How to Run an Arizona VIN Number

by Julius Vandersteen

If you have bought or are considering purchasing a vehicle in Arizona, you might want to know about its history, such as the number of previous owners, or whether the manufacturer has ever recalled it. Every motor vehicle sold in the United States must carry a unique 17-digit Vehicle Identification Number, as required by the Department of Transportation. You can run an Arizona vehicle's VIN in an online database.

Find the Arizona vehicle's VIN, which is usually located on the driver's side of the dashboard. You can also look on the door frame, or on the vehicle's title, registration or insurance paperwork.

Go to a VIN-lookup service website, such as AutoCheck or Carfax (see Resources).

Type the VIN into the service's search box. Click on a command such as "Enter" or "Search" to look up the VIN. Preliminary free results will appear, giving you details about the vehicle's year, make and manufacturer.

Type your name and credit card information into the site's order form to buy a report for the vehicle you searched. You will get details about the vehicle's history, including how many owners there were, whether the odometer has been rolled back illegally and if someone has ever reported it in an accident or stolen.

Items you will need

About the Author

Julius Vandersteen has been a freelance writer since 1999. His work has appeared in “The Los Angeles Times,” “Wired” and “S.F. Weekly.” Vandersteen has a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from San Francisco State University.

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera car image by Brett Bouwer from Fotolia.com