FAQs

These are the most frequently asked questions.

If you have any questions, please contact us.

How to find your car’s VIN number?

The location of a car’s VIN or the vehicle identification number depends on the make and model. The most common location is in front of the dashboard on the driver’s side. It is visible through the windshield from outside the car. Check the driver’s side door pillar or near the area where the door latches to the car. You may also want to open the hood and look for the VIN on the engine block. In older cars, you may find it in front of the frame. If the VIN number is not in any of these locations, your owner’s manual may be able to tell you where to find it.

You can also easily check your car’s VIN number from the vehicle title, certificate of registration or car insurance policy. If you’re looking for a car to buy, online marketplaces offering used cars usually provide the VIN number so that you can run a VIN search quickly. All you need to do is copy the VIN and paste it here at Vehicle.report and then click to get a free vehicle report.

What is a VIN number?

The vehicle identification number or VIN is a unique alphanumeric combination assigned by the manufacturer to every vehicle. The ISO and NHTSA standardized the format, allowing any number and letter except O (o), I (i), and Q (q). These letters are not used to avoid confusion with numerals 0, 1, and 9. Each character in the VIN points to the vital information about the car. You only need the VIN to access critical vehicle information at Vehicle.report.

Why does a VIN matter?

The VIN is used by government agencies, car manufacturers and related industries to keep track of all vehicles. As of 2019, there are a total of 284.8 millions vehicles registered in the United States. Most, if not all, transactions and processes that involve a vehicle are recorded using the vehicle’s VIN. It is very useful for anyone regardless of whether the person is the owner, buyer, seller or dealer. You can use the VIN to check if a car has ever been recalled by its manufacturer, if it has been in an accident, how often the car has been bought and sold, and more.

Where do you get your vehicle data from?

Vehicle.report collate vehicle information from a wide network of reliable information sources. We gather vehicle data from auto manufacturers, car dealerships, car insurance companies, junk yards, and salvage yards. Our database also compiles information from DMVs, law enforcement agencies, highway traffic safety authorities, and other government agencies.

You mentioned NMVTIS, what is that?

The National Motor Vehicle Title Information System (NMVTIS) is a government database of comprehensive car information from states, insurance carriers, and the salvage industry. The tool is designed to prevent fraudulent car sales and reselling of stolen vehicles.The US Department of Justice oversees the NMVTIS, and works in partnership with the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA) which has been the operator since 1992. Every time you run a free VIN report at Vehicle.report, you tap into the NMVTIS database.

What does “Active Theft” or “Recovered Theft” mean?

An active theft, in relation to vehicles, refers to an active case of theft in which the stolen car has not been recovered yet. On the other hand, a stolen car that has been recovered already may get the “salvage” brand due to its theft history. After it has been repaired and inspected (to check compliance with other jurisdiction procedures), it may be declared safe to be legally driven. However, its vehicle title will indicate “Recovered Theft” or “Theft Recovered.” Records of active and recovered theft can be checked through Vehicle.report’s free VIN check. It’s important to check these records so that you can assess the risk of buying a car and make an informed decision.

What does an “Exempt” odometer reading mean?

A vehicle may indicate “Exempt”, “Odometer Exempt from Odometer Disclosure” or “Exempt Mileage” if it meets the criteria set by the local jurisdiction that allows it to change ownership without disclosure of the odometer reading. This exemption usually applies to cars that have been on the road for many years which have incorrect mileage due to odometer malfunction or other issues. Most states have passed laws exempting cars 10 years or older from the requirement of having mileage reported at the time of sale.

How does Vehicle.report work with classic cars? Are vehicle history reports available for them?

A car is usually considered a classic car if it is 20 years or older. Manufactured in 1990 or earlier, classic cars often have enough historical interest to be collectible and worth restoring or preserving. Since VINs have only been available since 1981, you may only be able to run a vehicle report for classic cars built since 1981. You may need alternative resources or other means to check the VIN and the vehicle history of classic cars manufactured prior to 1981.

Do Vehicle.report reports have information for Canadian vehicles, international vehicles, or exports?

On average, less than 60 percent of the vehicles now operating in the United States are manufactured locally. Over 40 percent are imported from other countries. Some of these vehicles may have been bought and resold already. Vehicle.report can give you in-depth information about any used car regardless of where it was manufactured. If you’re buying a used car, it’s always best to verify what its VIN can tell you. As long as you have the 17-character VIN, you do a free VIN check for the vehicle.