The VIN is the Vehicle Identification Number. Prior to 1981, it was non-standardized but still served as a way to identify a vehicle, rather like a serial number. In 1981, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration of the United States standardized the format to the modern 17-character VIN. In order to avoid confusion with the numerals 1 and 0, a VIN does not include the letters I (i), O (o), or Q (q). Some older vehicles use the engine number as the only form of identification and in those cases it is filled into the VIN field of the reg31 VIN verification form rather than into the engine number field. The engine number field is only for motorcycles.
Unfortunately the DMV clerk was mistaken. It is even printed clearly on the form that the engine number is to be used only for motorcycles. It's perfectly okay to ask for the DMV supervisor when a clerk tells you something that you know or suspect is incorrect. That said, in some cases the engine number is used when it is the only form of identification available but in those cases, the engine number section is still left blank and the engine number is filled into the VIN section.
I'll do everything possible to fix any errors I may have made. In most cases, it will not be necessary to re-verify your vehicle as I've already done so but if something was filled incorrectly, I will be happy to make the corrections and mail the new form to you.
The short answer is, yes. The longer answer is that the vehicle need not be in running condition but it does need to appear that it can be made runnable. In other words, it must have all sheet metal, the drive line and wheels with inflated tires installed, have a front seat and readable speedometer as the mileage is required.
Unfortunately, no. I must see the car in person in order to verify it. Remember, I can travel if your vehicle is out of the area and there are no local verifiers available.
Custom cars and trucks can be verified in most cases as long as there is some form of serialized identification, such as the engine number, to set it apart from any other vehicle and it has already been registered in California or another state. However, without actually seeing the vehicle myself, I cannot know if it's verifiable so if you are local and want to bring the vehicle to me for a pre-verification look-over, there will be no charge. If you want me to come to you, my regular fee applies whether or not I am able to perform the verification. Generally speaking I can likely fill the form to the best of my ability but I can't guarantee that the DMV will accept it.
If the kit car has been sufficiently assembled and already has a permanently affixed VIN or serial number and has previously been registered with supporting documents available (title, registration card), then I can verify it. Otherwise it must be taken to the CHP (California Highway Patrol) for verification where they will stamp or otherwise affix a VIN number. The car will be registered by the name of the kit manufacturer so if a replica of, for example, an AC Cobra, the title will say Factory Five or whichever manufacturer provided the kit.
You will likely also be asked by the DMV to provide all the receipts for the engine, transmission and other parts so be sure keep them all together in a safe place or, better yet, it is recommended to always keep them with the car in case you are pulled over and asked to provide them.
I will do everything possible to help you through any problems. However, as we all know, the DMV seems to make up or change rules as it goes so no one can guarantee what they will do from moment to moment. Obviously, if I've made an error I will send you a corrected form but even if the DMV says it is not filled properly, do let me know but first be sure to ask for a supervisor since it is more often than not an error on their end.
Yes, you will need to supply proper supporting documentation, such as Certificate of Title, Manufacturers Statement or Certificate of Origin (MSO/MCO) or Registration Card even if expired. A bill of sale, DMV receipt or other informal documentation is not sufficient. If you do not have any official documentation, then it must be taken to the CHP or DMV for verification. For motorcycles, supporting documents are required and must match the VIN and engine number of the motorcycle. Note that a licensed verifier can no longer verify vehicles for which there is foreign documentation.
Unfortunately no. I can accept payment only by exact cash or credit card at the time and location of service and I must have the physical credit card. For more information and a quote, see the Costs page. However, if you wish you may pay in advance so if you let me know, I'll send you the invoice by email which will be due on receipt. For all credit/debit card transactions, there will be a 3% service fee.
If you let me know in advance that you wish to pay online, I'll send you an invoice that will allow you to do so and there will be a 3% service fee. It will be due on receipt but please be sure you first use the Quote Request Form on the Costs page so that I know the amount to invoice you. Otherwise payment is by exact cash or credit card at the time and location of service or in some cases for verifications that are over 25 miles, in advance through our secure payment system with the 3% service fee..
The short answer is that I don't. While they are generally in one of several places, it is really up to the vehicle owner to tell me where they are and to make sure in advance of my visit that they are not obstructed and are readable. On a recent verification, the car had been repainted and there was so much paint on the door jamb tag that the owner had to sand if off before the verification could be done.
The first step is to fill and submit the Quote Request Form on the Costs page. This will tell you the exact cost of a verification at your vehicle's location and will add the details to my records for use in scheduling. Once that's been done, you can call Richard at 408-910-0009 or he will call you to work out a date that I am available in your area. In the meantime either before or after scheduling, if you have any questions or special requests, please contact me directly using the form on the Contact page.
Note that I split my time between San Jose and the general San Francisco Bay Area and Santa Cruz and the general Monterey Bay Area and that I also travel outside these areas so my availability will depend upon where I am at the time.
Unfortunately, no. No mobile VIN verifier can verify a vehicle once it has gotten a salvage title from any state. Only the CHP can verify salvaged vehicles.
To get the exact cost of a vehicle verification at its location, simply use the Quote Request Form found on the Costs page of this site. It will accurately calculate the driving distance from my closest location to your vehicle, provide the price of verifying the first vehicle, and will give you information on the cost of verifying additional vehicles during the same visit. The first 10 miles are included in the basic price so the form will calculate any mileage over this distance.
It is important to note that while the Quote Request Form calculates the distance from my closest location to your vehicle, some flexibility might be needed in order to schedule a date for when I am at that location. Otherwise the mileage will be from wherever I am at the time.
According to the DMV's documentation about Goldenrod titles:A nontransferable nontitle (goldenrod) registration may be issued when out-of-state titling documents are not submitted at the time of application for California registration and there is no change of ownership.While I cannot speak for whether or not your vehicle has a Goldenrod title, I can say that to register it in California it would require a VIN verification and emission test, which are best done before even approaching the DMV. Once the verification is done, it would be up to the DMV to request any other paperwork they might require.
The vehicle must have in place the factory attached VIN tag, emissions and Federal Safety labels (where applicable), and you'll need to get an emissions test and fill the application for title and registration.
In order to register your vehicle in California, you will need to have official supporting documentation, such as Certificate of Title, Manufacturer Statement or Certificate of Origin (MSO/MCO) or Registration Card even if expired, a California emissions test, a VIN verification. Bills of Sale or other non-official documentation is insufficient.
If a new form is needed, I am happy to help but first be sure at least 60 days have gone by and check with your bank to see if the check has been cashed. This has happened to me too, then after I called and mailed a new check, I discovered that they had already cashed the original check days before I called and I've been trying for two years to get a refund on the duplicate!
1970 and newer vehicles have the US Federal Certification (FMVSS) which must also have the matching VIN from the actual VIN plate. Many trailer manufacturers seem to think that he VIN on the FMVSS is the only required VIN but it is not and they must still have the primary VIN stamped on the chassis or on a riveted metal plate. To clarify, the FMVSS contains the secondary VIN but the primary VIN tag must still be present and readable. Vehicles that are pre-1970 require only the VIN tag which is often on the firewall or door jamb but might be in other places.
NOTE: Since I cannot know the location of the VIN on every make, model and type of vehicles (although I try to research each one before the appointment), you must know where it is and make sure that it is intact and easily readable.
This was told to a customer by a DMV clerk but it is absolutely not true. There are some fields on the form that specifically state to make remarks as needed to clarify the selection, which is what the Remarks area is for.
Generally speaking, payment is due at the time and place of the verification either by exact cash or by credit/debit card and for credit/debit cards, a service fee of 3% may be applied. However, on appointments that are over 25 miles away, I do require payment in advance by credit card and will send you an invoice where it can be paid securely online and is due on receipt.
If you will not be present personally to pay at the time and place of the verification I can certainly send an invoice where you can pay in advance if you wish to do so. Just let me know ahead of time.
If you know that the state in question will accept a verification from a licensed VIN verifier in California and can provide a couple copies of the form, I would be happy to do it for you and there is an extra fee for this service. If you let me know in advance that the state provides the form on their Web site, I can also download and print it for you. When submitting the Quote Request form prior to setting up an appointment, select the number of extra forms required. That is, if you have one vehicle requiring the verification for another state, select one (1). I understand that Nevada, Oregon and Wyoming will accept my verifications and there are likely others.
For general information, you can call Richard at 408-910-0009 and if he's not available to answer, be sure to leave a message. For questions specific to your vehicle or for more technical things, please use the Contact form which sends directly to me.
Don Pierson, Licensed VIN Verifier, San José, California
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