So what is a VIN verification? It is a physical inspection of your vehicle that is documented on the VIN verification form REG31. The DMV may require that you get a VIN verification for certain vehicles & certain situations. If for instance you have an out-of-state vehicle, the DMV requires that you have your vehicle verified by a DMV employee, a CHP officer or a licensed mobile VIN verifier. It is important to note that a VIN verification is NOT a Carfax report, nor is it a NMVTIS report(National Motor Vehicle Title Information System) - both of the aforementioned reports detail vehicle history or the title/brand status of a vehicle; these reports are more for a consumer that is interested in confirming the history of a vehicle. A VIN verification is NOT a history report, but rather an inspection of the year, make, model, body type model (body configuration), GVRW (gross vehicle weight), mileage, whether or not the Federal Certification Label is present, an emissions label and, above all and most importantly the VIN and where it is attached to.
Types of vehicles or scenarios that would require a VIN Verification:
- Foreign or out of state vehicle.
- Vehicle that has fallen off of the DMV's database (no DMV record).
- Vehicle that has had its body's configuration changed requiring a new BTM (body type model).
What’s needed to do a VIN verification:
- The vehicle: this is because it is a PHYSICAL inspection.
- Supporting documents, such as title, bill of sale, or registration: Although not an absolute necessity supporting documents help verify the vehicle.
- Form REG 31 - This is the form that a DMV employee or a licensed mobile VIN verifier
- will complete for you. This form is available for you at the DMV or printable online,
- however, most licensed mobile VIN verifiers have this form already, so you won't need to bring or have the form with you.
It is important to clarify that neither the DMV nor the CHP charges a fee for a VIN verification. However, neither the DMV nor the CHP travels to you where your vehicle is at or at the time that you want like a licensed mobile VIN verifier can. We have traveled as far as 200 miles to do a VIN verification. With the DMV & the CHP you will have to take your vehicle in yourself to get the VIN verification done, and for some owners this is either very difficult or impossible. So if your vehicle is inoperable, you will either have to trailer or tow the car in; and if you are a very busy person that cannot make time to take the vehicle in, you will have difficulties as well, especially because the CHP does most of their inspections by appointment only and the DMV is sometimes too busy to conduct the VIN verification right away.
What does a licensed VIN verifier charge to perform a VIN verification? Every individual charges different rates, based on different factors, but here is our pricing:
- On-site (in our office): $25
- Off-site (mobile – we come to you): $50 – Is usually within 10 miles. For distances further than 10 miles the price will be based on mileage.
These are vehicles that a licensed mobile VIN Verifier cannot process for you. These restrictions do NOT apply to the CHP officer nor the DMV employee. It is important to know this because if you contract a mobile VIN verifier it is possible that his or her verification will be REJECTED by the DMV and to you and you would've wasted your money. Here is the list of vehicles that we cannot verify:
- Salvage or junked vehicles cannot be verified by anyone other than a CHP officer or the DMV itself. Even if the vehicle has already been branded "salvage" previously by the California DMV or by another state DMV, it will need to be taken directly to the CHP or DMV.
- Motorcycles that were previously in the California DMV database but fell off (no records).
- Post 1970 vehicles with no Federal label.
Give us a call, text us or email us if you have any questions about your particular scenario, pricing, or about your paperwork that you need to register your car!
Want to learn more? Click here on The Ultimate Guide to VIN Verifications & VIN Verifiers