Frequently Asked Questions
You have questions. We have answers. Many questions can be answered in our FAQ about VINData History Reports, VINData Window Stickers, the data we use including NMVTIS, how we bill, how to contact VINData History customer support, and more.
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Where does your vehicle data come from in the VINData History Reports?
The data in our VINData History Reports comes from many sources including records on file from the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System (NMVTIS), police records, fire and insurance records, vehicle values providers, state and federal databases, data aggregators as well as many other proprietary sources.
NMVTIS is a database administered by the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA) and overseen by the US Department of Justice. NMVTIS is the only vehicle history database in the nation into which all states, insurance carriers, and junk salvage yards are required by federal law to report their data. For most state DMVs, it is the database of record that they check when they are titling out of state vehicles or need to get a vehicle’s history. Our reports match your state DMV.
Be sure to read our Report Sections and Data Sources pages for more information about how to read our reports and our data sources.
What is The National Motor Vehicle Title Information System (NMVTIS)?
The National Motor Vehicle Title Information System (NMVTIS) was created through the Federal Anti-Car Theft Act of 1992, to help protect consumers from fraud.
Fraud types that NMVTIS helps to protect against include title washing. This happens when a vehicle is given a title brand like Salvage or Junk in one state, then the vehicle is titled in another state without the brand. Unsuspecting people might purchase that vehicle and not know the vehicle’s history.
Another type of fraud is VIN cloning, where the VIN of one vehicle is placed on another vehicle, or the VIN number is just made up.
NMVTIS also protects against stolen vehicles from being resold in another state.
Through NMVTIS, VINData History is an authorized provider and reseller of the DMV sourced title and brand data. The DMV sourced data also includes descriptive labels called brands which identity a vehicle’s current or prior condition such as ‘salvage’ or ‘flood’ and convey additional information and help protect consumers from unknowingly buying a damaged vehicle. VINData History includes more than 60 of these title brands in the VINData History Reports.
Through NMVTIS, VINData History Reports also provide junk, salvage and insurance total loss data, sourced from insurance companies, auto salvage auctions, vehicle dismantlers, auto crushers, junk yards and more. Data from these sources can indicate that a vehicle might have reached the end of its life. Because these non-government companies are required by federal law to provide data into the NMVTIS database, it is the most comprehensive available when it comes to reporting damaged vehicles.
VINData History reports NMVTIS information in real-time, meaning that we get the information from the provider at the time you requested the report.
VIN Data has successfully integrated with a diverse and complex customer base and has a deep understanding and history supporting custom client integrations.
What does it mean when there isn’t any data available for my VIN?
When this happens, it is because VINData History does not have enough information for the VIN you requested. You did not receive a report, and will not be charged. You may see an authorization on your credit card for the amount of the report. This is an authorization only and will be released by VINData History within 24 hours. Hold times may vary by individual banks.
Possible reasons for this response are:
- Vehicle is titled in a non-participating state from NMVTIS which includes Washington DC, HI, KS, TN, and VT
- No junk yard, salvage auction or insurance company has data for that VIN
- Vehicle is not titled in the United States
- Vehicle is considered new (never titled)
- Incorrect VIN entered or fabricated VIN
What states are available in the NMVTIS system?
Currently all 50 states and The District of Columbia are involved with NMVTIS at various levels of participation. (View NMVTIS participation map). Most states participate fully with NMVTIS, meaning they provide data to the system as well as make title inquiries before issuing new titles. Other states provide data into the system while they are developing the capacity to participate fully with NMVTIS. VINData History Reports data supplied by NMVTIS along with multiple other data sources.
The following state is in development and is expected to be in full compliance through NMVTIS soon: Hawaii. To be clear, junk, salvage and insurance total loss data provided via NMVTIS covers all 51 states and jurisdictions.
Does VINData History have vehicle history reports for motorcycles, Powersport vehicles, commercial trucks and RVs?
Unlike other major vehicle history reports, VINData History Reports specializes in reports for specialty vehicles. Our reports are available for motorcycles and medium and heavy (commercial) trucks and buses, and recreational vehicles (RVs) and motorhomes. Powersports vehicles like ATVs, OHVs, UHVs and snowmobiles are also supported in the states where those vehicles are titled by the DMV. Some salvage/junk/total loss data is available for commercial trailers, towed campers, toy boxes, etc., but those vehicles may not have any other data available.
Does VINData History have vehicle history reports for classic cars?
VINData History does provide reports on classic cars – those vehicles older than model year 1981 with fewer than 17-character VINs – by means of NMVTIS and other data sources. The VINData History Report usually show titles and events for these older vehicles starting in the year 2000, though each state DMV varies as to how far back their vehicle records extend. Most likely, you will not see the original title records for these older vehicles.
NMVTIS provides the current state and date of title for classic cars, and additional historical title events, vehicle values and other information reported to us is included where available. If VINData History is unable to provide any NMVTIS data on a classic car, an alert message is shown, and you will not be charged for a report.
Are VINData History Reports available for exported vehicles or for vehicles in other countries?
Yes, VINData History Reports can be run from any country for any vehicles that were exported from the United States and titled in participating NMVTIS states. Vehicles never titled in the United States will have not have records available. You can run a free record check from our home page to see if a report is available for any vehicle.
Are all accidents included on VINData History Reports?
VINData History Reports have collision or damage incident information from a number of sources, including DMVs in certain states, NMVTIS participating states and other independent sources. Not all accidents are reported to VINData History. Other report providers may show accident information that does not appear in a VINData History Report.
Typically, the most severe damage incidents result in an Insurance Total Loss record and/or DMV damage related title brand like junk, salvage or rebuilt brands, and are available in VINData History reports when NMVTIS reports the information to VINData History.
Is the name and address of previous owners included in VINData History Reports?
Because of the Drivers Privacy Protection Act (DPPA), name and address data sourced from DMVs isn’t allowed in a vehicle history report. Therefore, VINData History Reports never display owner’s names, address or any other personally identifiable information.
As stated on the web site and order pages, VINData History provides up-to-date information on current and historical title events including the date, state and odometer reading at the time of title and registration as it relates to the vehicle. In addition, title records can report one or more than 70 possible brand events. This includes junk, salvage, rebuilt, not actual mileage, lemon or similar brands or indicators as well as theft and other damage events that can result in an insurance total loss record.
Additional information regarding vehicle specifications, values, open liens, open recalls, damage or accident, vehicle for sale records and odometer records are also provided when reported to VINData History. Samples of VINData History Reports are easily viewed on the site to help demonstrate the format and types of data points displayed.
How can inaccurate data on a History Report be updated?
VINData History Reports show data from many data sources and sometimes specific records have not been updated or are inaccurate. Some data can be updated, while NMVTIS records cannot be changed by VINData History. NMVTIS sourced records includes state DMV contact info so that you may contact the state directly. Your feedback is always welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What do "Active Theft" or "Recovered Theft" records mean, and what should I do?
If your report displays "Active Theft", then the vehicle is currently reported as a stolen vehicle. It means that the vehicle has been reported as stolen to either law enforcement and/or to an insurance company.
To determine who to contact in the event the vehicle is an active theft, refer to the "Other information section" of the report. If there is an “ISO file number”, then contact the National Insurance Crime Bureau, NICB and be ready to provide the VIN and the ISO file number from the VINData History Report.
If the record on the VINData History Report does not contain an ISO number, please contact VINData History customer service and we will assist. If the record indicated "Recovered Theft" then no further action is needed and be aware that the vehicle has been previously reported as stolen but is now considered recovered. VINData History reports this information in real-time.
You should have any recovered vehicle inspected for hidden damage that may have occurred before it was recovered.
What does an "Open Lien" record mean, and what should I do?
If your VINData History Report shows that there is an open lien on your vehicle, it means that there is a loan that is reported to be outstanding (unpaid) on the vehicle. While it might not be a loan that you owe personally, an open lien might make it harder to get the title issued in your name. We usually provide a lien issued date and the name of the lienholder (lender) in the report. VINData History reports this information in real-time.
Contact the lienholder and have the VIN and a copy of the report handy.
What does "Open Recall" mean?
VINData History Reports tell you if you have a manufacturer or NHTSA open recall reported for the vehicle in question. While eventually all recalls can be repaired, there are recalls that do not yet have a remedy or fix identified by the manufacturer, or parts are reported as not yet available. In some cases, the recall is about a condition that is very high risk and means that the vehicle should not be sold or even driven, except right to the dealership. VINData History reports this information in real-time.
All recalls can be repaired at no charge to the owner by a dealer that represents the manufacturer. For the dealer near you, visit the manufacturer’s web site. Many auto and motorcycle brands are linked here for your convenience
Passenger car/light truckAcuraAlfa RomeoAudiBMWBuickCadillacChevroletChryslrDodgeFiatFordGenesisGMCHondaHyundaiInfinitiJaguarJeepKiaLand RoverLexusLincolnMazdaMercedes-BenzMiniMitsubishiNissanPorscheRamSmartSubaruTeslaToyotaVolkswagenVolvo
Motorcycle and PowersportsHarley DavidsonHonda PowersportsKawasakiSuzukiYamaha
Where does vehicle value data come from and how do I use it?
Vehicle valuation information is data that is used by buyers and sellers across the broader automotive industry. VINData History Reports provide valuation information from a number of well-known industry providers, including Black Book® and NADAGuides/J.D. Power. There are many factors that go into a used vehicle’s value, including who is buying or selling, and the vehicle’s age and condition. The values should be used as a guideline. Value information is constantly collected by the providers from auctions, retailers, online sales sites and more, The data is then analyzed and the information is published. VINData History gets this data in real-time.
Why are vehicle reported as impounded or towed?
There are times that a vehicle can be towed or impounded by law enforcement or other entity. These events happen during a theft recovery or for because it’s been abandoned or repossessed by a lender. VINData History reports this data in real-time.
What is the purpose of NMVTIS?
NMVTIS was created to:
- Prevent the introduction or reintroduction of stolen motor or damaged vehicles into interstate commerce;
- Protect states and consumers (individual and commercial) from fraud;
- Reduce the use of stolen vehicles for illicit purposes including funding of criminal enterprises; and
- Provide consumers protection from unknowingly purchasing unsafe vehicles
To learn more about The National Motor Vehicle Title Information System (NMVTIS), visit the NMVTIS vehiclehistory.gov website.
Who operates and manages NMVTIS?
The U.S. Department of Justice is responsible for oversight of the implementation and operation of NMVTIS, and works in partnership with the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA). AAMVA has been the operator since 1992. To learn more about NMVTIS visit the vehiclehistory.gov website. To learn more about AAMVA contact:
American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators
4301 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 400
Arlington, Virginia 22203
How much will it cost to obtain NMVTIS information on a vehicle?
Cost for NVMTIS vehicle history reports vary and are determined by individual service providers. The Anti-Car Theft Act requires that the system be funded through user fees and not dependent on federal funds. For this reason, NMVTIS has been designed as a fee-for-service system.
What kind of information will I receive in a NVMTIS vehicle history report?
NMVTIS records provide:
- Current and previous state of title data
- Title issue date
- Latest odometer data
- Theft history data (if any)
- Any Brand assigned to a vehicle and date applied
- Salvage history, including designations as a “total loss” (if any)
Read the NMVTIS Consumer Access Product Disclaimer, which describes what is and is not included in NMVTIS reports. VINData History reports provide NMVTIS information as well as data from other sources. Other information in VINData History Reports may include the following:
- Towing and Impound events
- Open Lien status
- Institutional lien holder information
- Theft status
- Recall information
- Vehicle values
- Accident information
- Past sales history
- VIN specifications and VIN decode
What types of vehicles are included in NMVTIS?
NMVTIS includes information on automobiles, buses, trucks, motorcycles, Powersports vehicles including ATV, OHVs, UTVs and snowmobiles, commercial medium and heavy-duty trucks, recreational vehicles including motorized campers and motor homes, and pre-1981 classic vehicles.
Some states may not provide data for all vehicle types.
How current is the information in NMVTIS?
Currently the data provided to NMVTIS by states is provided in a variety of time frames; while some report and update NVMTIS data in “real-time” (as title transactions occur) others send updates less frequently, such as once every 24 hours or within a period of days.
Where can I get detailed vehicle information from a state?
To request a complete copy of a specific state vehicle title record, you can contact the current state motor vehicle titling agency. Click here to find more information on state motor vehicle agency processes for obtaining state records.
If I believe there is a discrepancy in the information provided in a NMVTIS vehicle record, how do I go about resolving the issue?
Contact the service provider directly for questions about your vehicle history report. Customer support is available on each service providers' website.
If I purchase a vehicle, is my personal information included and shared in NMVTIS?
Why aren't all states participating in NMVTIS? Why isn't my state participating?
Currently all states are involved with NMVTIS at various levels of participation. View NMVTIS participation map. Some states participate fully with NMVTIS (provide data to the system as well as make title inquiries before issuing new titles.) Other states provide data only or are developing the capacity to participate fully with NMVTIS. Non-participating states have offered different reasons for not providing data to the system and not making inquiries of NMVTIS, however consumers are encouraged to seek responses to these questions from the states directly.
In January 2009, the Department of Justice issued clear and detailed guidance for states on how to participate in NMVTIS and comply with the Anti-Car Theft Act. All states must be fully participating as required by the Act and its regulations by January 1, 2010. The Department of Justice continues to work collaboratively with states to help bring them into full compliance. View the Notice Regarding State Compliance.
I requested vehicle information through NMVTIS and (no Brand /odometer/title information was returned. Why?
It is likely in this case that no Brand, odometer, or title information for that vehicle has been reported by participating states. Contact customer service for any additional questions or further explanation.
To understand what information will be included in an NMVTIS Vehicle History Report or learn more about the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System, please visit the NMVTIS vehiclehistory.gov main site or read the NMVTIS Consumer Access Product Disclaimer.
What is a VIN?
A vehicle identification number (VIN) is a 17-digit, unique number that functions as its social security number. Manufacturers worldwide conform to the standards, so that every number is truly unique. Vehicles manufactured before the standards were put in place in 1981 may not have unique VIN numbers.
On the car/truck/RV:
- The VIN plate is usually on the driver’s side on the dashboard, visible through the windshield. This VIN plate is the official VIN as provided by the manufacturer
- On the frame or unibody - when you open the driver’s side door, look inside the door jamb either down low and/or high on the side of the pillar for a sticker that shows the VIN along with other important vehicle information
- On the engine, per the vehicle’s manufacturer
- Vehicle title and/or plate registration
- Insurance paperwork
- Warranty paperwork
- Maintenance or repair paperwork
Now that I’ve bought my Report or Window Sticker, how can I see it again?
To access your reports, follow these instructions:
- Log into vindata.com My Account page (see “sign in” link in the upper right corner or on the mobile menu) with your email address and password. When you purchased your report, a temporary password was emailed to the email address you used when you signed up.
- If you see your name in the upper right corner of the screen, you are already logged in. Click “My Account” on the dropdown menu
- On the left navigation (or horizontal menu at the top on mobile site), click “Active Reports”
- From there, you should see the date, VIN and other information in each row. Click the “View Report” link on the right.
- Once you have clicked the link to see the report, on the upper right, you’ll see “Available Actions” dropdown. From there you can print or download (save) the report.
Reports are available to view, print or download for 90 days after you purchase it. If you download, you will be able to access on your own for as long as you keep it.
How long can I access reports that I have purchased?
Reports are available to view, print or download for 90 days after you purchase it. If you download, you will be able to access on your own for as long as you keep it.
How can I share my VINData History Reports?
Under “Available Actions”, there is a link to the report that can be copied and pasted into any kind of online medium – for example, web sites, emails and text messages. The link will work for the 90-day period that the report is active.
If I purchased more than one VINData History Report credit, how do I see them and use them?
Once you are logged in (see instructions above), click on “Dashboard” on the left navigation menu. From there, you will see your Credits Summary. If your balance is greater than zero, you will be able to use your credits. Enter a VIN in the VIN box to check report availability.
If your balance is zero, you can buy more credits. Just follow the “Buy More Credits” links.
How long do my Report Credits last?
Report Credits that you have purchased do not expire. Once you log in to the VINData History site, you can see your credits and run your VIN checks.
What information is in VINData History Reports?
VINData History Reports include best in class information that help you make important buying and selling decisions, including
- Current state of title, title date, odometer reading (mileage) and any title brands associated with the current title
- Older (historical) state of title, title date, odometer reading (mileage) and any title brands associated with the historic titles
- Active and recovered theft events
- Open liens including lien holder and date
- Open vehicle recalls including driveability, saleability, risk indicators and remedy/parts availability from NHTSA and manufacturers
- Vehicle valuations from leading providers
- Impound, towing
- Vehicle for sale records at dealerships and on eBay Motors
- Warranty information
- Vehicle specifications
What is the difference between junk/salvage/insurance total loss information and the state DMV title and brand information?
The junk/salvage/insurance total loss are non-title events are reported by private and public companies, like junk yards, salvage yards and insurance companies. VINData History sources much of this information from NMVTIS (National Motor Vehicle Title Information System).
- Junk events are sourced from junk yards, dismantlers and recyclers and are the most severe and mean that the vehicle is only fit for parts.
- Salvage auction events mean that the vehicle has been at a salvage auction. Note that not all vehicles that go to salvage auctions are severely damaged – see the complete description in the report.
- Insurance total loss events come from insurance companies and indicate that the vehicle was either stolen, or damaged to a certain percentage of the value based on state or company policy rules. It was deemed to be not worth repairing relative to the damage amount. When a vehicle was declared a total loss means that an insurance company decided to pay out the claim rather than have the vehicle repaired.
Title and brand information comes from State Departments of Motor Vehicles (DMVs). Think of a cattle brand. DMV rules and state laws determine if the vehicle’s title should be stamped with one or more brands which identity a vehicle’s current or prior condition such as salvage brands, junk brands or flood brands.
The brands impact the value of the vehicle and help protect consumers from unknowingly buying a damaged vehicle, or one with another brand. VINData History Reports include more than 70 possible brands. VINData History sources much of this information from NMVTIS (National Motor Vehicle Title Information System).
Together, the junk/salvage/total loss information and the title brand information paint an important picture of the safety and value of your vehicle.
Does VINData History provide accident information in its reports?
VINData History Reports does have some accident event information from certain state and federal sources. The NMVTIS salvage, junk and insurance total loss information as well as DMV title brands like salvage and junk are often the result of the most severe types of damage events. Not all accidents are reported to VINData History. Other report providers may show accident information that does not appear on VINData History reports.
Are current or former owners’ names and addresses shown in VINData History Reports?
VINData History Reports never display previous or current owner’s names and addresses due to the DPPA – the Driver’s Privacy Protection Act, the federal law that prevents DMV sourced owner’s name and addresses in history reports. Some states have enacted similar laws at the state level, further strengthening DPPA restrictions. Additionally, VINData History has policies in place regarding the non-disclosure of this information.
The odometer reading in my report shows as Exempt – what does that mean?
When an odometer reading is shown to be “exempt”, it’s because the reporting DMV has a rule that vehicles that are 10 years old or older (or in some states when the vehicle exceeds 100,000 miles) are no longer governed by mileage reporting rules/laws.
Do VINData History Reports show when vehicles are stolen or recovered?
Yes, VINData History reports include salvage brand information from NMVTIS, which includes stolen vehicles and contain insurance and other data sources showing reported current and historical theft information. You can also check NICB.org, a free site that has stolen vehicle records.
Will your report tell me if a vehicle has an open lien or loan?
Yes, when reported, the VINData History Vehicle Title & History Reports show open lien or loan information, meaning that a loan against the vehicle may be present. The data includes the date of the loan, and the lien holder when available. While not all liens are provided, top auto and motorcycle lenders are included.
Are lienholder names included in VINData History Reports?
When reported to VINData History from its sources, lienholder names are included in the reports. Lienholders are companies like banks and finance companies and are not included in DPPA (Driver’s Privacy Protection Act) restrictions.
How Do I buy Reports and Window Stickers?
Customers find it fast and easy to buy reports using the vindata.com web site, using their phones, tablets or desktop/laptop computers. The web site automatically adjusts to the type of device you use. And it is the same account no matter which device you started with.
Here is what you do:
- In one of the VIN entry boxes (link) enter a VIN (vehicle identification number) to run a VIN check. Once entered, click the arrow. We process the VIN and we will tell you what the Year, Make, and Model is of the vehicle and whether we have data available so that you can buy a VINData History Report, or a VINData History Window Sticker.
- For reports, when we have NMVTIS data available at minimum, you can buy the VINData History Report for that VIN. For consumers, you can buy 1, 3 or 5 reports/credits at once so you can save money.
- If we do not have report data or a sticker available, you can either enter a different VIN to start the process over, or you can securely purchase a report “credit” – basically a report in advance.
- Once you have your report, you can read what the report says about your vehicle. Read the Data section and Report Sections. If you still have questions about an event or your report in general, contact us.
- Now that you have become a client, an account has been established so when you return for additional reports you can simply log in to view and print your report. You can also purchase new report credits and run more reports. Once you use it once or twice, you should see that our site is very easy to use!
Can I register for an account and come back and buy reports later?
Yes you can. Click the “sign-in” link on the upper right side or on the mobile menu. Then click the “Register” button in the sign in box to create an account without purchasing reports or report credits.
How Secure is the Web Site?
What qualifies for a refund?
VINData History does provide a provide refund in the case of any error in title data as evidenced by a copy or proof of such data error from a state title document from a NMVTIS participating state. Please provide such evidence of error to us email@example.com. If we agree, we will process a full refund for that report.
We do not provide refunds for missing records or omissions of current records not available to or acquired by VINData History, such as previous owner information, recent odometer readings, accident records, or reports or title events from non-participating NMVTIS states.
Why is my credit card showing a charge for a report that I did not receive?
If you requested a report for a VIN for which no data was available, and you do not have a VINData History Report or Window Sticker credit in your account, you may see an authorization on your credit card for the amount of the report or sticker you requested. This is an authorization only and should be released your bank within 24 hours. Hold times may vary by individual banks.
Is this a one-time charge?
Please be assured that the charge for the VINData History Reports, Window Stickers and report credits that you ordered is a one-time charge. You are completely in charge of what you order and when you order. There are no automatic charges or fees for consumer accounts of any kind. You can access past reports at www.vindata.com for 90 days after date of purchase at no charge. Report credits never expire.
Does VINData History have unlimited or bundle plans?
Dealers can pre-pay for vehicle history report credit bundles and subscription services with various quantities and price points. Report credits never expire.
Lenders, Auctions and Insurance Companies can sign up for pre-paid bundles with various quantities and price points.
Sign up or contact the VINData History Sales Team for more information.
Does VINData History offer direct billing?
VINData History currently does not offer direct billing. We use a convenient online ordering process that is billed to the credit card on file. Dealers and other commercial users can pre-pay for vehicle history reports and use them as they need them. Report credits never expire.
How do I update/change my billing and personal information?
Once you are logged into your My Account page, you can change information in your Account Profile and Payment Methods.
How do I change my password once I’m logged in?
Once you are logged into your My Account page, go to the Account Profile to change your password. You may also contact customer service if you have any difficulties.
How do I reset my lost password?
Go to the VINData History home page and click sign in the top right corner. Enter your email address and click ‘Forgot Password’. An email will be sent to you with a link to change your password. You may also contact customer service if you have any difficulties.
How do I cancel my account?
VINData History accounts may be cancelled by you at any time from the ‘My Account’ section of the website at under ‘Account Profile’, then click the ‘Cancel My Account’.
Your Account will be cancelled within twenty-four (24) hours.
VIN Data Products LLC is an Approved NMVTIS Data Provider.
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