How Can I Run VIN Numbers on a Motorcycle to See if It's Stolen or Not?

by Maya Austen
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VIN stands for Vehicle Identification Number. It’s a type of unique serial number issued by the vehicle’s manufacture. It’s used, in part, to track the history of a vehicle, to report a vehicle as stolen and to verify if a vehicle is stolen. On motorcycles, the VIN is located on the engine case and on the frame. If you are thinking of purchasing a used motorcycle, or used motorcycle parts, it is a good idea to run the motorcycle’s VIN to see if it is stolen or not. There are several ways to accomplish this task.

Step 1

Take the VIN numbers to your local police station. Request to have the numbers run through the National Crime Information Center database. The NCIC database is not publicly accessible. It is only available to law-enforcement personnel. Law enforcement uses this database, in part, to track and verify stolen goods. This is the most accurate way to verify whether a motorcycle is stolen or not.

Step 2

Enter the VIN numbers in the VINCheck tool provided on the National Insurance Crime Bureau website. NICB is a nonprofit organization made up of several insurance and car- rental companies. The organization also works very closely with law enforcement. The goal of NICB is to fight insurance fraud. The VINCheck tool on the NICB website is made available to the public for free to assist you in determining if a vehicle is stolen. You are allowed to conduct up to five VIN number checks within a 24-hour cycle.

Step 3

Run the VIN numbers through an online commercial VIN-check service such as, or

Step 4

Use the Vin Search tool on the website. According to the purpose statement published on the site, “the Motorcycle Data eXchange was designed to help the motorcycle community collaborate against motorcycle thieves.” The Motorcycle Data eXchange runs a voluntary database where owners of stolen motorcycles can go to submit a theft report. When you conduct a VIN search on this website, the VIN number you enter is checked against the submitted theft reports.

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