed decision about the car’s condition.

With the information from a VIN check, you can make an informed decision about whether a used car is worth purchasing or not.

20. Vin Check: Vehicle History Report

A Vehicle History Report provides crucial information on a used car’s VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) and is a great way to assess the condition of a car before making a purchase. Reports typically include data from trusted sources gathered from across the 50 states, and can provide information such as recalls, original specifications, warranty information, safety ratings, user reviews, and much more. The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) also provides a free VIN check to determine if the vehicle was ever reported stolen or damaged to the point where it was issued a salvage title.

Using a vehicle history report can help car buyers and sellers alike get the most out of their transactions. For buyers, a report can help verify that a car’s odometer has not been rolled back and that there are no major undisclosed issues. It can also provide peace of mind when making an expensive purchase by confirming that the vehicle has not been involved in any major accidents or been used as a police car.

For sellers, having a vehicle history report gives assurance to potential buyers that the car is worth the asking price. Furthermore, the report is evidence that the seller is being honest about the car’s condition.

There are a number of services available for obtaining vehicle history reports, including VehicleHistory.com, AutoCheck, and Carfax. These services typically provide a more detailed report for a fee, though the basic reports are often available for free.

 

Ways to Check if a Vehicle’s VIN is Valid

1. Use a VIN Checker Tool

How can I use a VIN Checker Tool to check if a vehicle’s VIN is valid? [Step-by-step instructions]

Step 1: Write down the VIN. Using a pen and paper, record the VIN that you want to check, or take a picture of your VIN to refer to later on.

Step 2: Open up your web browser to the VINChecker.net website. Enter your VIN number and press the Check Your VIN button.

Step 3: View the Vehicle Specifications. Receive information about the vehicle such as options, fuel efficiency, NHTSA and IIHS crash test ratings, and other specifications. Note that this is not a free “vehicle history report” — the companies providing vehicle history reports are required to charge a fee, per the Anti-Car Theft Act .

Step 4: Navigate to a VIN look-up page. Popular examples include CarFax, DMV.org, and AutoCheck.

Step 5: Go to VehicleHistory.com. Enter the VIN and click “Check History.”

Step 6: Review the Results. Read the report to understand the vehicle’s history, including its title, odometer reading, number of owners, accident history, and other details.

2. Check the Vehicle’s History Report with Carfax

Step-by-Step Instructions for Checking Vehicle History with Carfax:

Visit the Carfax website and click “Order Report”.

Enter the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) of the car you are interested in.

Enter your payment information and purchase the report.

Once you have purchased the report, you will be able to view the information contained within. This includes reported accidents, frame or structural damage, total loss accident history, ownership history, service history, open recalls, vehicle usage (taxi, rental, lease, etc.), title information, odometer rollbacks, flood damage, airbag safety, and more.

Use this information to uncover potential safety issues and decide if the car you are considering is right for you.

Additionally, it is recommended to do some research on your own by running a VIN lookup to make sure the information on the Carfax report is valid.

3. Check the Vehicle’s Information on National Vehicle Database

Checking if a vehicle’s VIN is valid using the National Vehicle Database is a simple process.

First, you need to go to the National Vehicle Database website. Once there, enter your car’s VIN number under “Look Up a VIN.” Agree to the terms and conditions and verify that you aren’t a robot, then click “Search VIN.” This will produce a report that will tell you whether your vehicle has been reported as lost or stolen, salvaged, or declared a total loss following an accident.

You can also receive a more detailed report from Vehicle History, which will cover all the critical details on a used car. The report will be several pages long and will cover things like market value, fuel efficiency, and safety rating. Additionally, you will get the inspection checklist, auto insurance information, and any data regarding recalls and defects.

For those willing to pay a modest fee, there are several companies offering services that provide a deeper dive and are able to gather data from a number of sources. All you need to do is enter the VIN number and your credit card information and you will get a detailed report in a matter of seconds.

If you are still in doubt, don’t hesitate to contact the AutoDNA team for help. They are available 24/7 to provide you with more information about the vehicle you are interested in.

4. Check the VIN with AutoCheck

Step 1: Visit AutoCheck’s website and click on the ‘VIN Check’ tab.

Step 2: Enter the vehicle’s VIN number into the designated field.

Step 3: Review the data presented in the report.

Step 4: Look for red flags and other indicators that the VIN number is not valid.

Step 5: Verify the accuracy of the information provided by AutoCheck by comparing it to your other research.

Step 6: Make an informed decision about the vehicle.

5. Check the VIN with Cartracks

Checking a vehicle’s VIN for validity is an important step in the process of buying a used car. With Cartracks, you can easily check the VIN to make sure the car is legitimate and not stolen or otherwise compromised. Here’s a step by step guide for verifying a VIN with Cartracks:

Step 1: Stand outside the vehicle and check the driver’s side dashboard. Or, open the driver door and look for a sticker on the door jamb. You can also find the VIN written on the vehicle’s title, insurance documents, and proof of registration. If the automaker stamped the VIN somewhere weird, you can usually find out where it is by checking the owner’s manual.

Step 2: Once you have the VIN, go to the Cartracks website and enter the VIN in the appropriate field.

Step 3: Cartracks will then generate a comprehensive report on the vehicle, including the car’s history, ownership details, and any accident or theft records.

Step 4: Read through the report carefully and make sure everything checks out. If you have any doubts, contact Cartracks for assistance.

By following these simple steps, you can easily check the VIN of any vehicle and make sure it is valid and not compromised. This is an important step in the car buying process and will help you make an informed decision on your purchase.

6. Verify the VIN with the Manufacturer

Step 1: Gather the VIN information. To verify the VIN, you need the complete 17-digit VIN code. You can find the VIN on the driver’s side dashboard, or on a sticker on the door jamb. You can also find it written on the vehicle’s title, insurance documents, and proof of registration. If the automaker stamped the VIN somewhere weird, you can usually find out where it is by checking the owner’s manual.

Step 2: Identify the make, model, and year of the vehicle. The first three characters of the VIN are the World Manufacturer Identifier or WMI code. These characters indicate the make, model, and region where the vehicle was produced. The fourth through eighth characters indicate vehicle description, safety and type of engine.

Step 3: Contact the manufacturer of the vehicle. You can contact the manufacturer directly by phone or email and provide them with the VIN to verify its accuracy. They will have the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) system to help you identify the vehicle and confirm its authenticity.

Step 4: Check the VIN online. You can check VIN online using the governmental administration or commercial reports. autoDNA VIN Report is one example of an online VIN verification service. This service allows you to input the VIN and will provide you with detailed information about the vehicle. It includes information about the make and model, the production year, vehicle history and other technical data.

Step 5: Check for recalls and registration information. You should also check for any recalls or registration information associated with the VIN. This can help you identify any potential problems with the vehicle before you purchase it. You can find this information on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s website.

Step 6: Verify the VIN. After you have gathered all of the necessary information, verify the VIN with the manufacturer. They should be able to provide you with a verification document or other evidence that the VIN is valid and accurate. Once you have verified the VIN, you can proceed with the purchase of the vehicle with confidence.

7. Check the Vehicle’s Information in the NMVTIS Database

To check if a vehicle’s VIN is valid in the NMVTIS database, you will need to obtain the VIN of the vehicle. To do this, look for the VIN number on the vehicle itself or on the registration or proof of ownership documents. Once you have the VIN, you can select one of the approved providers from the NMVTIS website to purchase a report. Before selecting a vendor, be sure to compare prices and the services they offer. Once you have selected a provider and have your credit card ready, follow the steps provided to obtain the report. The report will provide you with the vehicle’s title history, which includes whether the vehicle was ever in the possession of a junk or salvage yard or declared a “total loss” by an insurance company. This information can help you know what you are buying before you make a purchase.

8. Verify the VIN with the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

Step 1: Visit the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety website to get the VIN of the vehicle you are interested in.

Step 2: Stand outside the vehicle and check the driver’s side dashboard. Or, open the driver door and look for a sticker on the door jamb. You can also find the VIN written on the vehicle’s title, insurance documents, and proof of registration.

Step 3: Once you have the VIN, you can run a free VIN check on various websites such as: Vin Check, License Search, National Insurance Crime Bureau, VehicleHistory, iSeeCars and How To Decode Your VIN.

Step 4: You can also check the VIN for theft and fraud records by visiting the National Insurance Crime Bureau website and entering your car’s VIN number under “Look Up a VIN”. Once you agree to the terms and conditions and verify that you aren’t a robot, you can click “Search VIN”.

Step 5: You can also get a Vehicle History Report for free by visiting clark.com and following their guidelines.

Step 6: If none of these services provide enough information, you can always contact the DMV to verify the VIN.

9. Check the VIN with the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System

To check if a vehicle’s VIN is valid through the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System, you must first get the VIN of the vehicle you wish to buy (click here to find out how). Once you have the VIN, you must select one of the approved providers. Prices for the service start at just a few dollars, so you should compare the vendors to find the one that best suits your needs. Once you have made your selection, follow the steps to obtain the report.

The VIN will be run through the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System (NMVTIS), which is a national consumer protection database that provides title information from states all around the country. This will help you to know more about the vehicle before you purchase it.

A 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.

The approved providers for this service can be found on the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles website. These approved providers have agreed to provide NMVTIS reports that meet federal requirements. When you select one of these approved providers, you will be routed to their website.

Additionally, beginning on September 1, 2021, a VIN check is required before registering a vehicle if the title is from another state or the vehicle was registered in another state, and the model year of the vehicle is 2001 or newer. This service can be performed at your local police department. The title must be presented along with the vehicle at the time of the VIN check. If you own the vehicle, bring the original title. If there is a lien on the vehicle, bring a copy of the title.

For more information, please contact the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles at 1 (888) 368-4689 or by email, AskDMV@TxDMV.gov.

10. Verify the VIN with the Vehicle Identification Number Check Tool

Step 1: Locate the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). This is a unique 17-digit serial number that can be found on the dashboard on the driver’s side or on a sticker on the door jamb of the driver’s door. It can also be written on the title, vehicle registration, and insurance documents.

Step 2: Visit the VinCheck.info VIN Check Tool website. Enter the 17-digit VIN in the designated field and click “Check VIN.”

Step 3: The VIN Check Tool will display a comprehensive 10-page report that offers critical details on a used car collated from industry and government sources. This report will provide information on the car’s specifications, equipment details, and the NMVTIS Report.

Step 4: After reviewing the report, you can determine whether the VIN is valid or not.