Vehicle FAQ

What are title brands?

Title brands tell potential customers whether a used vehicle has sustained damage or might be potentially unsafe to drive. To learn more about title brands, please visit our Title Brand content page.

What if the VIN is not 17 characters long?

If you believe the VIN is not 17 characters long, the first thing to do is double-check to make sure that you have copied the VIN down correctly. If you confirm the VIN is less than 17 characters long, the VIN is most likely from a pre-1981 vehicle. Prior to 1981, VINs varied in length from 11 to 17 characters. AutoCheck can only report on vehicles that use a 17 character VIN. Therefore, information on vehicles manufactured before 1981 is limited.

Where can I find the VIN?

The VIN can be found by looking at the dashboard on the driver's side of the vehicle. The easiest way to view it is to stand outside the vehicle on the driver's side and look at the corner of the dashboard where it meets the windshield. If the VIN cannot be found there, open the driver's side door and look at the door post (where the door latches when it is closed). It is likely that the VIN will also be displayed in this location. See the image below:


Look for the VIN in these other locations:

  • Insurance card / Insurance policy
  • Vehicle title and registration

What is a VIN?

The car's vehicle identification number (VIN) is the identifying code for a SPECIFIC automobile. It is essentially the car's fingerprint, as each and every vehicle has its own unique VIN. VINs for vehicles manufactured after 1980 are composed of 17 characters (digits and letters). A VIN's numbers and characters reveal the car's unique features, specifications and manufacturer. The VIN can be used to track recalls, registrations, warranty claims, thefts and insurance coverage.


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