How to Check Out a Vehicle Title to a Previous Owner

by Alex Lubyansky

You can check the title of a vehicle if you have the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). You'll be able to find out useful information by providing the VIN number to a source that can run a check through a database. You'll be able to find the title information for a previous owner, accident history or other information about the vehicle's history. In some cases, you can obtain vehicular history reports through a Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) as well.

Locate the VIN of your vehicle. You can find the VIN on the title, registration, insurance or other paperwork pertaining to the vehicle. Furthermore, you can locate the VIN on the vehicle itself. Good places to look include the dashboard and the inside of the door on your vehicle.

Obtain a vehicle history report through a reputable website. Carfax.com offers a popular option for obtaining such a report. Provide your VIN, and pay a fee. You can visit other websites for this purpose as well. Some of these websites include Abika.com and Edmunds.com. Regardless, you'll be able to find out previous owners by obtaining this information.

Obtain vehicle history through your Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Sometimes, the DMV can assist you with obtaining information about a previous owner. The legal authority of your DMV to give you this information varies across jurisdictions. You may have a better chance of obtaining this information if you can prove it's for a set purpose. One such purpose may be to check on the vehicle's safety. You will need to provide the VIN and other personal information to obtain assistance from the DMV.

About the Author

Alex Lubyansky has been a writer since 2007. He was a research assistant for the legal publication "Feminist Jurisprudence: Volume IV" and has been published in the Education and Employment Tips section of a prominent website. He holds a bachelor's degree in English from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and is currently a law student at DePaul University.