A “vehicle identification number” or VIN is the specific identifying number for a motor vehicle. Every vehicle must have one in order to be eligible for a title or registration.
Many times, a new VIN is needed if the vehicle is an older vehicle which had the original on the engine, or if it is a trailer, or if it is a home built/kit car type of vehicle. In some cases the original VIN may have been damaged or destroyed.
Is your vehicle missing its VIN, or does it have an incorrect VIN? Before you can start applying for a vehicle title, the motor vehicle must have a valid VIN. This number must be one that was issued by the vehicle manufacturer, or assigned by a government agency. You can NOT make up your own VIN. There are very serious Federal laws regarding VIN tampering or removal.
Falsification or removal of any VIN required by the DOT on a motor vehicle is a federal crime under 18 U.S.C. § 511. Motor vehicles which have had their DOT required VINs falsified or removed after October 24, 1984, are subject to seizure and forfeiture under 18 U.S.C. § 512
Before proceeding with any activity which might disturb a VIN plate on a motor vehicle, you should consider obtaining qualified legal advice to ensure that you are doing nothing inadvertently which could be a problem.
If you need to apply for a new VIN, there are processes to do this with your state licensing division. In most cases, you will need to apply for the process, prepare documents regarding the vehicle, and present the vehicle to the licensing division. The vehicle will be inspected to make sure that it is a legitimate vehicle, and the government will assign a VIN, and in most cases their agent will attach the metal VIN plate to your vehicle, using specific fasteners. Most states do not allow you to put the VIN plate on yourself. (otherwise, you could just put it on any other vehicle). We have links to the various DMV’s in all 50 states in our resources section, which can help you navigate the process. We also have Title Consulting available if you need more assistance at the following link.
If you would like us to prepare the documents you would need to apply for the new VIN, you can also order a paperwork package with the prepared forms you need to start the new VIN application process. $249
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Are you a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization looking for title assistance with donated vehicles? Learn more about how CarTitles can help prepare your transfer paperwork for no cost. Contact [email protected] for more information.