Checking a VIN in New York is fairly easy to do, especially with an online service. More importantly, it is crucial to know the history of your vehicle as knowing will save you time and money in the long run. Also of note is that information received from a VIN number lookup will be different depending on the method used to obtain one.

New York residents can check VIN history online, at a DMV office or by mail. When requesting vehicle history records by mail or in person, it may take several weeks to receive the requested information. In the sections below, learn more about how a VIN lookup can be conveniently conducted online for maximum convenience.

How to Conduct a New York VIN Number Lookup Online

The fastest and most comprehensive VIN number check is conducted online. Using an expedient online service is easy and you will receive a complete history of your vehicle in one single report.

Your online VIN record includes information that many services do not include, that holds true for the reports ordered through the New York state DMV. With, your VIN lookup report will include the following information (if it applies to your vehicle):

  • Vehicle specifications – make, model, factory options, engine size, etc.
  • Salvage and whole car auction history – car auction dates, locations, odometer readings at the time of auction, junkyards, exports and any history information found on the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System (NMVTIS).
  • Lien information – any open or current liens on the vehicle including finance companies, banks and credit union lien holders.
  • Manufacturer information – such as the original car sticker and any recalls issued on the vehicle.
  • Safety Recall information from NHTSA – The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration helps to enforce vehicle performance standards.
  • Accident and total loss reports – both minor and major accidents reported to the insurance companies.
  • DMV title information – to know exactly what the vehicle has been through including flood damage, odometer rollback, lemon law problems and more.

How to Request a New York VIN Code Lookup in Person

To apply for VIN history in person at a New York DMV office you will need to present the completed application form and payment. Some NY DMV offices require motorists to set an appointment before appearing. The offices in the following areas require a reservation:

  • New York City
  • Westchester
  • Nassau
  • Suffolk
  • Rockland
  • Onondaga
  • Albany

The proper forms are available on the New York DMV website or at your local DMV office. Through the New York DMV you can get the following records regarding your car:

How to Request a New York VIN Lookup by Mail

A limited VIN history can be ordered by mail from the NY DMV. To order title information about your car from the DMV, you must first get the “Request For Certified DMV Records” form from the website or your local branch. Complete the forms, include the required payment and identification and the mail in the forms to the address listed on the form

When petitioning the NY DMV office for your car’s VIN history, the only information available is insurance reports, past vehicle inspection, title records and registration. There is a separate charge for each search.

What info is in a New York VIN history report?

If you choose to request a VIN number check from the NY DMV, there is a limited list of types of records you can request. The New York DMV can provide the following vehicle information:

  • Vehicle inspection records
  • Vehicle ownership (title) records
  • Vehicle registration history

If you need to research more information about your car, an online service such a can provide a comprehensive VIN history. The New York VIN history report provides a deep history of your vehicle including the following:

  • Manufacturer’s specifications
  • Safety reports
  • Recalls and defects
  • Towing history and impounds
  • Sales history
  • Theft status and theft history
  • Accident history
  • Title information and title history
  • Odometer reading reports
  • 75+ possible vehicle title problems

Why would I need to perform a VIN check in New York?

Performing a VIN lookup can protect you from trouble and inconveniences. If you just purchased the car or just had the car brought into the state an NY VIN code lookup is required to register the vehicle. Also, if your vehicle was salvaged at any time, state law requires the NY DMV to examine the vehicle. A salvage vehicle is one that has been significantly damaged and issued a salvage certificate by an insurance company or declared a “wreck” on the NY title certificate.

If you are buying a used vehicle from a private seller, a VIN history report will help you check the vehicle’s background. Before you are able to register your newly purchased car with the NY DMV, you will have to provide proof of ownership, a damage disclosure statement and an odometer disclosure statement. A comprehensive VIN report can alert you to any issues regarding these statements and assure a smooth registration process.

How do I locate my vehicle’s VIN number?

The vehicle identification number for your car is an important identifying mark that helps track where your car has been, when it is sold, if it has been stolen, involved in an accident or been recalled by the manufacturer. The VIN numbers are imprinted and labeled in different areas around the vehicle. The location of VIN numbers varies by make and manufacturer but the most common places to find your car’s VIN are:

  • On the dashboard near the windshield.
  • In the maintenance book for the car.
  • Inside the driver’s side door or the post on the passenger side.
  • On the radiator support bracket.
  • On the front of the engine on a machined pad.
  • Inside the left-hand wheel arch.

Protect yourself with a New York VIN number check. It will inform you about the history of the vehicle to save you from potential repair trouble, ownership disagreements and insurance issues.

Vehicle History Report Fees in New York

The fee for vehicle records in New York is $10.

Last updated on Thursday, October 15 2020.