If your VIN plate is broken, lost, or altered, you can get a new VIN number for a car. Other reasons you will need a new VIN include a VIN error on the title or registration and a restored or home-built vehicle. Getting a new VIN plate involves a few steps. Each state has its own procedure and requirements for giving you a replacement. In this post, you will learn the general steps to help you understand the process better.
What Does VIN Mean?
A VIN (vehicle identification number) is a special code made up of 17 numbers and letters. It’s unique to each car, so no two cars have the same VIN.
You can usually see the VIN through the car’s windshield. It’s also found on the driver’s side dashboard and door frame in most cars. Sometimes, you can find it on the car’s title or in the insurance papers too.
A VIN helps in registration and keeping records of vehicles. This code contains information about the car, such as the vehicle made, year, engine size, weight, and manufacturer.
How to Get a New VIN Number for a Car
It is quite similar in all 50 states to get a new VIN number for a car. Since the federal government regulates vehicle identification numbers, the process is similar in different states. Here’s how to get a new VIN number for a car:
Contact Your Local DMV
Reach out to your local police department or motor vehicle authority to report any suspected VIN tampering or other related issues. If your original VIN is damaged, lost, or destroyed, you can request a new one. You need to fill out an Application For Replacement Vehicle Identification Number.
Have Your Vehicle Inspected
Most states will require an inspection of the vehicle by a certified inspector or law enforcement officer to verify the original VIN and ensure the vehicle is not stolen.
In Ohio, for example, you need to get a salvage receipt for inspection at any Deputy Registrar spot and pay $50. This receipt is needed for setting up an inspection with the state highway patrol. Note that your vehicle doesn’t have to be a salvage vehicle. The salvage inspector also checks new VIN assignment applications.
Use the salvage receipt to book your inspection with the state highway patrol. When you go for your inspection, make sure to bring the following to get a new VIN number for a car:
- The receipt from when you purchased the salvage inspection
- Your original, valid certificate of title for the vehicle
Once the inspection is done, the state highway patrol will give you a salvage inspection form.
Submit Other Paperwork
You may be required to provide paperwork related to the vehicle’s purchase, including a bill of sale and any repair or restoration work. Basically, any relevant documents, such as a bill of sale, that can establish the history and proof of ownership of the vehicle will be required.
Send Your Application to the DMV
After you have had the vehicle inspected and received the salvage inspection form (HP 106), send your application to the DMV with these documents:
- Request to get a new car VIN form
- Your car’s legal title
- A filled-out salvage inspection form
When the DMV receives your application, they will send some forms and a copy of your title to the state highway patrol. They will also send the original title to the Clerk of Courts in your county.
If your request for a new VIN plate is accepted, the state highway patrol will make the new plate and send it to you. They’ll then call you to set up a time to put it on your vehicle. Usually, they’ll do this to make sure it’s done right.
If you need a new title with the new VIN plate, the state highway patrol will fill out a form and notify the Clerk of Courts. The Clerk of Courts in your county will give you a title that recognizes your newly installed VIN plate.
Get a New VIN Number for a Car
If approved, the DMV will issue a new VIN for your vehicle. This VIN will likely be attached to your vehicle with a special sticker or plate. Ensure you update your vehicle’s title, registration, and insurance information with the new VIN.
Read also: Can You Sell a Car with a Duplicate Title?