What Does "Reissued VIN" Mean?
A reissued VIN usually refers to a reissue of the car window sticker, not the VIN itself. This can be due to several factors, usually a typo or change in requirements for the original window sticker. It could also be due to the window sticker being damaged. This is different from a reassigned VIN, which can be an indication of a poor car history, prior salvage, or extensive damage.
In some rare cases, a reissued VIN could refer to a VIN number that has been reused, but most VINs are rarely duplicated; if they are, there will be a gap of at least 3 decades before reissue. But first, let's look at what exactly a VIN is.
What is a VIN?
A vehicle identification number or VIN is a car's unique character combination designed to distinguish your vehicle from every other registered car on the road. A VIN is a 17-character designation consisting of both numbers and letters, and serves a multitude of purposes. You can find information about your vehicle's manufacturer, factory location, country of origin, location of verification code, as well as the trim, engine size, and car type, all within your 17-character VIN.
Your VIN can be used to find out your vehicle's history among other essential details, so it's always best to know how to find it. To locate your VIN, simply look inside the driver's side dash for a small metal plate; the 17 numbers and letters will be engraved on this plate. If your VIN isn't in this location, check the inside of the driver's door close to the door handle.
While your VIN can help you find a variety of important information, it's no substitute for a car window sticker. You've seen these stickers at car dealerships, but most people know very little about what details they contain.
What is a Car Window Sticker?
A car window sticker, commonly referred to as a "Monroney sticker", is an adhesive document placed by car dealerships to give car buyer's all the necessary information about the vehicle for sale. First created in the 1950's by Oklahoma senator Mike Monroney (for whom they are named), Monroney stickers were made to discourage the improper pricing of vehicles by unscrupulous car dealers. The original act, known as the Automobile Information Disclosure Act, made it illegal to disclose inaccurate information about a automobiles price and equipment.
Like a VIN number, these stickers can give you vital details about your vehicle, including:
- Model Information And Standard Equipment: This section will show you the vehicle's serial number, make, model, interior/exterior color scheme, and standard equipment.
- Optional Vehicle Equipment: Optional equipment includes any auxiliary pieces installed on the vehicle that do not come standard. These can include G.P.S navigation, bluetooth connectivity, extra safety systems, Wi-Fi, vehicle monitoring, and comfort features like heated seats.
- Federal Safety Information: The safety section of the Monroney sticker will be taken up by National Highway Safety Administration ratings. These ratings will show the safety features of the car in regard to their frontal, side, and rollover impact capabilities. Each will come with its own rating, and an average will be displayed directly above.
- Destination Charge and MSRP: Both the destination charge and MSRP relate to the car's pricing; the destination charge is the cost of delivering a car to a dealership, while the MSRP is the manufacturer's suggested retail price.
- Fuel Economy and Environmental Information: All information about greenhouse gas ratings, annual fuel costs, estimated charge times (if the vehicle is an EV) and average MPG will be placed in this section.
- Parts Content Data and Addendums: The parts data section will show you where your vehicle's car parts were manufactured. This can show you if the pieces of your vehicle were made in a factory outside of the United States, as well as the vehicle's final assembly point.
- Warranty Info: This section will show you information about the car's warranty, which is an agreement the manufacturer makes to fix defective or broken parts caused by their factory.
- Shipping and Manufacturing Data: This data pertains to the different locations the vehicle has been shipped to and from, as well as the origin of its central components.
What is a Reissued VIN?
A reissued VIN rarely has to do with the identification number itself, but rather an informational document known as a "car window sticker". The confusion comes from where the word "reissue" will be printed, which is usually after the VIN number on the sticker itself. This usually happens due to one of three causes:
Car window stickers are created by people, and people make mistakes. Sometimes a type or piece of misinformation can end up on the window sticker, which can lead to a reissuing. This mistake can happen in any part of the sticker, and is usually noticed during a potential sale or during the initial placement of the sticker itself. Once noticed, the dealer will alert the potential buyer about the typo, and put in a request for the document to be reissued.
Changes in Law
Monroney stickers are often subject to changes in law that require different information be placed within the sticker's borders. For example, the Energy independence and Security Act of 2007 changed the requirements so that Monroney stickers required greenhouse gas emission and fuel economy information. This led to a number of reissuances to update the details on existing stickers.
Monroney stickers are subject to wear or damage, which can obscure the information they contain. If a dealership, or potential buyer, notices a sticker is damaged, they will request a reissue to make sure the sticker is up to code. If you see a damaged sticker, make sure to mention it to the dealership. With less than reputable dealers this could be an intentional tactic to obscure some data about the vehicle itself.
Reissued VIN Frequently Asked Questions
What Does Reissued VIN Mean?
A reissued VIN is a designation put after a VIN number to indicate the car window sticker has been replaced. This is usually due to damage or changes in the sticker itself. In some rare cases, a reissued VIN could refer to a VIN number that has been reused after at least 30 years of the original issuing. Most of the time though, a reissued VIN refers to changes in the Monroney car window sticker.
Can a VIN Number Be Reused?
Two vehicles that have been built in the same 30 year period can not share the same VIN number. Every VIN is stored in the Motor Vehicle Records database so that the vehicle's history can be monitored and recorded. After 30 years, it is possible for a VIN to be reused, though it will be marked in the database.
What is a Reassigned VIN?
A reassigned VIN is usually given to a car when it's experienced significant damage due to collision or natural disaster. VIN numbers can also be reassigned after a vehicle is stolen or used to perpetrate a crime. A vehicle with a reassigned VIN may have been moved to a different state or country, and it can be more difficult to find the older records on a car that's been reassigned.
What is a Dismantled Title?
Similar to a salvage title, a dismantled title indicates a car has been damaged so heavily that it has either A) been declared a total loss by an insurance company or governing body or B) damaged to the point where repairs would far exceed the vehicle's current value. A dismantled title can be used to sell a vehicle for its remaining functioning parts. Be wary when purchasing a vehicle with a dismantled title; these cars are usually only good for scrap and may be dangerous to operate on the road.
Can You Register a Dismantled Title?
A vehicle with a dismantled title cannot be registered for use on the road. If you find a vehicle with a dismantled title you believe can be converted into functioning condition, you can apply to have it given a rebuilt title. This requires extensive repairs and inspections by an automotive specialist, along with subsequent approval by the department of licensing or Department of Motor Vehicles.
Where Can I Find Out More Information About My Car?
Dealing with vehicles that have a reissued VIN or dismantled title can be a hassle and prevent you from finding the car you need. Some dealers can be unscrupulous, and private sales can often result in citizens being the victims of fraud. It's always best to take the time to do extensive research before purchasing a vehicle; this will give you the information you need to make a more informed financial decision. Not only can you save money and time, you can also make sure the vehicle you choose is safe for you and your family.
To do this research, you'll usually want to utilize a vehicle research tool. These tools allow you to find a wide variety of details about the vehicle you intend to purchase, including a VIN lookup and license plate number tool. With this information you can conduct a full car history report and see if the dealer is being honest about their vehicle.
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