How Do You Check the Owner of a Vehicle by the VIN?

The Driver’s Policy Protection Act makes it illegal to reveal the owners of a car by name; however, the VIN makes it possible to get a detailed history of the vehicle that includes accidents, repairs and the number of previous owners. A complete vehicle history report can be obtained with the VIN number in as little as 10 minutes.

  1. Locate the VIN

    The VIN is typically found in the corner of the dashboard by the steering wheel. It may also appear at the driver-side doorpost, underneath the spare tire or at the front of the engine block under the hood. If you are purchasing a used car as a private buyer, ask the owner to provide you with the VIN.

  2. Find a vehicle history company or website

    Use a search engine to locate a company that provides reports based on the VIN. Although online reports are quicker, it is also possible to have paper reports sent by mail.

  3. Provide the VIN to the company

    Provide the search company with the VIN and any additional information requested. When the VIN search is complete, the company provides a report of the vehicle’s history, which includes title information and the number of previous owners.