How to Find Out Who Owns a Car by a VIN Numberby Stephanie EllenUpdated July 05, 2023
If you want to find out who owns a vehicle, you can find out some information using the car’s VIN– vehicle identification number. VIN lookups and vehicle ownership information are protected by the Driver's Privacy Protection Act.
Not only do VIN numbers inform dealerships and insurance companies as to the exact manufacturer, model year, and even engine size about a specific vehicle, but the VIN acts as your vehicle history report. In order to receive detailed information on ownership history, you must have a valid reason for obtaining the VIN report.
Examples of valid reasons include a stolen car or transfer of ownership into your name. You may also be able to obtain contact information for a driver in connection with an accident. VIN numbers are important for tracking recalls, registered owners, warranty claims, theft records and insurance coverage.
Free VIN check
Every vehicle has VIN number. As the owner of a car, it’s beneficial to find your vehicle identifier and copy the 17-digit serial number onto somewhere safe. These numbers are typically printed on stickers located in the driver’s side door or jamb, or the driver’s side windshield placed just above the dash.
If you’re shopping for vehicles, a VIN search on a used car can provide useful insight into previous owners’ crash and repair history. You won’t uncover owner information, but this basic information is incredibly helpful to assess the condition of a car before buying. VIN search engines are offered on websites like CARFAX.
Vehicle owner lookup
1. DMV Request for Information
Visit your state's Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and ask for a Request for Information form. You may be able to obtain this form at your state's DMV website.
2. Fill out the form completely.
Fill out the form completely. You'll need to supply your name, address, the VIN number of the vehicle and other identifying information.
3. Sign the form and attach the fee
Sign the form and attach the fee, if applicable. For example, the State of Oregon charges $1.50 to provide driver address information.
Check your state laws before filling out a Request for Information form; obtaining personal information without a valid reason may be a prosecutable crime.
Things You'll Need
- Request for Information form
- Check your state laws before filling out a Request for Information form; obtaining personal information without a valid reason may be a prosecutable crime.
Stephanie Ellen teaches mathematics and statistics at the university and college level. She coauthored a statistics textbook published by Houghton-Mifflin. She has been writing professionally since 2008. Ellen holds a Bachelor of Science in health science from State University New York, a master's degree in math education from Jacksonville University and a Master of Arts in creative writing from National University.