How to Find a Car You Owned Without the VIN

by Daniel Fox
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Luxury Car sportscar from my luxury car series image by alma_sacra from

Every car has a unique vehicle identification number, or VIN. The VIN provides a concise reference point in locating a vehicle within a database. Every state uses the VIN to register each car on the road, and all car insurance companies use a VIN to identify the vehicles covered by the firm. When you are trying to locate a car you once owned, and are not in possession of the VIN, you will need to find another method of finding the car. You can find a car without the VIN.

Step 1

Use the license plate number. The motor vehicles department in your state uses the license plate number as well as the VIN to identify all vehicles. You can research any transfer of ownership using the license plate number. The motor vehicles department in your state might not agree to reveal personal details regarding the present owner, but the department will be able to locate the vehicle in the system. Once the vehicle is located they can also provide you with the VIN if you so choose.

Step 2

Search for the car using your driver's license number. Every motor vehicles bureau maintains a comprehensive individual record of its drivers, demarcated by driver's license number. These records will include all cars registered under your name. Once the car is located in the system, the bureau can give you the VIN for use in the future.

Step 3

Contact the insurance company that insured the car while you were the owner. Inform them that you want to locate the VIN number of the car. The company will ask you to verify some information to make sure you are who you say you are. Upon verification of your identity, the insurance company will comply with your request and provide you with the VIN.

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