Check The History of a Car Before Buying

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Is this vehicle safe to buy?

  • Clean Title History
  • Salvage History
  • Accident, Total Loss Events
  • Theft, Open Lien & Recall History
See Sample Report

Each DMV Vehicle History & Title Report checks for:

Vehicle Specifications
Insurance Total Loss
Open Lien Information
DMV Title Information
Odometer Records
Other Information
Salvage and Whole Car Auction History
Safety Recall from NHTSA and Manufacturers
Brand Glossary

Frequently Asked Questions

You ask questions, our job is to answer them.

Where can i find my car's VIN information?

A VIN number records can be found on: The driver's side door, a sticker or a metal plate. The lower corner of the windshield, on the driver's side of the vehicle. Your vehicle title and registration. Your insurance card.

How do i get a vehicle history record?

You can download the most up-to-date vehicle records with DMV.com, or visit your local DMV. A comprehensive VIN history report will protect you from any foul play from a seller, such as: reversing the odometer, not disclosing previous repairs, or hiding accidents that may have damaged the frame or the vehicle.

How to sell your car with a VIN number check?

Preparing to sell your vehicle requires providing car info by VIN to potential buyers. Prospective buyers who obtain a VIN number report will get through information about the vehicle and it's condition. As a seller, you can then effectively address any question or concerns regarding the sale, and also get closer to your asking price.

What qualifies for a refund?

DMV.com stands behind the data provided & we provide refunds in the case of any error in title data is not correct as evidenced by a copy or proof of such data error from a state title document.

Why is my credit card showing a charge for a report that I did not receive?

If you ordered a report for a VIN for which no data was available you may see an authorization on your credit card for the amount of the report you requested. This is an authorization only & will be released by DMV.com within 24 hours. Hold times may vary by individual banks.

Is this a one-time charge?

Please be assured that the charges for a single or multiple Vehicle History & Title Reports are one-time charges. There are no monthly automatic charges or fees. You are only charged for the reports you specifically purchase.

Where does your vehicle data come from?

Vehicle history information comes from many sources including records on file from NMVTIS, state DMV, police records, fire & insurance records, data aggregators as well as many other proprietary sources.

What is NMVTIS?

The National Motor Vehicle Title Information System (NMVTIS) was created through the Federal Anti-Car Theft Act of 1992, to help protect consumers from fraud & unsafe vehicles & to keep stolen vehicles from being resold.

Why did I receive the message 'No Data Available'?

You did not receive a report, & will not be charged, because DMV.com does not have enough information for the VIN you requested. You may see an authorization on your credit card for the amount of the report. This is an authorization only & will be released by DMV.com within 24 hours. Hold times may vary by individual banks.

What is the purpose of NMVTIS?

To learn more about The National Motor Vehicle Title Information System (NMVTIS), visit the NMVTIS vehiclehistory.gov website.

Who operates & manages NMVTIS?

The U.S. Department of Justice is responsible for oversight of the implementation & operation of NMVTIS, & works in partnership with the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA). AAMVA has been the operator since 1992. To learn more about NMVTIS visit the vehiclehistory.gov website.

How much will it cost to obtain NMVTIS information on a vehicle?

Cost for NVMTIS vehicle history reports vary & are determined by individual service providers. The Anti-Car Theft Act requires that the system be funded through user fees & not dependent on federal funds. For this reason, NMVTIS has been designed as a fee-for-service system.

What's included in my VIN report?

General Information, such as the Summary, Vehicle Specs, Title Information and more!


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.

Request Your Online Vehicle History Report

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.

Get Your Vehicle History Report Online

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 Thursday, March 14 2019.