According to state law, a VIN verification in Iowa is only necessary if wish to rebrand a vehicle that you own that is considered “salvage” and/or has a salvage title attached to it. In other words, local law enforcement must only verify the VIN number pertaining to your car if you wish to apply for a vehicle registration for your salvage car.

If you need to schedule an IA VIN inspection for your salvage vehicle, you will be required to do so through the state’s Department of Transportation (DOT). As a general rule, the department will ask you to submit the necessary supporting documentation and provide an acceptable payment method for the inspection fees.

In Iowa, the only way to schedule a vehicle verification is online through the DOT’s official website. If you fail to do so, you will be unable to legally operate your salvage car on public roads. To learn more about this procedure and its requirements, read the sections below.

When is an Iowa VIN verification required?

A vehicle verification in Iowa is required for salvage cars that are rebuilt, since this procedure can determine the proper vehicle identification number (VIN) and part numbers for each new part that was used for the restoration.

Overall, the purpose of a VIN inspection is for the Iowa DOT to verify that none of the parts used to rebuild a vehicle were stolen. This procedure is also conducted in order to validate that the car has been restored. Most importantly, a car verification certifies that the correct VIN is present on the vehicle.

If a VIN was removed or damaged during the restoration of a vehicle that must undergo a state car inspection, you will need to contact the Bureau of Investigation & Identity Protection, which is administered by the Iowa Department of Transportation. Then, you must schedule an appointment for an inspection. If you fail to schedule this procedure, you will not be allowed to drive the car until it is officially deemed rebuilt.

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

After your vehicle is rebuilt and you are ready for a VIN inspection, be mindful that you will be required to follow a few steps established by the Iowa DOT. For instance, you will need to fill out an “Affidavit of Salvage Vehicle Repairs” form. Currently, you can only do so electronically through the Department of Transportation’s official website. If you do not have access to a home computer with an internet connection, you can visit a local library or community center to use a computer with free internet access.

Once you fill out the Iowa DMV VIN verification form, you may schedule an appointment for the inspection. However, be mindful that you will be required to submit an acceptable payment method for the inspection fees. In Iowa, the fee for a salvage vehicle inspection is $50, which must be paid online with a credit card prior to your inspection date. If you do not have a credit card, you may purchase a prepaid credit card to pay for this service.

After thoroughly completing the “Affidavit of Salvage Vehicle Repairs” form and paying the Iowa car inspection fees, you may schedule the actual inspection. In IA, your vehicle must be physically examined by a law enforcement agency that is nearest to you. Furthermore, make sure that the officer who will verify your VIN number is certified by the state’s Law Enforcement Academy to administer these types of inspections.

In general, a vehicle VIN verification will last 45 minutes. However, if there are delays in verifying the vehicle identification number or problems with the documents that you have brought, the process may take up several additional hours to be completed.

What to Bring to a VIN Number Verification in Iowa

Because you must drive the vehicle that you wish to have inspected to the Iowa VIN number validation appointment, you will need to print out a temporary driving permit before you leave your home. In IA, you are able to obtain a permit to drive your rebuilt vehicle to an inspection site online by completing the “Affidavit of Salvage Vehicle Repairs” form.

On the other hand, you can only do so after you pay the inspection fees. In any case, be mindful that can only use a permit to drive your rebuilt vehicle to and from the inspection site, and only on the day of your inspection appointment. If you lose your driving permit prior to the new vehicle inspection, you must print out a new copy.

It is essential for you to show up to your appointment at the Iowa car inspection station with all of the necessary documents. First, you are going to need to provide the officer administering your inspection with the salvage title for the vehicle in question. Then, you will need to present any receipts, invoices or other paperwork that regards the parts that were used to rebuild the car. If you do not bring these required documents, your inspection will be delayed.

What to Do After Completing a State Car Inspection in Iowa

After the inspector in the Iowa vehicle inspection procedure determines that your salvage vehicle is roadworthy and legitimate, you will receive a “Salvage Theft Examination Certificate.” Then, you will be able to apply for a new title and registration through the state’s DOT. If the event that you lose this certificate, you will be required to obtain a replacement copy before you can move forward with your car’s registration.

However, if the police officer who inspected your car indicates on the vehicle inspection form that your vehicle did not pass the verification procedure, or that the VIN in question could not be verified, you will not be able to move forward with rebranding your vehicle.

Last updated on Friday, March 8 2019.

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