Certain vehicles must undergo a VIN verification in Pennsylvania due to particular circumstances. Overall, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) requires drivers to verify a VIN number on their cars in order to make sure that the VIN displayed on their vehicles matches the one listed on their titles. Furthermore, a VIN inspection can be completed in a few different ways, depending on the model year of the vehicle.

Understanding the specific instances when drivers need to get a VIN number verification in PA, as well as how important this procedure is overall, allows motorists to avoid any legal disparities that relate to their vehicles’ ownership rights. The following sections describe when car owners should expect to get a vehicle verification, as well as how to be prepared for these procedures to take place.

When is a Pennsylvania VIN verification required?

As a general rule, the PennDOT requires out-of-state cars to undergo PA VIN inspection procedures whenever they are brought into the state. For that reason, a VIN verification is required in the case of vehicle owners who move from another state, as well as for current state motorists who purchase a car from a different state.

Furthermore, a VIN number validation is required when applying for a title certificate for a truck, tractor or motorhome, regardless of who bought it and where it was purchased from. On the other hand, there are instances in which a vehicle verification is not required, such as in the case of the following types of vehicles:

  • Motorcycles
  • Vehicles owned for a year or more that were driven less than 5,000 miles during the past year
  • New vehicles with less than 5,000 miles on their odometers
  • Registered antique or classic collectible vehicles
  • Registered street rods

Whenever motorists verify the VIN number on their cars, they may also need to go through a safety inspection procedure or get an emissions test. These state car inspection procedures include equipment checks on various parts of the car, such as the brakes, horn, windshield wipers, tires, exhaust system, mirrors and suspension. In general, cars are required to undergo a safety inspection within ten days of their VIN inspections.

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

Pennsylvania drivers can complete a Pennsylvania VIN number validation and emissions test at authorized car inspection stations or through licensed vehicle dealerships in the state. If a car needs to undergo a safety inspection in addition to its VIN verification, drivers can also go to the PA Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).

Overall, there are various car inspection stations located throughout the state. These establishments can be found by visiting the official PennDOT portal. In the case of drivers who find themselves out of state upon needing to undergo a new car inspection, they may qualify to get an inspection from a law enforcement officer, a car dealership or a provost marshal in a different state.

What to Bring to a VIN Number Verification in Pennsylvania

Whenever drivers verify the VIN numbers on their vehicles, they have to prepare certain necessary documents and information, which will be needed for them to complete this process. As such, Pennsylvania motorists must fill out the proper DMV VIN verification form, which is available on the official PennDOT portal, and bring it to a local Department of Transportation office, along with supplementary details about the car and the signature of its registered owner. Vehicle owners must also expect to pay a set VIN inspection fee, which may vary in the state.

Along with the vehicle inspection form, motorists will be required to submit other verification documents, which are listed below. In any case, these documents should show both effective and cessation dates.

  • A valid title for the vehicle being inspected, issued in the owner’s name.
  • Proof of auto insurance that complies with the specifications set by the PennDOT, including:
    • A valid insurance identification card.
    • The declaration page of an insurance policy.
    • A copy of a valid binder or a copy of an application for insurance to the “Pennsylvania Assigned Risk Plan.”
  • A method of payment for the accompanying fees, which may vary.

What to Do After Completing a VIN Inspection in Pennsylvania

After a vehicle passes the Pennsylvania VIN verification procedure and its accompanying emissions test, a car owner will be given a completion certificate that is valid for 90 days. Generally, this certificate should be displayed in the vehicle.

On the other hand, if the car fails the vehicle verification, its owner will receive a form describing all of the issues that were identified, so that a mechanic can repair them. Then, vehicles can be retested after these repairs have been taken care of.

Last updated on Monday, March 9 2020.