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Steps to know if a car is stolen or has been tampered with

When you are about to buy a car you always ask yourself the same question: how to know if a car is stolen, because you know how important it is to buy a car legally and that the car is not wanted because someone stole it or altered its license plate.

You like all people looking for a used car to buy need to do this research before concluding the purchase, do you want to know how to do it? Then you should read on to find all the information you need before buying your used car.

Step by step how to know if a car is stolen

To solve exactly how to know if a car is stolen there is nothing better than following a step by step like the next:

Step 1: You need to verify the VIN of the vehicle, all cars have a VIN of 17 characters. Surely the seller of the car will tell you when you request it, but do not trust approach the car and look for you.

Once you are in front of the car, you can find the VIN by sitting in front of the steering wheel and looking at the top left of the instrument panel.

Without leaving the car sitting in the same place if you did not find it next to the instrument look to your left, because you can also find the VIN inside the jamb.

If you couldn’t find it next to the instruments or inside the jamb, get out of the vehicle and head towards the back of the car, as you can find the VIN on the tyre or go towards the front of the car and look for the container where the windscreen wiper is located, as the VIN is also usually located on the front of the chassis or finally look for the spare tyre, lift it up, as you can usually also find it underneath the car.

Step 2: You will find the VIN printed on a label that can not be altered, for this you must check that it is properly attached to the vehicle, none of its corners should be detached, should not have scratches, marks, or scratches of any kind.

Touch the VIN label with your hands, because you must realize that the touch results in a soft texture, if on the contrary you realize that the texture is rough it will mean that the VIN label was manipulated.

Even the VIN will never be hidden under a screw, plug or any other object that could hide such an important number for the identification of a car. For this reason, if you discover that it is hidden, you should be wary of the car whose owner is hiding his identity.

Step 3: Once you have located the car’s VIN take note of its number and go to the DMV.org database, the site has a compilation of all vehicles that have been reported stolen.

You only have to enter the VIN number and you will know if that car was stolen or you can buy it without problems, who has been its previous owner, if the odometer works correctly or on the contrary has defects, if it is a car that suffered flood damage, if its air bags work correctly and other data that are interesting for you as a car buyer.

Step 4: Once you have verified the VIN, if it is a stolen car, you can report the fraud by calling 800-835-6422 or TIP411 and making an anonymous suggestion.

It is your obligation to report a fraud, so you can also call the local police with any details you may have gathered about the seller of the stolen car.

Steps to resolve how to know if a car is stolen in the United States

While the above method will be useful to you, there is another way for you to figure out how to tell if a car is stolen in the U.S., in this case follow the next step by step:

Step 1: Contact your insurance company, because all insurance companies have a database of cloned plates, because it is common that when a car is stolen is replaced by another plate that is stolen from another car.

Step 2: Contact the DMV to do a title search, for which you must provide the car’s VIN.

After that you will receive a report that will let you know if it is a rescued car or an insurance company declared it at some point as a total loss.

Since this is not a free service, you should advise yourself in advance to know the cost and payment methods.

After you receive the pre-payment report, verify the information of the seller who has given you, because it must match the title, otherwise it will mean that it is a stolen car.

Step 3: Go to your trusted mechanic and ask for a car inspection to detect any tampering with the VIN. It is important that when you buy a used car, a mechanic examines it before finalizing the purchase.

Step 4: Ask the vehicle owner to share the service records with you, because the VIN must be in the service records and must match the car, otherwise the car will most likely be stolen.

However, since the owner of the vehicle was able to forge the service records, what is best for you is to request the service records through Carfax by entering dmv.org with the VIN number and then once you have obtained the reports verify that there is a match between the description of the report you received and the description of the vehicle.

Step 5: The seller must give you a sales invoice as a document certifying that you purchased a car. The seller should not hesitate to give you that document which will contain the maca of the car, the model and year plus the name and address of the seller, your name and address, the total amount of the sale, the date and signature of the seller.

How to know if a car is stolen by license plates

To know if a car is stolen by license plates you will need the insurance documents, as you will find the license plate number on the registration part of the lot.

However, you may not have the registration documents, so check with your state motor vehicle agency for the license plate number.


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