A VIN verification is necessary for certain methods of title recovery. However, this can be a tedious task and many people try to skip over the VIN verification, only to end up in trouble with the DMV because of it.
What is a VIN verification?
A VIN verification is an official inspection of the VIN by an officer or DMV agent to confirm that the VIN matches all parts of the vehicle and that it is valid.
When is a VIN verification required?
What is the purpose of a VIN verification?
There are many purposes for a VIN verification, all of the reasons add up to making sure you’re titling an eligible vehicle. The VIN verification process ensures that the vehicle was not previously stolen and the VIN replaced. These are called clone cars. Auto thieves will try to improperly reassign the VIN for a vehicle by replacing the VIN plate or scratching it out. A VIN verification looks for these changes and ensures that the VIN is the same throughout the vehicle. A vehicle with an invalid VIN, salvage brand, junk brand, non-repairable brand, lien title, or other clouds over the title due to the VIN will not be eligible for a title.
Is a VIN check the same as a VIN verification?
No, a VIN check and VIN verification are two separate activities. A VIN verification is an official process that involves a government official or representative inspecting the VIN of your vehicle for accuracy. If your application requires a VIN verification, this is not something that can be done online. It must be done in person with an authorized state agent.
A VIN check is an informal process that lets you check your vehicle identification number (VIN) against the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System (NMVTIS) database. You can use a VIN check to find out whether your vehicle has had any title brands on it, such as salvage or junk. A VIN verification is a more involved and formal process in which you contact an agent from the state motor vehicle department.
The National Motor Vehicle Title Information System (NMVTIS) is a database that contains information about salvage, junk, and other damage-titled vehicles. Vehicles in this database are not eligible for a title because they have received a title brand such as salvage or junk which deems them inoperable. The database is designed to protect consumers by allowing them to check the history of the vehicle they are intending to purchase or have already purchased.
Even if your title method doesn’t require a VIN verification, it may be a good idea to get one anyway. Luckily for you, if it’s not an official requirement for your title method, you can do this process yourself. Simply check all areas where the VIN is present in your vehicle and verify that all characters are exactly the same throughout. If you find any discrepancies, contact the DMV and the seller of your vehicle right away.