Have you wondered if it was possible to buy an old vehicle and own it again? After all, many of us have memories of life events that are tied to a car– think a road trip, or a rush to the hospital to deliver a baby! Maybe that car still exists somewhere and you might be able to get your hands on it again! Here are a few thoughts as to how you can find that vehicle.
To start the task, you must get your hands on some information. Answer these questions first: What is the car’s Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)? What about the car’s license plate number? Do I have a picture of the vehicle? Do I know the vehicle’s history before I purchased it? These items can help on your hunt!
First, the Service Manager of Central Avenue Hyundai in Hartsdale, NY, says that the VIN will be a big piece of data. The VIN is not just on any titles you may have but it is also on the insurance card and registration, as well as on loan paperwork. So, the first step is to find any paperwork you may have saved on the vehicle. One thing to do is to call your old insurance company to see if they have records that go back to the vehicle you are seeking. The same goes for the bank that held a loan you may have had to help pay for it.
Once you’ve got your old VIN, can the DMV help you find the car? We do not know for certain. Some state DMVs will assist, but many won’t. That rule stems from the Driver’s Privacy Protection Act of 1994, which contains regulations about how the DMV must protect drivers’ private information, which individuals and agencies may lawfully be granted access to under appropriate circumstances. If your DMV cannot help you, many people stop at the police station to ask if they can help. Others obtain a licensed private investigator, as these people have access to data such as this.
Most people will have to go beyond the DMV, should head to vehicle history report websites and appeal to the public. You’ll find hundreds of car enthusiast websites that will let you place ads, posts or even a story about your car search. Write a catchy title, the car’s year, make, and model; the car’s VIN (if you have it—the more information you include, the better); its color; its engine, its transmission, and a great human interest story – “We drove cross-country in it…” It would also be fantastic if you included the years you owned it, the town and state you lived in when you owned it, the name of the person you sold it to and when, and what town and state that person lived in when that occurred. Do you think you could find one of your old cars? Why not give it a try? Step away from the computer and start looking for the needed documents!