VIN Inspections in Missouri
A vehicle identification number (VIN) inspection, otherwise known as a Missouri VIN verification, is an official evaluation of a car’s credentials, which must be performed under certain circumstances in the state. In addition to a VIN inspection, MO drivers must get an odometer reading verification depending on the requirements for their types of vehicles. On the other hand, it is important to note that not all vehicles need to be inspected.
While most drivers are aware of general inspections that are required prior to the titling process of a vehicle, they may not be aware of how or why they must verify a VIN number. The following sections explain how drivers can undergo VIN validations, and when they are required do so to remain compliant with local traffic laws. The sections below also detail which documents you need to complete during a vehicle verification, as well as any associated application forms that car owners may need to fill out.
When is a Missouri VIN verification required?
Car owners must request a VIN verification whenever the ownership of their vehicles, which was titled in a different state or county, is being transferred to new owners in Missouri. Therefore, all vehicles are required to complete an MO DMV VIN verification form for cars that meet this criteria, unless the vehicle transfer is conducted using the manufacturer’s statement of origin (MSO) instead of a title. As a general rule, new car owners cannot legally own the vehicle until an inspection has been authorized at participating car inspection stations. For that reason, car owners are encouraged to verify a vehicle’s VIN as soon as possible when selling a car.
Note: A Missouri car verification may be proved without a formal inspection taking place. For instance, motorists may use evidence such as a statement issued by local law enforcement officers in order to prove that their car’s VINs were verified.
Where can I go to obtain a VIN inspection in Missouri?
Depending on the status of a vehicle and its titling paperwork, car owners in MO may order a VIN verification in person at an inspection station, as well as by mail. More often than not, a vehicle VIN verification is performed along with a general car inspection, thus simplifying the title transfer process. In addition, state law enforcement officers have the authority to sign statements verifying a VIN and an odometer reading, in the case of non-operational or out-of-state vehicles that must be titled.
There are numerous car inspection stations in Missouri that are authorized to administer these types of verifications. For instance, certain garages, dealerships and retail businesses are able to execute a VIN inspection. On the other hand, the list of approved stations changes constantly due to the loss of inspectors or disciplinary actions. Therefore, it is important to note that official inspection stations will display a yellow sign with black lettering that labels them as authorized locations to perform these services.
According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol (MSHP), there are approximately 3,491 active stations in the state that are currently available for motorists to complete a VIN number verification. Moreover, most of these stations also administer other types of inspections that their vehicles may need. Car owners are advised to contact their preferred inspection station in advance in order to make sure that it can perform a used or new vehicle inspection. As an example, certain types of vehicles may require inspectors to use specific tools and have a particular expertise.
Note: Military service members do not need to visit car inspection stations. Instead, these vehicle owners can rely on their commissioned officers to endorse a statement indicating that their cars have verified VINs.
What to Bring to a VIN Number Verification in Missouri
In order to request a Missouri state car inspection of a vehicle identification number, motorists must bring identifying documents and official paperwork that proves their ownership rights over the vehicle. As a general rule, all of the documents related to a vehicle inspection must be recent, thus having been issued within the previous 60 days. Furthermore, these documents must display correct information regarding a car’s titling status.
The documents required during a VIN verification in MO include an application for a VIN plate verification. As such, a vehicle inspection form will require car owners to specify the type of verification they are requesting, the type of vehicle they wish to inspect and the contact information of all registered owners of the car in question. Then, motorists must detail the year, make, vehicle identification number and model of the car in the form. The remaining sections in the document must be completed by a notary or authorized law enforcement officer. Additional documents that car owners should submit when requesting a VIN inspection include:
- Application for a vehicle title, in the event that the car has not yet been titled
- Certificate of title, in the event that the car already has one
- Acceptable payment method for the title and processing fees of $11
When titling a vehicle, car owners will be asked to bring certain paperwork in order to verify that a VIN number validation took place. Those documents include:
- A current DMV VIN verification form certifying a car’s vehicle identification number and odometer reading.
- A VIN inspection form from another state, along with a notarized affidavit, if the applicant and vehicle cannot be present in MO.
- A statement that verifies the VIN and odometer reading, or a completed application for a VIN verification, in the event that the vehicle is in Missouri but has been deemed non-operational.
- A signed statement from a U.S. Armed Forces superior confirming a vehicle’s VIN and odometer reading, if the applicant is in the military.
What to Do After Completing a VIN Inspection in Missouri
After completing a VIN verification in Missouri, car owners must keep records that prove that the inspection took place. These documents include the certificate of title assigned to them, a completed application for MO title and license, as well as other documentation submitted to a local titling office within 30 days of the purchase date. In general, motorists must use a VIN inspection form and other official credentials issued to the car as proof that they have legal ownership rights over a vehicle.