OLYMPIA, Wash. - Some vehicles may look the same outwardly but they are actually very different because of their Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). Your vehicle’s VIN is a unique universal serial number. This month’s edition of the Washington State Patrol (WSP) YouTube video series “Good to Know” focuses on the VIN program and takes an inside look at the officers performing inspections. The video can be found at http://youtu.be/QzYLXuoFnTI.
The VIN is a 17-digit number with codes that detail’s the vehicle’s make and model, where the vehicle was manufactured and information about optional equipment. WSP VIN officers inspect and examine those VIN numbers to determine their differences and authenticity.
If you have changed component parts or rebuilt your vehicle, had repairs done after a collision, built a homemade trailer, or if your vehicle has been declared a total loss by the insurance company chances are it will need to be inspected before it will be issued a title. The WSP VIN program is an important step in that process.
VIN officers also perform inspections on vehicles when there is a VIN discrepancy, records dispute, or when vehicle ownership is in doubt. The VIN officers do not determine the safety of vehicle components or conduct emissions testing.
In the last two years, over 52,000 vehicles were inspected by WSP VIN officers in one of 24 inspection stations located around the state. During that same period, fifty-six stolen vehicles were recovered by VIN officers.
Recently, a motorcycle was presented for inspection. During the inspection process, The VIN plate and sticker were checked to make sure they are authentic and were also checked against state and federal stolen vehicle databases. It was discovered that the motorcycle had been reported stolen over 37 years ago. It would not have been recovered if the motorcycle had not been inspected by the WSP VIN program.
For more information on the VIN program, inspection stations locations and how to schedule an appointment click on: Vehicle Identification Inspections - Washington State Patrol