Unlike modern cars, locating your classic car’s history can be daunting. But here are a few handy tips you can use to find historical information on your vintage ride.
Ask the Experts
This can be challenging, as it’s not available for every classic make or model. However, Pontiac owners are lucky because the Pontiac Historical Society has records that you can access at $75 fee and a VIN. On the contrary, Chevrolet owners, aren’t as fortunate since most of the muscle-car era documentation disappeared into a fire.
Google Search the VIN
A quick Google search can bring up tons of earlier sale listings that allows you to get the contact of the car seller who may have additional details about the vehicle’s past.
To get the most from your search, such as more specific details about the car, use online tools to decode the VIN. For instance, where the vehicle was made or other stunning options may help narrow down the search area or make your classic car to stand out from several others produced.
Contact Your Car Seller
What most car owners don’t know is that their car seller might be having useful information with regard to the car’s past. It could be during the time of purchase, you were too excited to ask for all the facts. By contacting the car seller, you may be a step closer to accessing the original owner.
Join a National Club
Find a club that coincides with your vehicle’s make and join it. After that, talk to other club members about your car. You may be surprised at the type of valuable information you will get from members.
The club’s longtime members might relate with your story and identify other former owners. Once connected to these people, you can ask particular questions about your car’s model. Adding the vehicle to the club registry will be helpful to you and other future owners.
Visit the DMV
The DMV does not only provide useful information on passing a road test or taking a 5 hour drivers class; they also provide vehicle owners with a vehicle’s historical information.
With the Driver’s Privacy Protection Act in place, it may be challenging to find the previous car owner’s information from the DMV, as most registration details are perceived as private and thus can’t be revealed.
However, these restrictions vary from state to state. For example, in New York State, there are permissible uses of personal information attributed to any vehicle. Personal information may be disclosed if it’s to be used for research purposes or by an insurer or employer to validate the details related to the holder of a driver’s license.
The unrestricted personal information that you can obtain from DMV in New York includes traffic accidents, status of the driver’s license, and traffic accidents. However, other personal information such as name, photographs, phone number, and address, can only be released under specified permissible uses.
Either way, the Department of Motor Vehicles is still a vital source of your car’s historical information. Visit them and ask.
If you own a car that has exchanged hands several times for the past three decades, it may be difficult to find information on it. To successfully gather useful information, you should keep searching even after failing a several times.
Author Biography: Pierre Paul is the founder of Pierre Paul Driving School that provides driving lessons to both teens and adult drivers in Brooklyn, NY. We help drivers pass the dreaded road test the very first time and get a driver’s license faster.