Having Trouble in Pulling Up a Vehicle History Report? Read This!


The 17-digit Vehicle Identification Number reveals a lot of information about the vehicle right from location of its manufacturing plant to the size of engine fitted inside. There are online tools available to decode VIN to get the complete history report of a vehicle. The problem, however, arises when you continue getting invalid VIN message. If you are unable to decode a VIN, we list some important reasons that might be causing the problem. Take a look.

Illegal Characters in VIN

A VIN has both numeric as well as alphanumeric characters, barring the letters Q, O and I as they look similar to numbers 1 and 0. If any of these alphanumeric characters is present in the VIN, you won’t be able to decode it.

Less than 17 Characters in VIN

The NHTSA made it mandatory for all the vehicles of model year 1981 and beyond to have the 17-digit VIN. If the vehicle was manufactured before 1981, it might not have a 17-digit VIN that follows a standard pattern. The VIN decoder will be unable to fetch VIN history report of the vehicle.

Data License Doesn’t Cover the Vehicle

If you are decoding VIN of a Canadian vehicle, but your data license is limited to U.S. vehicle, you will need to negotiate the contract with the data provider to be able to decode the vehicles that are only to be sold in Canada.

Vehicle Outside Data Provider’s Coverage

There’s a possibility that your data provider might not be covering certain types of vehicle markets or types. If, for instance, you tried decoding a VIN of an ATV and your data provider covers only light-duty trucks, you will see a decoding error.

VIN Doesn’t Clear Checksum Test

Vehicles that are made for sale in Canada and U.S have a check digit at the ninth position. The digit determines the validity of the VIN. If the vehicle for which you want the history report was made for sale in U.S. or Canada, you might see a decoding error.

Wrapping Up

If you are unable to find the reason behind VIN decoding error, feel free to get in touch with the ClearVin team at +1 (844) 268 – 5991. We are a trusted license plate number lookup platform and a recommended VIN history provider. To learn more about our free VIN decoder and recalls check, fill out the contact form.

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