How to check a trailer VIN number

Written by josh baum
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How to check a trailer VIN number
There's no standard location for a VIN on a trailer. (camping,trailer image by Greg Pickens from Fotolia.com)

Every street-legal vehicle or trailer is assigned a vehicle identification number, or VIN, at the point of manufacture. This tracking number can be used to look up such details as the original factory specs, ownership history, accident and theft histories and more. If you have a trailer and would like to check the VIN, you might have to do a little searching, because there is no standard location for the VIN plate on trailers.

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Things you need

  • Torch

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Park the trailer so you can approach it from all angles, see all its parts clearly and stoop down to look at the underside if necessary. Take along your torch in case you need to look in a dark area.

  2. 2

    Check the trailer tongue, which is the series of metal bars at the front of the trailer that attach to the trailer hitch of a vehicle.

    How to check a trailer VIN number
    Sample VIN plate.
  3. 3

    Check the thick, heavy bars on the frame, then check the interior of the trailer, followed by the exterior of the trailer. If you still can't find the VIN, look underneath the front and rear ends with a torch.

  4. 4

    Write down the 17-digit VIN once you find it.

  5. 5

    Call or visit a DVLA office near you to look up the ownership history, accident history or theft history of the trailer. Most DVLA offices are able to provide this service, but it is possible that you may be referred to the main office in Swansea. Depending on the state in which you live, a small fee may be charged.

  6. 6

    Call or visit a dealership operated by the manufacturer of your trailer for specific information on the factory specifications of your model. Customer policies and the types of information at these dealerships will vary, but the dealer should be able to give you an appropriate contact at the manufacturer if they do not have access to that information.

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