California VIN Check and Lookup

Discover any car's past with a California VIN Check

A VIN number, or Vehicle Identification Number is a 17-digit number, that serves as the car's unique identity code.
For most vehicles, you can find the VIN on your front driver’s side interior dashboard or the driver’s side door post. Alternatively, you may find it on the vehicle’s insurance and ownership documents.
Example: 4T1C11AK4PU168240

Welcome to California VIN Check and VIN Lookup, the quickest and most reliable way to discover any vehicle's history in California. Our tool provides comprehensive reports on all cars registered in California, offering you peace of mind when you need it most. With just a few clicks to order a VIN lookup California from FAXVIN, you can access vital information such as title history, accident reports, and more. Get started now and unlock the complete story of any vehicle with CA VIN Check.

What a California VIN Check Can Reveal

If you're in the market for a used vehicle in California, you might want to perform a CA VIN lookup to reveal details that even the seller may not want to disclose for fear that it could impact the price. Here are some of the categories that a vehicle identification number check report can include:

Title Records

You can know when the car was registered, insured, or renewed in California or other states. You can also see if the vehicle has a clean title or a branded title, such as salvage, rebuilt, or lemon.

Maintenance Records

In this section, you'll see entries of major repairs and services that the vehicle has undergone, such as when the front brake pads and discs were replaced, when the tires were changed, or when the transmission fluid was replaced. You can also see if the car has any open recalls or warranty issues.

Sales Records

This section provides information on who listed the vehicle for sale, when they did so, and how much they asked for it. You can also see the reported mileage and condition of the vehicle at the time of sale. This can help you verify the accuracy of the odometer and the seller's claims.

Junk/Salvage/Insurance Records

This section reveals whether a facility or an insurance company has ever reported the vehicle as junked, salvaged, or totaled. You can also see the details of the damage, such as the type, extent, and location of the damage. The source for this information is usually the NMVTIS (National Motor Vehicle Title Information System).

Salvage Auction Records

The entries show you if the vehicle was ever sold at a salvage auction. You can also see the details of the auction, such as the date, location, and facility name. You can also see the estimated damage, primary damage, secondary damage, and exterior color of the vehicle at the time of auction.

Theft Records

These let you know whether law enforcement authorities have reported the car as stolen. You don't want to buy a stolen car that could get you in trouble or be taken away from you.

Lien/Impound/Export Records

They tell you if the vehicle has any outstanding loans, liens, or judgments against it, or if it has been impounded or exported to another country. You want to avoid buying a car that has financial obligations or legal issues attached to it.

Title Checks

The check reveals any potential problems with the vehicle's title, such as fire damage, flood damage, police use, taxi use, or remanufactured status. A branded title could affect the value and safety of the car.

The details in the CA VIN lookup report are quite critical for you as a buyer, making the report a must-have regardless of the kind of automobile you’re buying. It could be a used car, motorcycle, RV, or truck—the report will help you make a fact-based decision and avoid taking home a lemon.

According to the Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System, there were 225,589 traffic accidents in California in 2022.

Salvage Title Check

California Counties

A salvage car is a vehicle that has been severely damaged and declared a total loss by an insurance company. The State of California does not use a percentage or a formula to determine if a car is salvageable. Instead, the state has a specific definition: the car must be either totally destroyed or damaged beyond what the insurance company is willing to pay to fix it.

There are many reasons why you should avoid buying a salvage car unless you are an expert mechanic or a collector. Some drawbacks to owning a salvage car are:

  • Reduced value: A salvage car will have a lower resale value than a comparable clean title car, even if it has been repaired and revived to its original condition. Selling it will be difficult, too, as most buyers will be wary of the vehicle's history and potential problems.
  • Branded title: A salvage car that has been rebuilt will have a permanent stain on its title that indicates that it was once declared a total loss. This will make it harder to insure and finance.
  • Difficult to insure: Many insurance companies will not offer full coverage for salvage cars, or they will charge higher premiums and deductibles. It means that you will have less protection in case of an accident or theft, and you will have to pay more out of pocket for any damages or repairs.
  • Potential underlying issues: Even if a salvage car looks and runs well, it may have hidden issues that are not visible to the naked eye. For example, the vehicle may have structural damage, electrical faults, corrosion, airbag defects, or other safety hazards that could compromise its performance and reliability.

So, if you are interested in buying a used car, you should always check if it has a salvage title before making an offer. Remember, you can do this by performing a CA VIN lookup on our website. The FAXVIN report will provide you with all the facts you need as a buyer, including any accidents, damages, repairs, recalls, odometer readings, and title brands. Our information comes from reliable sources such as the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System (NMVTIS), as well as auction facilities, insurance companies, law enforcement agencies, and other data providers.

Now, if you still want to buy a salvage car, despite the risks and challenges involved, it is critical to get a second opinion on the vehicle's mechanical condition by requesting professional services from a competent mechanic. They should inspect the vehicle thoroughly and identify any issues that may affect its functionality and safety. You can also negotiate a lower price for the salvage car, taking into account its diminished value and potential repair costs.

  • Unlike other states, California does not issue an actual salvage title. Instead, they issue a salvage certificate.
  • Owners looking to revive a salvage car and register it again must meet certain requirements and pass inspections.
  • Buyers should check the history report, smog certificate, title transfer, and odometer disclosure before buying a used car in California.
  • Many second buyers and dealerships sell used cars “as is,” meaning that you’ll not get any warranty or repairs after the sale.


Buying a car in California is a big decision that requires careful research, or you could end up with a problematic unit that is expensive to maintain and insure. More importantly, a California VIN lookup helps you avoid buying a stolen car.

Now, you don't have to worry about where you can order a VIN check report. FAXVIN's California VIN lookup service tells you about how the vehicle was used, all negative incidents, and hidden details that may go unnoticed. You can be confident that you are getting a good deal on a reliable car that will last a long time.

And if you still want to buy the car despite getting negative results from the California VIN search, you can use the information to negotiate a lower price.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a VIN Check in California, and how does it work?
The VIN (vehicle identification number) is a special code that the manufacturer assigns to identify a particular vehicle in California. It consists of 17 characters, including letters and numbers. You'll mostly find it on the driver's side dashboard or the driver's or passenger’s door frame. The VIN ID is needed for the California VIN check as it allows you to know the vehicle's history, ownership, registration, insurance, recalls, and other information stored in private and public databases.
How can I check a VIN number in California?
You can use our FAXVIN’s VIN check. This is a professional and reliable service that will provide you with a detailed report on the vehicle's history, title status, odometer readings, accidents, recalls, and more.
Is checking a VIN safe online?
At FAXVIN, we understand your concerns and guarantee a safe checkout experience. We use the best encryption technology to protect your data, and we comply with strict data privacy laws.

California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV)

2415 1st Ave,
Sacramento, CA 95818
(800) 777-0133