How to Get a Vehicle History Report

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If you’re buying or selling a used car, a vehicle history report is one of the first things you should be thinking about. 

As the buyer, you’ll be able to know that you’re getting a quality used vehicle for a fair deal by knowing what information is contained on the VHR. 

As the seller, you’ll be able to get the best price for the vehicle you’re selling and demonstrate transparency with your prospective buyers. 

This page will provide you with an overview of your options for getting a vehicle history report, the different information different reports will provide, and your options for checking a vehicle’s history for free. 

If you’re new to vehicle history reports, you can learn more about them in our Guide to Vehicle History Reports

Or, you can get started with’s free sample vehicle history report.

Options for How to Get a Vehicle History Report

There are a variety of options for getting a vehicle history report for any vehicle. 

You main options include:

The most comprehensive type of VIN report will be one that is obtained through a third party vehicle history report provider. 

These companies compile information and data about the vehicle from a variety of sources to provide you with the most complete picture of a vehicle’s past. 

Best Vehicle History Report Providers

The best vehicle history reports you can order are ones that come from an approved NMVTIS provider. 

NMVTIS vehicle history reports ensure that you’ll receive the most up-to-date information about a vehicle’s theft history, salvage records, and title history and status. 

Your options for NMVTIS vehicle history report providers include:

The cost of a report will vary from about $3 to $30 per report depending on the provider and package you go with. 

Information Needed to Order a Vehicle History Report

In most cases, the only thing you’ll need to order a vehicle history report is the car’s 17-digit VIN number. 

Find out where to locate the VIN number here. 

The VIN is a unique combination of letters and numbers that is used by a variety of organizations, companies, and databases to collect important information about the vehicle. 

If you’re ordering a vehicle record from the DMV, you’ll typically need to provide some additional information. You’ll also need to satisfy the data privacy requirements if you are ordering a DMV vehicle record for a vehicle that you do not own. 

Can you check vehicle history for free?

Luckily there are some options for checking a vehicle’s history for free. 

Depending on what type of information you’re looking for, you may be able to run a VIN check for free. 

First, you can decode the VIN to get information about the vehicle’s specs, features, and details. 

You’ll also be able to use the VIN to get industry data about the vehicle such as estimated value, estimated cost of ownership, and more. 

Additionally, you’ll be able to check car insurance rates by using a car’s VIN so you know how much your premiums will be before you purchase the car. 

Next, you can use the VINCheck tool to check a vehicle’s theft and salvage records for free. 

This free report uses the VIN to check for:

  • Stolen vehicle records. 
  • Stolen and recovered records. 
  • Salvage and junk title records. 

To get started, visit:

Depending on the state you live in, your Department of Motor Vehicles may offer vehicle records for free or at a low cost. These reports will typically provide you with data on the registration and title records. 

Finally, some third-party vehicle history report providers will offer reports for a free or reduced cost when you sign up for an account. One of the free vehicle history report options can be found through Learn more about them here: