The following can perform a VIN verification:
- CHP officers or law enforcement
- DMV employees
- AAA employees
- Licensed private VIN verifiers
There are several reasons why someone would need a VIN verification. The following are a few reasons:
- Registering an out of state vehicle or trailer.
- You are changing your vehicle or trailer’s configuration (the BTM – body type model). Example, you are converting a bus to a motorhome.
- You are changing the fuel type.
- You are being asked by the DMV to do a VIN verification to verify possession of a vehicle or trailer because a lien sale was recently conducted.
- To re-register a salvage or junked vehicle.
VIN verifications performed by the DMV or CHP are free. Private VIN verifiers will charge you a fee for the inspection; in addition, they will charge you a fee for traveling. This fee will vary depending on the distance, time, location, or the personal preferences of the individual company that you contact.
The 2 biggest difference between the DMV/CHP, AAA and private VIN verifies is price and convenience:
CHP does NOT charge for their service, however, you will need to make an appointment to be seen. In addition, they will not perform a VIN verification on just any vehicle or trailer. To be seen by the CHP you must have a referral prior to making an appointment. In addition, they do not travel unless it is a special circumstance, such as a large commercial unit, or where there are multiple units at one location. They are usually the ones that do the more complicated situations because they are highly trained.
DMV does NOT charge a fee for their service, however, they do NOT travel. They can perform a VIN verification on salvage or junked vehicles.
AAA charges a membership fee, so for you to be seen by them, you must be a member. In addition, they stay away from complicated ones, such as older cars, or cars with no records, or anything that has to do with dealerships. They cannot perform VIN verification on salvage or junked vehicles.
Private VIN verifiers do charge a fee for their service, but out of all of the options, they are the most convenient, and fast. They cannot perform verifications on salvage or junked vehicles.
Yes. One of the many tasks that the CHP does to service the public are VIN verifications. However, you have to be referred to the CHP to be seen by them.