Driver's Guide

How to Register a Car with No VIN Number

How to Register a Car with No VIN Number

Do you have a car you wish to register without a VIN number? In this post, we will look at the possibilities of how to register a car with no VIN number.

 Most states in the US have various strict laws regarding car registrations of which all cars must have a VIN before being registered with the DMV. An alternative to registering a car with no VIN would be to get a new VIN, but you must go through phases and you must possess the needed paperwork to verify ownership.

Meanwhile, if you have no title and would want to visit the DMV, do well to read my guide on getting a duplicate title.

No DMV official would register your car without a VIN according to state laws, which is why obtaining a new VIN would be a better alternative.

How to Register a Car with No VIN Number
The DMV Office at the State of Vermont

Is VIN So Important When Registering a Car?

Yes, it is important to submit the VIN of a car to register it. If you bought a car with no VIN, it is your first mistake in owning a car.

The VIN is a set of numbers that give information about the vehicle, including its theft history, ownership history, make and model, vehicle condition (salvaged, totaled, rebuilt, etc.).

When you arrive at the DMV, they request the VIN, run checks on it before they register, and put the car in your name.

Note, if your vehicle is homemade, you do not have to plan to register it without VIN. You can contact your local DMV for the steps and requirements to get a VIN for your homemade car.

How to Register a Car with No VIN Number

In this section, I reveal the steps to register a car without VIN. I have experienced a friend’s vehicle registration process that had no VIN. It may not have been easy, but it was worth getting VIN for the car eventually.

Below are the steps to register a car with no VIN number:

Contact Your DMV

You do not have to go to the physical office, search the website of your DMV for your state’s law regarding registering your car with no VIN. If your state is strict, you may obtain the VIN out of state in Kentucky, Virginia, Ohio, etc.

Fill the Replacement Form

Almost all the states allow you to apply for a new VIN. In Virginia, for instance, you may download the Application for Signed Vehicle Identification Number from your DMV’s website.

Submit the Application

After filling out the form, you need additional documents to prove ownership. The legal documents may include a notarized bill of sale, car title, and an affidavit.

You will also be required to submit your address, phone number, and a notarized statement stating why your vehicle has no VIN.

Pay the Fees

The fee depends on your state. In Virginia, for instance, you will pay $5 for VIN application, $125 for an examination fee, and $15 for the title fee.

Take Your Vehicle for Inspection

After the VIN application, the DMV will issue you an inspection request. In Nevada, for instance, you need the Vehicle Inspection Certificate, photo ID, notarized bill of sale, or title certificate to present your car for inspection.

Pay the Fees

Of course, you will be charged a fee and it varies by state.

If your vehicle passes the inspection test, you will be certified. Find out from your local DMV on where to make the payments. In Washington, for instance, you are to make the payment at the department of licensing.

Register the Vehicle

Take the inspection certificate to your DMV and request to register your vehicle. Of course, you can now register with the VIN and pay the normal fees for the registration.

Note, however, that if you misplace the inspection certificate for more than 30 days in some states, you must go through the initial procedures to obtain a new certificate, which can be inconvenient.

Pay the Fee

The cost of vehicle registration starts from $15 and it can be higher depending on your state.

Note that at the time of registration, you will submit your photo ID, title certificate, and contact details. The bill of sale is not so important; some states do not value it.


If you find it difficult to register your car with no VIN, below are what to do:

Sell the Vehicle

Yes, selling the car is your last resort. You can sell it out of the country or within the country, but it is illegal not to inform the buyer that the car has no VIN.
It makes you a curbstoner and you can be arrested and sanctioned.

Sell to Scrap

Of course, you can sell a car to junk with no VIN. It is even the best way to get rid of the car and gather money for a new car with VIN.

Meanwhile, I have an article that explains how you can junk a car with no title, and the procedure is similar to junking with no VIN.

If junkyards make it difficult to sell to scrap with no VIN, you can sell it to auto repair shops or auto part store.

Can you sell a car without a VIN number?

Yes, you can sell a car with no VIN, but you must inform the buyer beforehand.

If buyers refuse to pay for the car with no VIN, consider the other options I have mentioned here.

Clone the Car

Clone the car? Oh, yes. You can clone the car, get a new VIN, and sell it out of state or the country.

Car cloning involves VIN switching, and it gives your car the identity of another car with a legal VIN.

For instance, if you own a Passat VW with no VIN, you can switch it with the VIN of another Passat VW, but it must be the same model and year.

Final Thoughts

Before you buy a car, make sure it has the VIN so that you do not have to pay additional fees and go through the stress of getting a VIN replacement.

Note that if you are selling a car with no VIN, you have to wash the title, if it was not already washed, to get rid of any trace that the VIN is missing. Note that it is Illegal and you have to sell the car with an open title to prevent the previous illegal owners from being tracked and questioned about the missing VIN.

Latest posts by Bernard Juchli (see all)

Bernard Juchli

Bernard Juchli is an experienced racer, mechanic and team owner who trusts Avon Tyres.Bernard is the lead driver and force behind his Big Dog Garage Race Team. He is the General Manager and Chief Mechanic of Jay Leno’s Garage. Bernard and his crew of seven are responsible for all repairs, restoration and fabrication of Jay’s incredible automobile and motorcycle collection.

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