How to Check a VIN Number on the Internet

by Tony Thorson

Every car made in the United States requires a vehicle identification number, or VIN. The VIN gives information such as your model, make and year of your vehicle. Each VIN is unique to the vehicle on which is located. It is required for registration of your vehicle, and most insurance companies require it as well. Because of the unique number on every vehicle, a simple search for your vehicle's VIN number online can retrieve any accidents the vehicle has been in, mileage or repair history. The search is easy to perform.

Locate the number on your vehicle. It is usually located on the driver's door. Open the door and on the panel that is usually hidden when the door shut you will find a sticker with the VIN of the vehicle. The number is also located on the dashboard on the driver's side of the vehicle.

Double-check that the numbers are accurate. One number in the wrong place will give you incorrect information during your search.

Google the words "vehicle history report." Select the reporting company that you would like to use. One of the most popular vehicle history reporting companies is Carfax. Carfax is a paid service. There are, however, many free vehicle history reporting companies.

Enter the required information into the form on the vehicle history reporting company's website. Usually this is just the VIN.

Download the report. Depending on the service provider, the report may contain the number of previous owners, accidents, odometer readings and a history of severe repairs. Usually you are able to print out this report right from the website.


  • check Although the information obtained from a vehicle history report can help make an informed decision, get a certified mechanic to check out any used vehicle before purchasing it.

About the Author

Tony Thorson has been a freelance writer since 2000. He works with several independent businesses and private clients. He writes articles, blogs, commentary, hand books and newsletters. He taught English and grammar to his four home-schooled children from fourth grade to senior year. He also has 15 years of experience managing and he runs ThorsonGroup, a group of writers.

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