How to Check a VIN Number for Theft

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When a vehicle is reported stolen, the VIN, or vehicle identification number, may be flagged by law enforcement or insurance agencies. You can check a VIN against a number of databases in order to find out if the vehicle is stolen. Checking the VIN for theft is a quick and simple process that takes only minutes to complete.

  • Locate the VIN on the vehicle. On most vehicles, the VIN can be found on the lower portion of the driver's side windshield or on the inside of the driver's side door. The VIN can also be found on other major components, including the transmission, front and rear bumper, engine and hood.

  • Record the 17-digit number on a piece of paper.

  • Call or visit your local Department of Motor Vehicles office to look up the theft history of the vehicle. If the department is not able to provide this service, you may be referred to your local law enforcement agency.

  • Search online for a VIN database. Some databases provide this service free of charge, while others require payment.

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