Performing a VIN check can reveal a lot of valuable vehicle information about your car or a used car you’re planning on purchasing. A Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) is like your vehicle’s DNA: not only is it completely unique to your vehicle, but it can also tell you a lot about your vehicle’s history and any potential issues you may have with it now or in the future. A VIN is a 17-character combination of numbers and letters, and while your VIN may seem like little more than a random collection of letters and number, in fact, each part of a VIN contains specific and detailed information. Below we will look at how to decode a VIN and why a VIN is so important.
All VIN numbers are 17 characters long and are divided into three sections. The first three characters are the world manufacturer identifier (WMI). All vehicle manufacturers are assigned a WMI that is unique to them. Chevrolet’s WMI in the United States, for example, is 1G1, while Volkswagen in the United States is 1YW. The same manufacturer can have different WMI’s depending on where the car was built
For example, while Volkswagen’s WMI is 1YW in the U.S., in Mexico it is 3VW, in Germany it is WVG, and in South Africa AAV. Small manufacturers producing fewer than 500 vehicles per year in the European Union or 5000 vehicles per year in the United States only have a two-character code, but on the VIN the third character appears as a 9, which is essentially a placeholder.
The next section of the VIN is digits four to nine. This is the vehicle descriptor section (VDS), and it contains information about the make and model of the vehicle. Every manufacturer has its own system for what each character represents in this 6-character section. However, the eighth digit is almost always used to indicate engine type and, at least in North America, the ninth is the check digit.
Finally, the last section is the vehicle identifier section (VIS), consisting of digits 10 to 17. This is the section that identifies a specific vehicle. While many cars will share the same WMI and VDS, the VIS distinguishes one car from the next. The tenth digit is always used to identify the model year. On Ford vehicles, for example, a Y in the tenth digit means the vehicle was manufactured in 2000. In North America, the eleventh digit is the plant code, which is used to identify the plant that the car was manufactured at. The rest of the digits in the VIS are simply the serial number which is unique to that vehicle
As you can see, your VIN is like a key to unlocking your vehicle’s unique identity, such as its manufacturer, model year, and plant number. However, there’s more to a VIN than what the numbers and letters themselves actually represent. Because no two VINs are alike, that means that manufacturers and government agencies use VINs to track unique incidents or information about specific vehicles, such as accident reports and recalls
With a VIN number check you can decode your vehicle’s unique past. First, find your vehicle’s VIN, which will be located either on the driver’s side of the windshield or in the driver’s door. Alternatively, you can find your VIN on the vehicle’s registration card or, in some cases, on your insurance card.
Next, go online and find a VIN decoder to perform a VIN check. There are many VIN decoders available, including through SearchQuarry.com. Some VIN check decoders offer very specific information. For example, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has a VIN lookup for finding out if any parts of your vehicle have been subject to a recall. Note, however, that VINs only became standardized in 1981, so if your vehicle dates from before then a VIN lookup isn’t likely to be of much use.
While being able to look up your VIN is certainly impressive, it has a very practical purpose beyond just satisfying your curiosity. For one, a VIN number search, as mentioned above, could alert you to any parts of your vehicle that have been subject to safety recalls. While manufacturers will usually send recall notices directly to you, these notices may get lost in the mail or the manufacturer may have an out-of-date address for you. As a result, it’s a good idea to lookup your vehicle’s VIN for any possible recalls from time to time.
Secondly, if you are buying a used car it is an extremely good idea to look up the VIN number of any vehicle you are thinking about purchasing. With a VIN check, you can verify whether or not the information the seller has provided to you about the vehicle is true, such as if it has been involved in any accidents or if any recalled parts have been replaced.
However, keep in mind that even if a VIN check shows no history of accidents that isn’t a guarantee that it has never been involved in one. A VIN decoder will only show accidents that have actually been reported for that particular car. As such, always use your best judgment when buying a used vehicle.
Vehicle safety information can be obtained by the NHTSA.gov website. With your VIN check you can cross-reference the accident statistics with the potential vehicle you’re buying to find out the safety record and potential hazards thereof. This is always best practice, especially if you have children or loved ones that frequently drive with you. This is a free government resource that anyone can use.
Please be aware that the information obtained using SearchQuarry.com searches may not always be accurate and up to date as we do not create, verify, or guarantee the accuracy or the amount of information provided through our service. Data availability is largely dependent on various public sources from which the information is aggregated. SearchQuarry.com is not a consumer reporting agency as defined by Fair Credit Reporting Act and should not be used to determine an individual’s eligibility for personal credit or employment, or to assess risk associated with any business transactions such as tenant screening. By using the services offered through this website you agree to comply with all of the conditions set forth in our terms and privacy disclosure. The information obtained from our searches is not to be used for any unlawful purposes such as stalking or harassing others, or investigating public officials or celebrities. Violators may be subject to civil and criminal litigation and penalties. All searches are subject to our terms and applicable laws.
Responses to “VIN Check”
Crystal, unfortunately since this is a vintage truck we do not have access to the vehicle history. Most online public record websites only have the ability to lookup modern vehicles, with a VIN check, that have 17 digit VIN numbers. You may want to reach out to your state DMV directly to make this inquiry. Some times older records did not make it to a digital format so you may only have access to limited information about this vintage GMC truck
I have a 1957 GMC 1/2 ton truck. It has a 10-digit serial number: 101 8P T5094
I would love to find out who originally owned this truck, how it got the bullet holes in the door, and if they are still alive. How do I go about this?
Danny, unfortunately this sounds like a police matter. Unless you have a tracking device on your vehicle it can be difficult to track down. If you want to find out the VIN then you should contact your local DMV directly and file an appeal if that is possible in your state.
I was a victim of identity theft. Somebody bought a 2014 Ford edge in my name. How is there any way I can find out the VIN number or any way to find out where the car is?
Diana, we are happy to help you with a VIN check but we’re uncertain what information you’re looking for
Kevyn, there are only certain reasons allowed to run a VIN or license plate owner check, that are listed in the member’s area. That being said, if you are having difficulties with your search you can contact our customer support directly in the Search Quarry member’s area to assist you with your public record inquiries
I’m trying to figure out who the owner of my 1994 Ford explorer Eddie Bauer edition 2 door with vin number 1fmcu24x5rud91698. If you guys can help me that would be great and I’ve paid for the service and I can’t get it to do what information that I need for some reason so please contact me at my email address please and thanks
Rodger, you’ll need to reach out to the Florida FLHSMV to request a duplicate Florida title for your truck
How to get a lost title for a Florida truck ?
looking to establish previous vehicle owners names. reare vehicle and it has had some modifications to it and i would like to know ehat was done instead of blindly going forward.
Looking to establish history along with previous owners for an older classic car;
1979 MGB roadster
It has a 13 digit vin#
I do have the current title#
State of Louisiana
When will I receive the title for my new vehicle?
Paula, if you’re checking on a vehicle title you will want to reach out to your local DMV. You can use our Free DMV Finder to locate the closest one in your state
checking on a title
John, our VIN check resources only work for newer vehicles with 17 digits in their vehicle identification number. If your car has less than this you may need to contact your local DMV directly to make your inquiry
I am unable to run a VIN check, please advise
Thomas, that may prove to be difficult. Many older vehicle’s were not entered into current digital formats so vehicle history reports may not be possible. You can try and contact your local DMV and inquire about a VIN check for your vintage vehicle.
How do I look up car history for an older vehicle that has only an 11 digit vin number?
Diane, if the car title search you ran through our VIN check resources did not show the car had a salvaged title then it was not reported as being damaged beyond repair which is typically what happens in those types of situations. You might want to contact your local DMV to inquire about additional information they might have on the car you purchased.
JUST PURCHASED A CAR, WE FEEL THAT IT MIGHTE HAVE BEEN UNDER WATER. BEEN TRING TO GET A TITLE SEARCH. CAN’T. A FULL TITLE SEARCH, WHERE PURCHACED. HOW MANY TIME TITLE HAS BEEN TRANSFERED AND WHERE THE CAR ORIGINALY CAME FROM, SEEMS LIKE IT HAS BE UNDERWATER. NEED TO KNOW. EVERY TITLE SEARCH, TELLS ME THE CAR BUT NO HISTORY OF WHERE IT CAME FROM AND WHERE IT HAS BEEN. IT IS A 26YEAR OLD CAMERO, FROM NORTH FLA. WE WANT TO DO THE CAR, BUT IF IT CAME FROM UNDERWATER IN NEW ORLEANS, WE GOT SKEWED. TRYING TO GET THE ORIGINAL BUYER AND THE _TITLE______INFO. WE ALREADY KNOW WE HAVE A 1994 CAMARO, RS. I WAND THE HISTORY AND TITLE INFO.
Linda we are happy to run a VIN vehicle title search for you if you have the complete 17 digit VIN number we can resource
I live in CT. and preparing to sell a 1995 Cadillac El Dorado. I lost the title but the state says one is not needed to sell a car over 20 years old. All I need to do is complete a Q1 form . I received the form in the mail and to complete it I need to know the title number. This number is not listed on the CT registration. Is there a website or online tool that will tell me the title number?
Derali, we cannot give out vehicle owner information through our blog. You must read through our terms of service and the privacy laws associated with the state you live in. You can also go to the DMV and make this request to inquire about getting the vehicle title transferred into your name. You may need to sign an affidavit to prove that you purchased the vehicle. Each state DMV has their own proprietary process to transfer the vehicle title over if there is a missing title, such as in your case.
I purchased a1994 ford ranger from some people I have since misplaced the title and cant remember the people that I made the purchase from meet them to buy it dont know whe de e they live how can I get there name so I can contact them about getting a duplicate title?
Kathryn, our VIN check resources only work for modern vehicles, that were manufactured in the last 40 years and have a 17 digit VIN number. Most of the online resources you’ll find are the same. You might want to run a VIN check through your local DMV if you have any specific inquiries
I own a 1963 Willy’s Truck which as a 8 digit VIN number on the title. I am not able to pull of anything on my Truck. VIN is K183691D
Greg, you can use the government resource VehicleHistory.gov to run a VIN check and find out if there are any active liens on your vehicle. There will be a nominal fee but this should help you to find out what bank has a lien on your vehicle, or if the information your received from the DMV is inaccurate.
My car has been paid off for 10 years, when we went to get a copy of the title, we were told by the DMV that there is a lien on the title. But they wouldn’t give us the lienholder’s information so that we could resolve this issue. What title search can be done that will give us the lienholder’s information.
Taniafavis, we are happy to assist you with a free VIN check if you provide us with the full vehicle identification number. In order to use our resources you must make sure you enter the entire 17 digit VIN number exactly. If you respond to this thread, we will run a VIN check for you.
I\’m trying to run a free Vin check on a Kia Sedona but it\’s not woimh how come?
Lynn, thank you for reaching out about our VIN check blog. Unfortunately that is not an acceptable reason under the DPPA regulations to run a license plate search or a VIN Owner Check for a vehicle. Please reach out if we can assist you with any additional public record searches.
I want to find out who owns this car. It was just sold on March 1, 2020. Parents bought it for their daughter. They paid 8,900.00 I want to offer them 12,000.00 for it. I was going to buy it on Monday and they bought it on Sunday. It was sold at Uni cars Honda in Indio California.
Unfortunately we cannot lookup vehicle license plate by name. You will need to have the license plate number or VIN number to lookup this information with our resources. You can contact the police directly about your stolen vehicle and they can lookup this information for you
How do I look up my vehicles license plate number if they were stolen so I can report them stolen to dmv
We ran a VIN check for you and this is the information that comes up in our vehicle record database:
2013 FORD F-150 VIN
VIN # 1FTFX1EF6DKE32451
Engine Cylinders: 8
Vehicle Type: TRUCK
Engine Type: 5.0 Liter V8
Primary Body Type: Pickup
Class 2F: 7,001 – 8,000 lb (3,175 – 3,629 kg)
Transmission Type: Automatic
Fuel Type: Gasoline
Trying to find check on vin # 1FTFX1EF6DKE32451
In order to transfer the title of your vehicle to your name you will want to contact the DMV and submit all the information you have on the vehicle. This is not an uncommon problem but typically, you will need to address the DMV directly about this. Submit the bill of sale and any additional information you have on the car, including the VIN and license plate information. They might have you sign an affidavit that this vehicle was sold to you without the proper title transfer being made.
I need to know who registered owner of my mustang is. I bought car and the title was never transferred to previous owners vin 1fafp42x7wf217872 98 ford mustang gt
Thank you for reaching out about our VIN check resources. The used car vehicle information that you’re interested in should include the entire vehicle history including accidents, how many previous owners and safety and recall issues. Our VIN number check resources may be inadequate for you to source the reason for the vehicle salvage status. That being said there is a great government resources , vehiclehistory.gov , where you can locate all the vehicle salvage information you’re interested in. Another option would be to visit the DMV in your state and request the vehicle salvage history.
VIN Check Salvage Records
A VIN check salvage record search can be used to find the vehicle history, accidents, stolen vehicles, recalls and safety issues. There are many free government resources that can be used online to perform a VIN check for salvage records, such as the National Motor Vehicle Titling Information System.
I have a ‘76 corvette, salvage title. Can I find out the damage history which caused the salvage status? VIN1z37l6s405325. Thanks
Unfortunately we cannot assist you with this information. This is a police matter and if you provide them with the same information you’ve provided us, they will be able to better assist you.
I am trying to search the owner of a car that’s being driver recklessly by a young boy. I’m afraid this kid is going to kill someone. It’s everyday speeding in and out of traffic and in school zones. The local police have to catch him in the act. But I wanted to send a letter to his parents making them aware of how this kid is driving this new Camarillo. I have tried to look it up but there are several warnings and I’m affraid to proceed with the search. Can you help
You will need to make a formal request to the DMV and have a valid reason, if they would even allow it. If this is your vehicle then you may be able to go in person and make a request, otherwise it is very unlikely that you’ll be able to get this information from the DMV or a VIN check.
how do I get the name of the last owner of a vehicle
Unfortunately we cannot do a vehicle search by an engine serial number. We can only run a vehicle VIN check with the full 17 digit vehicle identification number.
How to Find My VIN Number
1. Check for the VIN on the Dash
2. Look for the VIN on the Door Frame
3. Search for the VIN on the Engine
4. The VIN is on your Registration
5. The VIN is on your Vehicle Title
I have a 1950 Chevrolet 2 door sedan no vin# only Engine # how can I do a search on it Engine # HAA965395
Since this is an older vehicle, with fewer than 17 digits on the VIN, it will not be in our database. That being said, you might consider running a Carfax report or contacting the DMV. The DMV will need a valid reason to run a VIN check on Dodge ChargerDodge ChargerDodge Charger and the Carfax report will cost you $39.99
My husband is looking for his 1972
Dodge charger. We have the paper work when he purchased it and the VIN # is WP292G199038. It is very clear on the paperwork. It is not faded or distorted in any way. He looked up the Dodge Vin #\’s for 1970\’s and it states that this is all the numbers it has as the VIN #. Can you advise where to look or how to look and find this vehicle?
We don’t have the vehicle title information in our VIN record database. You will want to reach out to the DMV directly to inquire about the vehicle title transfer to you. Sometimes it’s best to visit the DMV in person to resolve these issues as they may need to verify your information, the bill of sale or other vehicle related information.
What name is the title in, I just purchased vehicle and person indicating lost title has been applied for.
You are welcome to check out our Free VIN Decoder but if you’re interested in a Vehicle History Report , there is a small fee. Start by running through our VIN Check process.
You can also find out if there are any recalls or safety issues related to your 2010 Volvo through the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration website for free
Find history on 2010volov cx60 Vin YV4960DZ8A2064210
If you can provide us with the full VIN number we are happy to run a VIN Check for you. We can also lookup vehicle information by license plate number as well. Please provide us with the full 17 digit VIN and we will do the rest. Thank you for reaching out
I’m trying to find out what year my dinli 700 is
Unfortunately we don’t have that VIN information available. Typically VIN numbers are 17 digits and that is only 15. You might have entered an incorrect VIN number.
That being said you must agree to the terms and conditions of our VIN check before we can show you any vehicle records or owner information
Trying to find last owner still owns title to Vin # 1C4GP647XB79374
Our VIN Check resources are for vehicle information resources and vehicle history reports. We do not offer the service of auto part replacement. A good place to check for a replacement part for you 1999 Mustang is eBay Auto Parts Online. You can find most any auto part for most any vehicle and have it shipped to you.
Looking for original window for my 1999 mustang
We performed a VIN Check and did not find the history for this vehicle. Here is a link to our Free VIN Decoder where you can check VIN numbers quick and easy. Typically our VIN Check resources need a 17 digit alpha-numeric code to be recognized.
Trying to find History on this pick-up
Trying to find history on this pick up 1976 ford F100 vin #F10GRB76068
Last Updated: 2018-02-14