What is a Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)?
A Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) is a unique set of digits that comprises 17 characters (numbers and letters). A unique VIN is assigned to each vehicle, and a VIN check can be completed on any car. DMV locations use this number to record California VIN history on all registered vehicles. A CA car history report is generated and found through the use of VIN numbers, and it will provide you with all the information you need before purchasing a used car.
Did You Know? California makes it simple to get an exact vehicle registration fee once you provide a Vehicle Identification Number.
Where can I find my car’s VIN information?
A VIN number record can be found on:
- The driver’s side door, a sticker or a metal plate.
- The lower corner of the windshield, on the driver's side of the vehicle.
- Your vehicle title and registration
- Your insurance card
How to Check VIN Numbers
A California VIN check can be completed by visiting your local DMV office. However, it is most convenient to conduct a VIN number search online. To perform a CA VIN lookup and get a vehicle history report, drivers must have the VIN of the vehicle in question. A car history report is a detailed document that provides information about the history of a car. You may also complete a motorcycle VIN check, an RV VIN check or a boat trailer VIN lookup.
By performing a California car registration check, you will get details about the history of the vehicle, including information a seller may have tried to keep discreet.
How do I get a vehicle history record?
You can download the most up-to-date vehicle records with instaVIN®, or visit your local DMV. A comprehensive VIN history report will protect you from any foul play from a seller, such as: reversing the odometer, not disclosing previous repairs, or hiding accidents that may have damaged the frame of the vehicle.
instaVIN®’s direct link to the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System (NMVITS) allows them to provide you with the most extensive report in real time.
Many states legally require used car buyers to purchase a vehicle history report before buying the vehicle. instaVIN® also offers reports for motorcycles, classic cars, heavy trucks and recreational vehicles. Click here to order a report.
Your instaVIN® vehicle history and title report will include:
- Current State of Title Information
- Historical Title Information
- Disclosure of Brand History on Title
- Odometer Rollback
- 61 Possible Problem Events,
- Odometer Information
- Information on Previous Accidents
- Open Lien/Loan Information Including: Issuing Financial Institution
- Impound & Towing Events
- Active Theft Data
Information Found on a Vehicle History Report
When obtaining a California vehicle history report (VHR), you will learn vital information about your car’s history, including:
Whether it is for a standard vehicle VIN check or a motorcycle VIN lookup, a California vehicle history report also contains accident-related information. It is crucial to know if a vehicle has been involved in any accidents, as this may affect the life and safety of an automobile.
A car registration search will be performed when you order a vehicle history report. This also applies to RV VIN checks or motorcycle VIN checks, as both are also considered vehicles. Complete a vehicle registration check to get a history of where and who the car has been registered to.
Read about the number of past vehicle owners, as well as information about the present title holder. You will also be informed about the most up-to-date odometer reading of the current title.
An odometer reading is taken anytime a car registration check is conducted in California. A vehicle history report includes this specific reading. Your odometer mileage should also be noted on a Bill of Sale.
Liens and Loans
If you have any loans or liens on the vehicle, a car reg check will reveal this information. A lien may require you to transfer the loan information to your name or provide proof that it has been paid for in full.
Why Should I Check A Car’s VIN?
If you intend to purchase a preowned vehicle, consider running a vehicle history report and completing a VIN number check. By conducting a VIN check online, you will obtain information about any past mishaps the vehicle may have had, thus saving you time, money and aggravation. Ultimately, a Vehicle Identification Number lookup also ensures a smooth sale.
How to Sell Your Car With a VIN Number Check
Smart buyers will obtain a car history report before making a purchase. By providing a California VIN check to prospective buyers, you gain their trust. As a seller, you can then effectively address any questions or concerns regarding the sale, and also get closer to your asking price.
How to Check VIN Numbers as a Buyer
Consider checking a car history before purchasing a used car. A DMV vehicle history report will show you any and all details you need to know before finalizing or stopping a sale. Ask the seller for the VIN and run your own motor vehicle history check. A stolen vehicle check and a car recall check are part of a VHR.
If You Cannot Locate the VIN
If you are having difficulties completing a California VIN number check, or you are unable to obtain a car history report, we recommend you do not purchase the vehicle you are interested in. All vehicles since 1981 have a VIN, so the absence of one, may indicate fraud or theft.
Note: California is a state that participates with the National Motor Vehicle Information System and provides vehicle data details prior to issuing car titles.