How to Order Texas Vehicle History Reports
A VIN lookup is a crucial part of reviewing a vehicle’s history, including any previous car accidents, theft or changes to the odometer reading. Obtaining a vehicle report is especially important to prospective car buyers, as a report can protect you from unexpected problems at a later date. Fortunately, these reports can be requested online, from the comfort of your own home.
Ordering an Online VIN Report in Texas
You can only perform a VIN number lookup online, as the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles no longer offers reports in person or by mail. Fortunately, requesting a report online is simple and fast.
You can obtain a vehicle’s report instantly from your computer or smartphone without having to worry about postage times or hours of operation.
What info is in a Texas VIN history report?
A Texas VIN code lookup can provide you with essential information about a vehicle and its history. You can expect your VIN report to provide you with a comprehensive look at how many owners the vehicle has had, as well as the odometer readings that have been reported as the vehicle changed hands.
This can help you determine whether or not a vehicle has experienced an “odometer rollback,” which is the illegal turn-back of an odometer reading in order to increase the value of the vehicle. When you look up VIN details, you can also discover whether or not a vehicle currently has a lien or lender associated with it, which could result in repossession if that loan remained unpaid.
One of the most important components of a VIN number report involves reports of accidents, damage and title history. If a vehicle has been in a major accident or has undergone serious repairs, you will be able to view that information within the report. What is more, if a vehicle has ever been declared as a “total loss” by an insurance agency, such as in the case with severe damage, flood damage or unrecoverable theft, you will be able to view whether or not the vehicle has ever been issued a salvage title.
It is imperative that you are aware of salvage vehicles up front, as vehicles holding salvage titles are harder to insure, and there are many insurance companies that will restrict coverage options or charge higher premiums. Salvage vehicles may also need further repairs later, depending on the damage that has been sustained, and the type and quality of parts used in the repair of the vehicle.
Why would I need to perform a VIN check in Texas?
Checking VIN numbers on a vehicle prior to purchasing a used car can take much of the guesswork out of the vehicle’s history, and help you make an informed decision on your purchase. A vehicle’s history report is an invaluable tool that you should request before buying a car, even if the purchase you are considering is from a dealership.
A VIN number check is the best way to protect yourself from any surprises down the road, which can save you time and hassle in the long run. If the vehicle has been involved in serious accidents or has undergone major repairs, you may experience mechanical issues at a later date. Additionally, it is important to obtain a report if you are purchasing a vehicle from a private seller in order to safeguard against an odometer rollback and vehicles that have been stolen or still carry liens.
Looking up a VIN number online can also help you to sell a vehicle as it is a document that you can use to reassure buyers of a vehicle’s history. It raises your credibility, and can leave you room for negotiating on a vehicle’s price.
How do I locate my vehicle’s VIN number?
Now that you understand how to check a VIN number in Texas, it is important to know where you can locate this identification number on a vehicle, as this number will be needed in order to complete your check on a vehicle’s history. The vehicle identification number can be on a number of documents, namely the vehicle title and owner’s manual, but it can also be found on registration cards and auto insurance documents. If you do not have access to these documents, you can find the identification number on the vehicle, itself.
The most common place for a VIN number to appear in on the lower-left corner of the dashboard, in front of the vehicle’s steering wheel. You can view the number by looking through the windshield. The number may also appear:
- On the front of the vehicle’s engine block, found by popping the hood and looking at the front of the engine.
- On the front of the vehicle’s frame, beside the container that holds windshield washer fluid.
- Directly above the vehicle’s rear tire.
- Inside the driver’s side doorjamb, viewable while the driver’s side door is open.
- Beneath the spare tire in the trunk of the vehicle.
If you would like to look up a VIN, it is important to know that vehicles made in 1981 and newer will contain identification numbers that are 17 characters long, and are composed of both letters and numerals. Vehicles older than the model year of 1981 have varying lengths.
Vehicle History Report Fees in Texas
In Texas, a vehicle title history record costs $5.75, whereas a certified version of this report costs $6.75.
Vehicle History Report Forms
Note: DMV forms change regularly. The forms provided above are current based on the date of writing.
- Title Check from TXDMV.gov