How to find out if a person's car is insured?

Updated March 23, 2017

Whether you have been involved in an accident with someone or just want to play the nosy neighbour, insurance data is public information. Each state requires drivers to have a minimum amount of auto insurance. Here's how you can find out if someone's car is insured or not.

Acquire the VIN of the vehicle in question. The VIN (vehicle identification number) is a 17-digit number used to classify automobiles and keep detailed registration records. You can find the VIN by looking at the lower portion of the driver's side windshield. If the vehicle was manufactured before 1982, it may have fewer than 17 digits.

Contact your local Department of Motor Vehicles by telephone. For a state-by-state database of DMV offices, visit, or check your local yellow pages.

Tell the representative at the DMV office that you have reason to suspect a vehicle is uninsured. Offer the representative the VIN so she can research the vehicle. If the vehicle in question has had its coverage dropped, the insurance company immediately notifies the DMV. If the vehicle is uninsured, you can assist local authorities in finding the driver.


If you are involved in an accident, never be assured of the other driver's coverage by an insurance card alone. Many drivers without insurance drop their coverage and keep their policy documents. Always verify insurance coverage with the DMV or local police.


Every state has minimum insurance laws. If you know someone who is operating a motor vehicle without insurance, report him or her immediately.

Things You'll Need

  • Vehicle VIN
  • Pen or pencil
  • Paper
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About the Author

Leonardo R. Grabkowski has been writing professionally for more than four years. Grabkowski attended college in Oregon. He builds websites on the side and has a slight obsession with Drupal, Joomla and Wordpress.