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ClearVin FAQ

  • 1. What is in a ClearVin vehicle history report?

    All ClearVin reports provide a complete overview of vehicle current condition and past including the following data:

    • Vehicle Specifications
    • Previous/Current State of Title & Title Registration dates
    • Title Brands History
    • Junk & Salvage Data
    • Insurance Total Loss Records
    • Lien/Impound/Export Records
    • Theft Records
    • Odometer Events
    • Detailed Auction Sales History
    • Wholesale market valuation
    • Auction Price Analysis
    • Safety Recalls
  • 2. How to run a VIN check with ClearVin?

    Using ClearVin is simple and fast. Just enter your VIN on the main page and make a payment. Once your payment is processed, you will be taken to another page that displays your full report. Additionally, a PDF copy of the report will be sent to your email address.

  • 3. Do I need to set up an account with ClearVin?

    We recommend creating an account if you plan on ordering more than one report to keep your billing information or credits. Also, that way you have a centralized location and history for all your previous reports.

  • 4. How much does a report cost?

    Our pricing is located on the report preview page of the report and depends on the number of reports you would like to order.

  • 5. How can I retrieve a report I’ve already ordered?

    You can retrieve a previously ordered report by logging in at the top-right of the page and going to the “Reports” page. If you didn’t create an account before running a VIN check, it was created automatically once you made a purchase, a temporary password should have been sent to you via email. Please keep in mind that the reports contain information as of the time you ordered them.

  • 6. How long will my reports be available in my account?

    Reports do not expire. All your reports will be listed in your account, as long as your account is active. However, please keep in mind the data in reports are current as of the date you ordered them. You may want to re-run reports if much time has passed since your original order.

  • 7. How long will my VIN check credits stay active?

    Credits never expire and will be available as long as your account is active. There is no pressure for you to use them up.

  • 8. What is a VIN (Vehicle Identification Number)?

    A Vehicle Identification Number is a 17-character unique code assigned by an auto manufacturer, which can be used to track and identify motor vehicles. Each VIN is like a fingerprint for a car and contains key vehicle specifications.

  • 9. Where can I find my VIN?

    The VIN is located on the vehicle. For cars and trucks it is located here:

    • On the driver's side dashboard ( viewable through the windshield )
    • On the driver's side door ( on a sticker in the door jamp )

    Motorcycles each have a VIN on them but it may be located on a variety of places on the frame.

  • 10. What does my ClearVin grade mean?

    ClearVin’s Vehicle Rating is a tool that helps you understand a used vehicle’s history, fast and easy. Based on evaluating vehicle data by pre-defined criteria, our rating system delivers a concise and accurate overview of the vehicle’s past to appraise its current condition and value.

    • A – Excellent

      The vehicle is in excellent condition and has a clear history.

    • B – Good

      The vehicle is in good condition and won’t be too much trouble to repair.

    • C – Average

      The vehicle has some minor defects and needs servicing, but generally, its condition is satisfactory.

    • D – Bad

      The vehicle’s history indicates that it may have been involved in a serious accident and requires major repair or has some doc issues.

    • E – Poor

      The vehicle’s condition is not satisfactory, because of a bunch of defects. It may require a complete repair or even a replacement for some major components.

    • F – Irreparable

      The vehicle has some irreparable damage and has no value except as a source of parts or scrap.

  • 11. Where does the information come from?

    ClearVin is an authorized provider of data from the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System (NMVTIS), which is operated by the US Department of Justice in partnership with the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA). NMVTIS consolidates the data from US state motor vehicle title agencies, insurance carriers, junkyards, salvage yards, and auto recyclers to provide the most up to date vehicle information for anybody looking to purchase a previously-owned vehicle. In addition to the NMVTIS data, ClearVin obtains information from salvage auctions, economic reports, government agencies, and other proprietary sources to provide comprehensive VIN reports.

  • 12. What is Title Brand Information?

    Vehicle title brand is a permanent designation on a vehicle's title that indicates that a vehicle has been declared a total loss due to collision, fire or flood damage, or has been sold for scrap, among other possibilities. If a vehicle has any serious damage, the appropriate title brand will be assigned to it in accordance with the laws of the state where an accident took place. Vehicle branding can change from state to state, and local laws often vary depending on the definition of the below brand classifications. The most widespread designations are Clear, Salvage, Rebuilt, Irreparable, or Junk.

  • 13. What is the official definition of a "salvage vehicle"?

    A salvage title means that it would cost more to repair the vehicle than it’s worth at the time the damage occurred. The price of parts and labor to reconstruct the vehicle to its pre-accident condition and for legal operation on roads exceeds a jurisdiction-defined percentage of the vehicle’s retail price. Usually, it’s about 75-100% of the car's value.

  • 14. What is the official definition of a "junk vehicle"?

    A junk vehicle is an automobile that is incapable of operating on public streets, roads, and highways and has no value except as a source of parts or scrap.

  • 15. What is the official definition of a "rebuilt vehicle"?

    A vehicle that has been previously branded as salvage but has been fully repaired and passed anti-theft and safety inspections or other jurisdiction procedures to ensure the vehicle was rebuilt to required standards. These vehicles are driveable but the rebuilt brand remains on the vehicle's title/registration documents permanently.

  • 16. What is the difference between Junk, Salvage, and Total Loss?

    Junk, Salvage, and Insurance Total Loss are reported from junk yards, salvage yards, & insurance companies. Junk means that the vehicle is fit only for parts. Salvage means that it would cost more to repair the vehicle than it is worth. Total Loss means that an insurance company paid out the current value of the vehicle rather than pay to repair the vehicle.

  • 17. What does the note beside Odometer reading records mean?

    There are typically four types of odometer readings NMVTIS will report, based on the requirements of the law in the state the vehicle was titled.

    • Actual – This is the true and accurate odometer reading as of the last vehicle titling or inspection.
    • Not Actual – This reading is not a true and accurate odometer reading for this vehicle, either due to inaccurate reporting, mechanical error, or tampering.
    • Exceeds Mechanical Limitations – Older vehicles may have a physical/mechanical limitation on how high their odometer readings can go, and as such may not be required to report an Actual reading.
    • Exempt – Local laws do not require that this vehicle report its odometer reading either due to vehicle type, age, or damage.
  • 18. Does the ClearVin report indicate theft?

    Yes, a ClearVin report indicates if a vehicle has been reported as stolen and if it was recovered by police. Any vehicles listed as recovered will have no issue being retitled or exported. ClearVin and NMVTIS are dedicated to protecting individuals from a stolen vehicle being sold fraudulently.

  • 19. Does ClearVin show if a vehicle has a lien against it?

    ClearVin will show if there is a lien, levy, or loan against a vehicle at the time of the report. The report contains a lien date and a holder’s name. Lien data does not include information on all motor vehicles in the United States because not all lienholders provide information to the source of this lien data.

  • 20. Does ClearVin provide the information on the vehicle’s current/previous owners?

    ClearVin does not provide a vehicle’s owner information as it is protected under federal law. The Driver's Privacy Protection Act (DPPA) of 1994 is a United States federal statute governing the privacy of personal data gathered by state Departments of Motor Vehicles. The DPPA generally prohibits revealing personal information contained in a driver’s license, motor vehicle registration, and other departmental records.

  • 21. What if the system states invalid VIN?

    Please make sure that you have entered the VIN code correctly. VIN codes contain 17 characters and are unique for each vehicle, so it is important to transcribe it correctly into our system. Note that VIN does not contain the letters I, O (o), and Q (q) to avoid confusion with numerals 1 and 0. If you find that the code is incorrect, simply reenter it and try your search again. If you believe you have entered this information correctly, this vehicle may not be listed in the NMVTIS system, either the titling-state has not provided this information to NMVTIS, or, this vehicle is not registered in any state’s titling system. It is recommended that you contact the titling-state to review this further.

  • 22. Why doesn’t my report show any details?

    If your vehicle history report appears sparse, it may be listed as a “clean” vehicle, which is the best possible outcome for a vehicle history report. The less information in a report typically means fewer owners, less damage, and repairs.

  • 23. Can I resell my ClearVin report?

    Our Vehicle History Reports are for personal use only. If you’re interested in bulk access options or public reselling solutions, please review our partner program.

  • 24. What is a 100% money back guarantee and how to apply for a refund?

    ClearVin stands behind the data provided, however, we provide full refunds in the case of any error in our system. In order to get a full refund, please email us at info@clearvin.com. Each email refund request must be accompanied by documented proof of an error. This proof could be information contained in a copy of a state title document or other recognized form of official documentation.

    Please note that we do not process refunds for records not available to ClearVin, such as information on previous owners, accident records, or title events from states not participating in the NMVTIS program.