Performing a Virginia VIN lookup can help ensure that you are aware of a vehicle’s history, including accidents, damage, car titling and odometer readings. Fortunately, this invaluable information can be gained online, in person or by mail.

Ordering a VIN check online in Virginia

You can request a VIN number lookup online, in order to take advantage of a faster and more convenient service. For a nominal fee, you can obtain the report that you need without the wait, allowing you to buy or sell a vehicle faster, while ensuring you can make an informed decision regarding the vehicle in question. Getting started is easy.

Checking a VIN Report at the DMV in Virginia

A VIN code lookup can also be performed at your local Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). You only need to provide the vehicle’s make, model and identification number to get started.

On the other hand, these reports are not issued at a DMV office. Instead, your requested report will be mailed to you within 15 days.

Performing a VIN Number Check by Mail in Virginia

Should you choose to look up a VIN by mail, you will need to download and complete a Request for Vehicle Information by a Prospective Purchaser, and mail it along with a check or money order payment. While this will allow you to skip the trip to the DMV, it is the slowest method of obtaining a vehicle’s report, as it may take up to 15 days from the date that the DMV processes your request to receive the report, not to mention the amount of time it will take for the initial request to be received via mail.

What info is in a Virginia VIN history report?

When you look up a VIN in Virginia, you will be provided with numerous key pieces of information about a vehicle’s history. You will learn more about the number of owners a vehicle has had, as well as if there are any current liens or lenders listed on a vehicle title. The vehicle’s history report will also check for theft statuses and inform you if the vehicle has ever been declared a total loss due to damages, unrecoverable theft or flood effects. This can help you to predict whether or not a vehicle may experience mechanical failures in the near future, as well as if a salvage title has been issued on the vehicle. Vehicles are issued a salvage title when declared a total loss, and it can be far more difficult to sell a salvage vehicle, and even title one.

Checking VIN numbers will also provide you with information regarding the recorded odometer readings each time that a vehicle has changed hands. This can help you to discern whether or not an odometer has been illegally rolled back in order to increase the value of the vehicle. Any safety recalls that have been opened by NHTSA and vehicle manufacturers will also be listed in the report, including the severity level for injury risk and what must be done for repair.

Why would I need to perform a VIN check in Virginia?

Looking up a VIN number can be an invaluable tool regarding a number of situations. However, a vehicle report is most useful when considering the purchase or sale of a vehicle. A VIN number check is imperative to prospective buyers who are considering a particular used vehicle from a dealership or a private seller.

Learning about a vehicle’s history, including the amount of damage a vehicle has previously sustained in damages, can help motorists make informed decisions about the purchasing of vehicles. Additionally, a vehicle’s report will display any red flags that may be cause for concern, such as lenders that are currently listed on a vehicle’s title, the theft status of a vehicle and whether or not an odometer reading may have been skewed. Therefore, obtaining a vehicle report is the best way that a buyer can protect himself or herself.

A VIN report is also an invaluable tool for individuals who would like to sell their vehicles. A clean report will allow the potential negotiation regarding a vehicle’s price, as well as offer peace of mind to prospective buyers.

How do I locate my vehicle’s VIN number?

Now that you understand how to check a VIN number, it is important to be aware of the different locations in which a vehicle’s identification number can be located. If a vehicle’s model year is 1981 or newer, the identification number will contain both letters and numerals, and it will be 17 characters in length. Vehicles that are older than that will have identification number lengths that vary greatly.

In order to obtain a VIN history, you must first locate this identification number on the vehicle, itself, or in its associated documents. In addition to being found on the car title and registration documentation, in the owner’s manual and on the auto insurance documents, the identification number can be found:

  • On the front of the engine block.
  • On the front of the car frame.
  • Above the tire, on the rear wheel well.
  • Inside the driver-side
  • Beneath the spare tire in the trunk.

Remember, the vehicle’s identification number is necessary in order to complete your request for a history report. You cannot request a VIN number report without this ID, but if all else fails, you can try to contact the vehicle’s manufacturer for guidance on where else the number may be located.

Vehicle History Report Fees in Virginia

The DMV charges $8 for online vehicle records and $9 for in-person or mail-in requests. There is an additional $5 fee to have the records certified.

Last updated on Wednesday, March 4 2020.