Why Run Vehicle Title Search By VIN?

You may have noted that some vehicle’s registration card or the Certificate of Title may include the wording “brand”, which commonly tells that the vehicle has been written-off as a result of flood damage, fire or collision. Depending on the state, different labels may be used, including rebuilt, damaged, salvaged, warranty returned, totaled, etc. Whatever the term, it usually means that the cost of this vehicle’s repairs excess its value.

The brands are used to warn potential car buyers about the vehicle’s condition. The easiest way to figure out if your car has been given a branded title is to run VIN title search. Please, feel free to use our service to find out title brand of the vehicle you are thinking of purchasing. You can run car title search by VIN and reveal if your car has any hidden issues, was stolen, rebuilt, damaged or reported a lemon.

What Issues Can Vehicle Title Search By VIN Reveal?

Since the brands can differ depending on the state, here are some commonly used brands and their meanings:

  • Clear/Normal– the vehicle was not given a brand.
  • Rebuilt/Rebuilt salvage – these are vehicles that have been rebuilt and underwent reinspection. Remember that this brand cannot be altered.
  • Remanufactured – this brand is used for vehicles built from used parts by a licensed manufacturer.
  • Non USA – this is used for vehicles built for operation outside of the states and rebuilt to meet the USA standards.
  • Salvage/Total loss – this brand is given to vehicles with major damage from fire, flood, collision, and other occurrence. Previously junked vehicles can also have this brand.
  • Fleet/Original Taxi (Police) – these vehicles were previously used as public transportation or by law enforcement personnel. As a rule, these vehicles have higher than average mileage and wear-and-tear.
  • Theft – these are stolen vehicles found destroyed or dismantled. Often these vehicles are irreparable.
  • Lemon/Warranty Return – the vehicle can be branded a lemon in case its owner failed to repair it under the new warranty, and the dealer bought it back.
  • Irreparable/Fire damage/Flood damage/Junk - these vehicles cannot be driven and can be used for scrap materials or parts only.
  • Crushed/Wrecked (WRK) – this brand means that a vehicle is completely destroyed (has been recycled or dismantled) and cannot be driven.
  • Abandoned – this label is not used in all states but means that the vehicle was abandoned by the owner.

Remember, that once the vehicle has been given any of these brands, it cannot be altered (with the exception of “salvage” vehicles which can be repaired, reinspected and retitled to “rebuilt”). For that reason, VIN interpretation is a must step for car shoppers considering a used car.

Since different states have different regulations, the system is not perfect and there is such a fraud scheme known as title washing. It occurs when a vehicle with junk title is moved to another state and is given salvage title, but considered repairable.

Read also: Why Use Auto VIN Decoder When Considering a Car That’s Been Involved in Accident