Alaska’s VIN verification rules state that an inspection must be performed whenever a vehicle owner does not possess a title or certificate of origin for his or her vehicle. As such, a VIN inspection is used to verify a car’s identification number and ensure it matches the one mentioned on all applicable ownership documents. If a title or bill of sale document is missing, surety bonds may be purchased to secure its ownership.

In general, VIN verification inspections are conducted by certified Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) staff members or law enforcement officials. Once completed, a car owner can apply for a new title and registration for the vehicle. Furthermore, depending on the situation, motorists may request a one-time permit to drive their vehicles to an inspection site. Overall, these permits allow otherwise unregistered vehicles to be operated on public roads for one-time trips.

When is an Alaska VIN verification required?

There are several circumstances that require owners to verify a VIN number in Alaska. However, the primary reason for this procedure is related to missing titles or certificates of origin. Without these credentials, the AK DMV is unable to verify a vehicle’s VIN. For that reason, the following scenarios require such inspections at a DMV office:

  1. The certificate of title or manufacturer’s certificate of origin is missing or not available.
  2. The vehicle is homebuilt or reconstructed.
  3. The vehicle was abandoned and is being re-titled and re-registered.

Before an AK vehicle verification can be performed, the vehicle must be fully operational and in working condition. All mandatory parts and equipment must be functional and roadworthy, as required by state and federal laws.

Where can I go to obtain a VIN inspection in Alaska?

Car owners must bring their vehicles to a local DMV office for a VIN inspection. In some cases, a law enforcement officer may be asked to perform the examination. However, you may be restricted to using a DMV staff member if your vehicle is homebuilt or reconstructed. A one-time vehicle VIN verification permit may be requested, which will allow you to drive unregistered cars to an inspection site.

With that said, it is important to note that this permit will only allow you to operate that vehicle on public roads for one trip. Thus, you are encouraged to apply for your vehicle’s new title and registration at the same time as you conduct a VIN number validation procedure.

What to Bring to a VIN Number Verification in Alaska

As a general rule, car verification documents must be completed by an inspector who is approved by the Alaska DMV. Therefore, an AK DMV VIN verification form is typically provided by the staff member while he or she conducts the inspection.

However, in certain cases, you will be required to print this form beforehand and bring it with you, so that an inspector can complete it. In any case, there are different documents that you will be required to submit for each of the three scenarios listed above. Thus, consider the following circumstances:

  • Abandoned vehicles – If you recently acquired an abandoned vehicle, you must bring it to the DMV for a VIN inspection along with all of the necessary registration and titling documents. However, a notice must be given to the owner on record before an AK VIN verification can be performed. Overall, recorded owners have 30 days to respond to the notice. In this case, the inspection is used to determine if the vehicle has been stolen or is being re-registered under fraudulent terms.
  • Homebuilt vehicles – If you are registering a reconstructed car, you must have it undergo a vehicle inspection that is administered by a DMV staff member. By definition, rebuilt vehicles are those that have had essential body parts replaced, such as their frame, chassis or engine. For this procedure, you must bring a certificate of title or bill of sale from the frame or chassis, as well as any bill of sale documents or receipts for major parts that were replaced. That is because the DMV inspection will use these documents to verify a VIN. While homebuilt or reconstructed vehicles cannot be driven on public roads, owners may request a one-way permit to drive their cars to an inspection site.
  • Vehicles with no title – If a vehicle does not have a valid certificate of title or certificate of origin, a VIN number validation cannot be performed. Therefore, the ownership of a vehicle must be confirmed beforehand. As an example, a surety bond can be purchased from the DMV in order to secure ownership rights over a vehicle with no title. After that, an inspection can be scheduled. On the other hand, not all vehicles with missing titles will require the issuance of a surety bond. For instance, if a title is missing but the bill of sale is present, owners may proceed with the inspection. As such, a bill of sale acquired from a government vehicle auction may be used in lieu of an ownership document. In any case, a one-way permit to local car inspection stations may be requested from the DMV for vehicles with missing credentials.

In most cases, supporting documents must be brought with you to the VIN verification procedure. In addition, section eight on the vehicle inspection form asks for details regarding supporting documents and any additional remarks in relation to these items. As such, this section must be completed for the form to be valid.

What to Do After Completing a VIN Inspection in Alaska

All car owners must sign the AK DMV verification form after an inspection procedure is complete. It is important to note that falsifying information and/or omitting vital details may result in a $10,000 fine and one year in prison. For that reason, this form must be completed in full and without errors. Furthermore, additional inspections may be required for certain vehicles, such as an emissions test.

Once your vehicle has met all of the AK VIN verification requirements, you may bring the form to the DMV and apply for a new title and registration. Depending on the type of vehicle, you may need to bring additional documents. Moreover, appraisal forms may be required for vehicles without a title or manufacturer’s certificate of origin.

Last updated on Monday, March 9 2020.