What is a VIN Verification?

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If you’re getting ready to register or transfer a vehicle into your name, you may be wondering what you’ll need to do to satisfy the VIN verification requirements. 

This page will go over exactly what a VIN Verification is, when you’ll need one, and how to get one. 

What is a VIN Verification?

A VIN verification is a process required by many state Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) when registering and titling certain vehicles. 

The VIN verification process involves a physical inspection of the vehicle and requires a certified person to complete an official DMV form. 

A VIN verification is used to essentially confirm that the physical vehicle matches the information contained in the VIN

The certified VIN verifier or VIN inspector will decode the VIN and check the everything matches, including:

  • The year, make, and model of the vehicle. 
  • The body type of the vehicle. 
  • The Gross Vehicle Weight. 
  • The mileage. 
  • The Federal Certification Label and emissions label. 
  • The placement of the VIN

The VIN verification is not the same as a VIN check or Vehicle History Report. Instead, it is a process that the DMV uses to make sure that the vehicle you are trying to register matches with its VIN. 

This can help prevent fraud and other problems that may otherwise arise. 

When is a VIN Verification Required?

There are a few common situations in which the DMV will require a VIN inspection for you to register and title your vehicle. 

These include:

  • When registering a vehicle from out of state.
  • When registering a foreign vehicle.
  • To register an old vehicle that has fallen out of the DMV’s records. 
  • For custom made vehicles or when a new VIN needs to be assigned. 
  • For major changes to the vehicle’s configuration. 
  • For any corrections that need to be made in the database.

How to Get a VIN Verification

You’ll typically have 2 main options for completing a VIN verification:

  1. Through the Department of Motor Vehicles or the Highway Patrol. 
  2. Through a licensed 3rd part VIN verifier. 

When getting a VIN inspection at the DMV or through Highway Patrol, there is typically no additional fee.

However, you will need to bring the vehicle to them and confirm that the certified VIN verifier is present and able to complete the inspection when you go. It helps to call ahead or make an appointment. 

The second option is by using a licensed 3rd part VIN verification company. 

This option will typically cost money, but it gives you the benefit of having the verifier come to you. 

These services will typically cost anywhere from $25 to $100. 

Note that for certain vehicles and in certain situations, you will need to get the VIN inspection completed through the DMV.

Whichever option you choose, you’ll need the follow in order to complete the VIN verification:

  • The physical vehicle. 
  • Ownership documents such as the title, bill of sale, and registration paperwork.
  • The state DMV’s VIN verification form.