How to Check the VIN Numbers of Cars in Ohio

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If you want to search the history of a vehicle registered in Ohio, you can run a check on the vehicle identification number or VIN. This is essentially the vehicle's serial number. Every car and truck has a unique serial number so running a check on a VIN is a good way to learn about a vehicle you are researching or thinking about buying. Several online services can provide you with VIN information.

Things You'll Need

  • Internet Access
  • Obtain the VIN number for the vehicle you are interested in researching. The VIN is usually located on the front corner of the dashboard. You can view it by looking through the windshield on the driver's side while you are standing outside of the car. On some vehicles, the VIN may be located inside the doorjamb on the driver's side; open the driver's side door and look on the door post to view it. In addition, the VIN is printed on the vehicle's title and registration papers.

  • Open a Web browser and navigate to the DMV.gov website (see Resource 1). This site directs you to available VIN lookup websites for Ohio such as Carfax.com, Gov DVM Records and Gov DMV Registry. Click any of the links to choose a site to use for your VIN search.

  • Enter the VIN number for the vehicle in question and then provide any other information requested by the website. Some sites require you to create an account before you can use the service; others charge a small fee for in-depth information. To obtain all of the detailed information regarding a vehicle's history, complete the sign-up process and pay the required fee.

Tips & Warnings

  • Ohio VIN records do not have "out of state" information on a VIN that was registered in another state. Likewise, Ohio VIN records do not include accident information unless the incident was reported to the state. Using a nationwide database such as those listed in the Resources section of this article will provide a wider scope of information in the event your car was ever registered outside of Ohio.
  • Photo Credit yellow car, a honda japanese sport car model image by alma_sacra from Fotolia.com
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