How to Find a Car You Previously Owned (With or Without the VIN)


death Updated on August 20, 2020 Regardless of why you want to find your old car, you ’ ll be happy to know it ’ s not an impossible tax. That said, the speed and efficiency of your search depends on whether or not you have the vehicle identification number ( VIN ). We ’ ll tell you how to find a car you previously owned by using the VIN, a well as how to search when you don ’ t have it .

OPTION 1: With the VIN

car VIN number Like social security system numbers, each vehicle has a unique VIN that allows you to access all sorts of data about it. You besides need the VIN to register a vehicle in any country and experience car indemnity. To use the VIN to find your previous car, perform a vehicle history arrest using an on-line VIN decoder. These tools are chiefly used for when you ’ rhenium bribe a use car but are great in locating former cars as well. While there are some free ones, they will only tell you basic information such as make, model, and fomite options. To get more detailed data including : mileage, accidents, avail records, owners, and general placement of the vehicle, you ’ ll need to pay for a report using a service like CarVertical or CarFax. You can use this data to help figure out where the vehicle presently is. CarFax is the older and more well-known avail but CarVertical is a newer kid on the block and frequently provides more detail information and at a much lower monetary value ( $ 19.99 volt $ 39.99 ) for a single report. For outside the US, CarVertical is normally the best choice. While the vehicle history report won ’ thymine state the specific location of your vehicle, it will narrow down your search to its current city and state of matter. Since the report will contain the name of the current owner, you can trace and contact them on social media to discuss seeing the car. In addition to using a bounty VIN decoder site, you can use respective search engines to find your erstwhile fomite. Enter the VIN ( with digression around it ) into every search engine you know ( Google, Bing, Yahoo, Duck Duck Go, and others ) and click the search button. You may get a research leave that brings you a measure closer to finding your honest-to-god vehicle. tied if you don ’ triiodothyronine get utilitarian results on your foremost try, keep trying sporadically until you do .

Can’t the DMV website tell me who owns my car and where it is?

department of motor vehicles The DMV database does have that information, but you can ’ t legally access it without proper authority due to the federal Driver ’ s Privacy Protection Act ( DPPA ) of 1994. While this limitation might seem inconvenient, it protects you and everyone else from undesirable persons accessing sensible data. But if you REALLY want to get around this, you can hire a license individual research worker which may be exempt from the DPPA. The detective will normally be able to obtain this information from the DMV when requested under certain well-defined purposes. See The Lost Car Registry for more information .

What if I can’t remember the VIN?

If you don ’ triiodothyronine remember your old fomite ’ second VIN, there are ways to find it, such as :

#1 – Old Documents

When you owned the fomite, you handled several documents that had the VIN on it, like registration papers, loan documents, insurance cards, and others. You might hush have one of these documents at home, bring, or even with your machinist. If you were ever in an accident with the vehicle, you ’ ll likely have a patrol report that contains the VIN. once you find a document that contains your honest-to-god VIN, you ’ re one footstep closer to locating your car or truck .

#2 – Old License Plate Number

With the license plate number of your erstwhile vehicle, you can get its VIN from your state of matter DMV. The DMV will use the plate total to find the fomite in their database and provide you with the VIN upon your request .

#3 – Driver’s License Number

The DMV keeps record of every vehicle you ’ ve registered under your license number, even if you ’ ve moved out of country and have a new driver ’ south license. They ’ ll be able to provide you the VIN number by showing your license .

#4 – Contact Your Auto Insurer

The car insurance company for your erstwhile car can give you its VIN. Before you can get the information, you ’ ll need to provide identification and some personal details. After proving your identity, the party should provide you with the VIN .

#5 – Bill of Sale

Whenever you sell a vehicle, a childlike circular of sale document is created and signed by both parties. In it, the vehicle VIN is about always noted. Check your files at family for a copy of this document. If you can ’ thyroxine find the VIN anywhere, then you can try option two .

OPTION 2: Without the VIN

lost car Without your previous vehicle ’ second vehicle identification number, you can ’ triiodothyronine run any database checks. In this font, you have to find the cable car or ask the person you sold it to or person who knows the current owner to reveal the vehicle ’ mho placement .

How can you find a car you previously owned without a VIN?

#1 – Post Advertisements

You can post ads online and offline to get the care of the fomite ’ south current owner or person else who ’ s seen the cable car. The ad must contain as many details as possible, such as the vehicle make, model, class, color, engine type, and other classifiable features. To get results quickly, place the ad in the vehicle ’ s death know location. even if the fomite has moved, person in the sphere might contact you with utilitarian information. It besides helps if your ad states why you are looking for the vehicle. differently, people might be leery about responding .

#2 – Contact the Buyer

If you have the details of the person who bought the car, you can contact them to ask if they hush have it or have details about who bought it from them. If you have a name, you can run an on-line research for a social media account or telephone number to contact the person .

#3 – Use Online Forums

On platforms like The Lost Car Registry, you can post details and photos of your long lost vehicle. Members who have information about your old vehicle will share it. In accession, many makes and models of cars have their own unofficial on-line forums for enthusiasts. Sites like,,, and are a few popular ones .

#4 – Facebook Groups

Like on-line forums, there are many secret Facebook groups for automotive enthusiasts of a particular car manufacturer or exemplar. You ’ ll normally have better results finding a less common car that ’ s popular with enthusiasts like an E30 BMW M3. If you ’ rhenium looking for an honest-to-god Toyota Corolla, your odds locating it through a group or forum will be pretty low. Do you have a search method acting we didn ’ t mention ? Tell us about it in the comments .

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Category : Finance

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