How to Obtain a Replacement VIN Tag for an Auto

Written by larry parr
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It's rarely easy dealing with any government agency, but sometimes it's necessary. To get a legal replacement VIN tag for your auto, you have no choice but to deal with your local motor vehicles department. You must bring your car in for a thorough inspection; in some states the highway patrol office itself will inspect it.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Registration certificate
  • Title ("pink slip"), if available
  • Proof of insurance

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  1. 1

    Gather the relevant paperwork. Get copies of your auto insurance information, your registration and, if available, the title ("pink slip"). Some states require you to provide a clear tittle going all the way back to the original dealer purchase; other states will help you in your search. In either case, it is important that you provide as much title information as you can about your vehicle.

  2. 2

    Call your local motor vehicles department (the agency in your state that issues driver's licenses) to confirm that it handles issuing replacement VINs.

  3. 3

    Take your vehicle and the paperwork to an office of your state's highway patrol if directed to do so by your local DMV office.

  4. 4

    Your car will be inspected. The inspecting officer will check information on the driver's door post as well as the VIN number stamped on the engine block.

  5. 5

    If the inspector is satisfied, you will be issued a temporary VIN plate, known as a "blue tag." Some states will immediately direct you to a state-sanctioned shop where your permanent VIN tag will be made and mounted. Other states will mail the VIN tag to you.

  6. 6

    When the new VIN tag arrives in the mail, take it to the shop listed on your paperwork, where it will be officially mounted onto your car.

Tips and warnings

  • Do not attach the VIN tag yourself. Plates must be mounted with approved rivets.
  • Failure to follow all the instructions from your local motor vehicles department or from your state's highway patrol could result in an illegal VIN tag.

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