Vermont Vehicle Identification Numbers
Where do you get a VIN check in the state of Vermont?
Individuals in Vermont can request copies of their own DMV Record by submitting form VG-116 online or in person at the Montpelier office of the Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles. Those needing to get bulk record must fill submit for VG-118 and subscribe to the Vermont Information Consortium. It is very difficult to get motor vehicle history on a vehicle which is not yours through state agencies without the current owner’s consent unless you have their Power of Attorney. For this reason, many states suggest using the National Vehicle Motor Title Information System which we will discuss further later.
The state of Vermont Agency of Transportation Department of Motor Vehicles has a list of vehicles which require VIN verification. VIN verification is not necessary if a title will not be issued on a vehicle; however, it is required for the following:
- Vehicles being titled in Vermont for the first time which were purchased through a private sale and have not been registered or titled in the owner’s name in another jurisdiction;
- Vehicles with “Salvage” Documentation from any state, including Vermont;
- Vehicles being titled under bond;
- Vehicles with registration from any foreign country, including Canada;
- Vehicles over 25 years old, for which a Vermont resident is seeking an “exempt title;”
- Motorcycles which are not able to be titled but are 500 cc’s or more and have not been registered or titled previously to the applicant or have not been previously registered in Vermont; and
- Vehicles with discrepancies in documentation or which do not conform to establish standards.
VIN verifications conducted in Vermont can be completed by a Vermont law enforcement officer, personally employed by a law enforcement unit who are under the direct supervision of a law enforcement officer, or a DMV employee who has been designated by the Vermont Commissioner of Motor Vehicles.
VIN verifications which are completed out-of-state should be completed by motor vehicle officials or state level law enforcement officials, or by the personnel authorized in that state to perform VIN verifications. Military personnel may have the VIN verification completed by the Commanding Officer or Provost Marshal of the military base. Any VIN verifications which are performed out-of-state must be accompanied by a letter of identification of the agent on their department or agency official letterhead and are subject to approval by the Vermont Commissioner of Motor Vehicles.
There is a form, which can be found on the Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles website, for VIN verifications and other forms, including:
- VT-010 – Verification of VIN/HIN – to verify the Vehicle Identification Number or Hull Identification Number when required by the DMV;
- VT-005 – Bill of Sale and Odometer Disclosure – to transfer ownership of a motor vehicle and state current mileage. This is required for vehicles nine (9) years and older;
- VT -029 – Branded Title Vehicle Inspection Form – to inspect a vehicle which was previously branded as salvage or otherwise not roadworthy in any state other than Vermont;
- VT-219 – Demand for Vehicle Arbitration – to request arbitration with instruction information;
- VG-116 – DMV Record Request – to request records and documents including driving records, certified copies, police reports, and individual accident reports;
- VT-025 – Exempt Title Affidavit – to apply, as a resident of Vermont, for an exempt vehicle title on a vehicle that is over 25 years old;
- VT-019 – Lien Add – to change or add a lien to an existing Vermont title;
- VT-008 – Lien Release – to release a lien on an existing Vermont title;
- VR-105 – Lost or Unavailable Registration Certificate – when your registration certificate is lost or unavailable when you are transferring your plates to a replacement vehicle; and
- VT-017 – Rebuilt/Salvage Title Application – to apply for a Rebuilt/Salvage Vermont title.
There are more forms available at the Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles website.
“Title brands” are used by all states and by the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System. Vermont uses “Title Brands” to indicate if a used vehicle has been damaged or may be unsafe to drive. If a vehicle’s title has been “branded” then it is an official state designation which has been made by an official state agency and should appear on the vehicle’s title. Vermont titles can have no more than nine (9) brands and all brands which exist or existed on any non-Vermont title will be added on to any Vermont issued title using the branding classifications below:
- Odometer readings which have “rolled over” (meaning it has reached 100,000 miles and restarted counting) are no longer marked with an “A” or a “B.” Those which have “rolled over” are now branded with #72. If the odometer is broken or incorrect for some other reason, the title will be branded using the codes #69, #70, #73, #74, or #76, whichever is appropriate;
- 01 – Flood Damage – these vehicles have been damaged by freshwater flood, or it is unknown whether the damage was caused by freshwater or saltwater;
- 1a – Abandoned;
- 1b – Off-Road;
- 1c – Duplicate;
- 02 – Fire Damage – these vehicles have been damaged by fire;
- 03 – Hail Damage – these vehicles have been damaged by hail;
- 04 – Salt Water Damage – these vehicles have been damaged by a saltwater flood;
- 05 – Vandalism – these vehicles have been damaged by vandals;
- 06 – Kit – this is used to describe a vehicle which has been built by combining a chassis with a different (and non-matching VIN) frame, engine, and body parts. The VIN on the chassis is used as the vehicle’s VIN. This does not include “Gliders;”
- 07 – Dismantled (Parts Only) – this vehicle can only legally be sold as parts and cannot legally be driven;
- 08 – Junk – this vehicle is not safe to operate on the roads or highways and has no resale value except for parts or scrap, or the owner has irreversibly designated the vehicle as a source of parts or scrap. It can never be titled or registered. May also be called non-repairable, scrapped, or destroyed;
- 09 – Rebuilt – this vehicle, which was previously branded as “salvage,’ has passed anti-theft and safety inspections to ensure that it was rebuilt to required standards. May also be called a prior salvage (salvaged;)
- 10 – Reconstructed – vehicle that has been permanently altered by removing, adding, or substituting major components;
- 11 – Salvage – this vehicle has been wrecked, destroyed, or damaged enough that the cost of parts and labor to rebuild the vehicle to its pre-accident condition would be more expensive than the retail value of the vehicle. The retail value of the vehicle is determined by a current edition of a nationally recognized compilation of retail values. — Salvage – Damage or Not Specified also includes a vehicle which any insurance company gets the title to before a damage settlement, any vehicle that the owner may wish to designate as a salvage vehicle by getting a salvage title, whatever the condition of the vehicle, or any vehicle which the jurisdiction can’t distinguish the reason why the vehicle was designated as a salvage brand;
- 12 – Test Vehicle – vehicle which was built and kept by the manufacturer for testing purposes;
- 13 – Refurbished – vehicle which was modified by the installation of a new cab and chassis for the existing, yet renovated, coach, resulting in a vehicle which is worth more and with a new style. Includes “Glider;”
- 14 – Collision – vehicle damaged by collision;
- 16 – Salvage Retention – vehicle has been branded salvage and has been kept by the owner;
- 17 – Prior Taxi – vehicle was previously registered as a taxi;
- 18 – Prior Police – vehicle was previously registered as a police vehicle;
- 19 – Original Taxi – vehicle is currently registered as a taxi;
- 20 – Original Police – vehicle is currently registered as a police vehicle;
- 21 – Remanufactured – vehicle was reconstructed by the manufacturer;
- 22 – Gray Market – vehicle was manufactured for use outside of the United States and has been brought to the United States (this has been replaced by brands ’45’ and ’46’ as of 6/25/01;)
- 23 – Warranty Return – vehicle was returned to the manufacturer due to a breach in the warranty;
- 24 – Antique – vehicle which is over 50 years old;
- 25 – Classic – vehicle which is over 20 years old and adheres to other jurisdiction-specific criteria (vehicle make, condition, etc.;)
- 26 – Agricultural Vehicle – vehicle which will primarily be operated on private roads for agricultural purposes;
- 27 – Logging Vehicle – vehicle which will primarily be operated on private roads for logging purposes;
- 28 – Street Rod – vehicle which has been modified to NOT conform with the manufacturer’s specifications, and the modifications adhere to jurisdiction-specific criteria;
- 29 – Reissued VIN – the chassis has been reissued, the same VIN has been reused;
- 30 – Replica – a vehicle with a body built to resemble and be a reproduction of another vehicle of a given year and a given manufacturer;
- 31 – Totaled – vehicle which has been declared a total loss by a jurisdiction or an insurer that is obligated to cover the loss or that the insurer takes possession of or title to. This is what happens when an insurance company declares a vehicle totaled, but the jurisdiction doesn’t salvage the vehicle;
- 32 – Owner Purchased – vehicle has been declared a total loss by the insurance company, but the owner chose to keep the vehicle and continues to own it;
- 33 – Bond Posted – when the insurance company has issued a bond on a vehicle because the ownership of a vehicle can’t be proven. This brand allows the vehicle to be sold and titled;
- 34 – Memo Copy – the title document is a facsimile title and not the active, or an original or duplicate, title document;
- 36 – Recovered Theft – vehicle was previously titled as salvage due to theft. The vehicle has been repaired and inspected and has been determined safe to be legally driven;
- 37 – Undisclosed Lien – vehicle has entered the titling jurisdiction from a jurisdiction that does not disclose lien-holder information on the title. The titling jurisdiction may issue a new title without this brand if no notice of a security interest in the vehicle is received. This brand is not valid after January 17, 2003;
- 38 – Prior Owner Retained – vehicle which was previously branded owner retained was sold and the new owner’s title has this brand;
- 39 – Non-Conform Uncorrect – A non-safety defect reported to the jurisdiction by the vehicle manufacturer remains uncorrected;
- 40 – Non-Conform Correct – A non-safety defect reported to the jurisdiction by the vehicle manufacturer has been corrected;
- 41 – Safety Defect Uncorrect – A safety defect reported to the jurisdiction by the vehicle manufacturer remains uncorrected;
- 42 – Vehicle Safety Defect – a safety defect reported to the jurisdiction by the vehicle manufacturer has been corrected;
- 43 – State Assigned VIN – A title should not be issued for the VIN. This brand van be issued for vehicles which have been rebuilt;
- 45 – Gray Market Non-Compliance – vehicle was manufactured for use outside of the United States and has been brought into the United States; however, this vehicle is not in compliance with federal standards;
- 46 – Gray Market – vehicle was manufactured for use outside of the United States and has been brought into the United States. The vehicle is in compliance with federal standards;
- 47 – Manufacturer Buy Back – this vehicle has been bought back by the manufacturer under jurisdiction defined regulations or laws, including lemon laws;
- 48 – Formal Rental;
- 49 – Salvage-Stolen – any vehicle the reporting jurisdiction considers salvage because an insurance company after a settlement based on the theft of the vehicle;
- 50 – Salvage-Other – any vehicle the reporting jurisdiction considers salvage based on criteria, such as abandonment, which is not covered by the “Salvage – Damage” or “Non-Specified” and “Salvage – Stolen” brands;
- 51 – Disclosed Damage – vehicle which has sustained damage to the extent that the damage is required to be disclosed under the jurisdiction’s damage disclosure law;
- 52 – Non-Repairable/Repaired – a vehicle constructed by repairing a vehicle which has been destroyed or declared to be non-repairable or otherwise has been ineligible for titling because of the extent of damage to the vehicle but has been issued a title pursuant to the state law after failing within this criterion with this brand on the face of the certificate of title;
- 52 – Crushed – this vehicle’s frame or chassis has been crushed or destroyed to the extent that it is physically impossible to use it in the construction of another vehicle;
- 68 – Actual – The true mileage for the vehicle. The odometer has not been tampered with, reached its mechanical limits, or been altered. Do not use, unless title is from another jurisdiction AND already has this brand;
- 69 – Not Actual-Tampered – The odometer reading on this vehicle is known to be false due to tampering;
- 71 – Exempt Odometer – this vehicle falls within criteria that allow it to change ownership without disclosing the odometer reading;
- 72 – Exceed Mechanical Limits – the odometer on this vehicle has exceeded its mechanical limits and therefore the odometer reading is less than the true mileage of the vehicle;
- 73 – Odometer May Be Altered – the titling authority has reason to believe that the odometer may have been altered and therefore does not reflect the true mileage of the vehicle;
- 74 – Odometer Replaced – this is not the original odometer which was in the vehicle when it was manufactured;
- 75 – Reading at Renewal – The odometer reading was recorded when the registration was renewed;
- 76 – Odometer Discrepancy – the titling authority has reason to believe that the odometer reading does not reflect the true mileage of the vehicle because of a previously recorded reading of the odometer;
- 77 – Call Title Division – the titling authority knows of some issue with the odometer reading which is cannot print on a title. The titling authority will discuss the problem with authorized inquisitors; and
- 78 – Rectify Previous EML Brand – A state other than the brander corrected brand 72.
The state of Vermont recommends that individuals who want more information about a vehicle’s history go to the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System (NMVTIS) website.
The Vermont Lemon Law is under the Vermont Division of Consumer Protection and complaints can be made online. For any questions about the lemon law in Vermont you should contact:
Office of the Vermont Attorney General
120 State Street
Montpelier, VT 05609
Form VG-118 – DPPA User Agreement – to request user access to certain records for the purpose of obtaining personal information on individuals other than yourself. This form is typically used for frequent requesters:
Should I perform additional motor vehicle history or VIN checks on a vehicle in Vermont?
Yes, definitely. While it is good to know the current title information on a car, knowing the history is very important. There are quite a few companies which run VIN and/or license plate checks in the state of Vermont, some of which cost money and some which provide a certain number of free searches per IP address in a 24-hour period.
One of the more complete VIN checks that you can get is from the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System. NMVTIS is a database which provides data on cars that have been in recycling yards, junkyards, and salvage yards. They provide information in five key areas which are associated with auto fraud and theft:
- Current State Title and Last Title Date;
- Brand History – these are descriptive labels applied by motor vehicle titling agencies and include the terms “junk,” “salvage,” and “flood.” This helps protect consumers from purchasing a damaged vehicle without knowing the condition of the car. In Vermont, which allows consumers to purchase “rebuilt” cars, knowing the history and the “brand” of a car may save you from paying far more than a vehicle is worth or from buying a vehicle which is unsafe or has the potential to be unsafe due to its history;
- Odometer Reading – people have been known to “roll the odometer back” to decrease the appearance of miles on a vehicle. This makes the vehicle appear to be worth more than it is worth, and it may also cause a consumer to purchase a vehicle which is unsafe. Odometer readings are recorded at the transfer of the title, so it can be a useful tool to check for any discrepancies of the vehicle’s history;
- Total Loss History – when a vehicle has been declared a total loss it has had severe damage. Knowing this information could save a consumer from paying more than what the vehicle is worth or from purchasing a vehicle which is unsafe; and
- Salvage History – vehicles with a salvage history have had severe damage. Knowing this information could save you money or save you from purchasing a car that is unsafe.
The data reported to NMVTIS must be reported on every vehicle which they receive into inventory each month and includes:
- The name, address, and contact information for the reporting entity;
- Date the automobile was obtained;
- Name of the individual or entity from whom automobile was obtained (this information is only to be used by law enforcement and other government agencies);
- A statement of whether the automobile was crushed or disposed of, offered for sale, or other purposes; and
- Whether the vehicle is intended for export out of the United States.
The public can’t access the NTMVIS database, but you can use one of the services which can access it and you should. Some of the ones that are advertised on the NTMVIS website include, but aren’t limited to:
There is also a database, VINcheck, which is run by the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) and recommended by the state of Vermont. They provide VIN checks to the public which will tell you if the car has been reported stolen and not found, and if the vehicle has been in a salvage yard. Vermont also recommends using a private agency, i.e. Carfax, for a vehicle history check, conducting a physical inspection, taking the car on a test drive, and getting an independent inspection.
If you purchase a car and believe that you have been the victim of fraud you are asked to contact the National Insurance Crime Board by:
- Texting the keyword “FRAUD” to TIP411 (847411);
- Call 800.TEL.NICB (800.835.6422); or
- Submit a form online.
If you have a complaint about auto theft, odometer fraud, misrepresentation, and failure to deliver title, you should contact:
Attorney General’s Consumer Assistance Program
109 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05609-1001
E-mail to Vermont Consumer Assistance Program: AGO.CAP@vermont.gov
Lemon Law in Vermont
The lemon law in the State of Vermont can be found at 9 V.S.A. Vermont Statutes Annotated §§ 4170 et seq. The Lemon Law falls under the Vermont Department of Consumer Assistance in the Attorney General’s Office.
For the vehicle to be considered a lemon in Vermont, the following must apply:
- The vehicle must have been purchased, leased, or registered in Vermont;
- At least the first repair attempt for the claimed defect or nonconformity was covered by the manufacturer’s express warranty for a “three-times-out” claim;
- The defect(s)/condition(s) is present as of the date of filing for a “three-time-out” claim;
- The gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) for a truck cannot exceed 12,000 pounds;
- A business or commercial enterprise may have a maximum of two (2) registered or leased vehicles;
- Vehicles within a government entity are not covered under Vermont’s lemon law;
- A vehicle finance account must be current as of the date of the hearing;
- Consumers must go through an informal dispute process that the manufacturer has established or is a part of as explained in the warranty manual in the vehicle; and
- A claim must be filed within one year after the expiration of the manufacturer’s express warranty.
Used vehicles are covered under the lemon law if the first repair occurred within the manufacturer’s express warranty and other eligibility requirements have been met. A new motor vehicle means that the vehicle is still under the manufacturer’s express warranty.
The lemon law covers any defect or condition which is covered by the manufacturer’s warranty that substantially impairs the use, market value, or safety of the vehicle. This is referred to as a nonconformity. The lemon law provides manufacturers with a defense if it can be shown that the defect, or nonconformity, is the result of abuse, neglect, or unauthorized modifications of the vehicle.
If the vehicle does not conform to all express warranties and the consumer reports the nonconformity to the manufacturer, the manufacturer must make necessary repairs to the vehicle so that the vehicle conforms to the express warranties, even if these repairs occur after the expiration of the warranty term. If the manufacturer is unable or unwilling to make repairs to the vehicle to correct a defect or nonconformity after a reasonable number of attempts, the manufacturer must either replace or repurchase the vehicle from the consumer.
Vermont presumes that a reasonable number of repair attempts have been undertaken to conform a vehicle to the applicable warranties if either of the following occurs:
- The same nonconformity, as identified in any written examination or repair order, has been subject to repair at least three (3) times by the manufacturer, its agent or authorized dealer; and at least the first repair attempt occurs within the express warrant term and that same nonconformity continues to exist; or
- The motor vehicle is out of service due to repair for one or more nonconformities for a cumulative total of 30 or more calendar days during the express warranty term. The vehicle must be in the repair shop for the majority of the day.
After reasonable attempt at repair or correction of the nonconformity, defect or condition, or after the motor vehicle is out of service due to the repair of the nonconformity of the vehicle for thirty (30) or more calendar days, the consumer must notify the manufacturer (and lessor if applicable) in writing of the nonconformity and the consumer’s claim for replacement and repurchase.
In Vermont, there are two methods for filing a Demand for Arbitration (and you must use the Demand for Application form for each):
- “Three-times-out” – the defect or condition must be present as of the date of filing.
- A demand may be filed after the manufacturer/authorized dealer has had reasonable opportunities to repair a warranted defect(s). The lemon law presumes that three (3) unsuccessful repair attempts meet the requirements. The first attempt must occur within the manufacturer’s express warranty;
- A consumer filing with fewer than three repair attempts must convince the Board that the manufacturer was allowed a reasonable opportunity to repair the vehicle. This could be for a safety-related defect or condition, if the dealer/manufacturer presents the condition is characteristic and no repair is needed, or for other reasons;
- The symptom of a claimed defect(s) must be present as of the date of filing.
- Review the eligibility requirements prior to filing and enclose the requested supporting documentation, which must be received prior to the scheduling of a hearing.
- “30 days out-of-service” – there is no requirement for a current condition for a 30 days out-of-service claim because the defect is the repair history during the time out-of-service.
- A demand may be filed after a vehicle has been out-of-service for multiple days by reason of a reasonable number of repairs within the manufacturer’s express warranty;
- The lemon law presumes that a reasonable number of repairs have been made when the vehicle has been out-of-service for 30 calendar days;
- A consumer may file with fewer than 30 days out-of-service but must demonstrate why the Board should accept fewer than 30 days as being reasonable;
- Out-of-service is defined as the vehicle being unavailable for the consumer’s use for a major portion of the day [four (4) hours or more] while being under the control of the manufacturer, its agent or authorized dealer;
- The 30 days may be cumulative or consecutive.
- Review the eligibility requirements before filing and enclose the requested documentation as it must be received before you can schedule a hearing.
Before the consumer can file a lemon law claim, they must notify the manufacturer, in writing, by registered, certified, or express mail, of the need of the repair and to allow the manufacturer a final opportunity to repair the defect. This does not apply unless the manufacturer informed the consumer, at the time of the sale of the vehicle, that a written notification of a nonconformity would be necessary.
If your vehicle meets the criteria of being a lemon, it is possible that the manufacturer will try and work out a compromise with you in which they replace your vehicle or refund your money and you drop your complaint against the manufacturer. The manufacturer has the right to charge you a reasonable fee for mileage. If the manufacturer is unwilling to do this, then you will need to go to arbitration or an informal dispute resolution.
If the manufacturer has established an informal dispute settlement procedure that complies with 16 C.F.R. Part 703, or if they participate in a consumer-industry appeals, arbitration, mediation panel or board whose decisions are binding on the manufacturer then the consumer must first utilize one of these settlement procedures before the manufacturer is forced to either replace or refund the consumer’s money.
In Vermont, there is a Motor Vehicle Arbitration Board which includes gubernatorial appointees of a new car dealer and alternative, one active technician and alternate, and three citizens and one alternate. The citizens who are on the MVAB are people who have no involvement in cars or car parts. The board is open to citizens applying for a position for daylong hearings which are held monthly in Montpelier. Compensation is $50 per diem plus expenses. If you are interested in being appointed to the board, you should fill out the application and forward it to the Governor’s office.
The Better Business Bureau AUTO LINE is often the entity in charge of the arbitration process and the same is true in the state of Vermont. The following manufacturers have an informal dispute resolution process which meets the standards set by the Vermont law and operates in the state of Vermont:
- Audi, Bentley, Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Ford, GMC Truck, Hyundai, Indian Motorcycle, Infiniti, Kia, Land Rover, Lincoln, Lotus, Mazda, Mercury, Nissan, Oldsmobile, Pontiac, Saab, Saturn, smart USA, Volkswagen, and Workhorse Custom Chassis.
If you have questions or concerns about the lemon law program or the lemon law in Vermont, you should contact the Vermont Consumer Assistance Program at 802-656-3131.
Consumer Assistance Program for the state of Vermont:
Do you need to hire an attorney for a lemon law case in Vermont?
No, it is not necessary to hire an attorney but it may be a wise decision it may be a wise decision depending on the amount of time that you are able to commit to fighting a large company and your knowledge of the law and the legal system. It is important to remember that the manufacturer of the car and the dealers will have legal experts on their side and you might want the same kind of expertise on your side.
A lawyer will represent you in court, but they will also:
- Explain the lemon law in the state of Vermont to you and help you to understand both the process and the possible outcomes;
- Help you to gather all the necessary documents;
- Help to ensure that the manufacturer is treating you fairly;
- Help save you time by handling the communication and other actions on your behalf; and
- Help you to navigate the courts and the legal terms.
If you do not have an attorney already you should ask friends and family for referrals or even ask attorneys who specialize in other areas for a recommendation for a lemon law attorney. If nothing else, the Vermont Bar Association has a lawyer referral service.
You are searching for an attorney who:
- Seek experienced attorneys – A Vermont lawyer who specializes in lemon law cases will have specialized knowledge in relevant Vermont laws and procedures;
- Comes highly recommended – ask friends and family if they know any good attorneys. Ask for a recommendation from people you know who may have worked with lemon law lawyers before;
- Schedule a consultation – book a free consultation with a few lemon law attorneys so that you can learn more about them and their experience; and
- Ask about their fees – Make sure that you understand how much the attorney charges and when you will be expected to pay (up front, installments, after the case, or do they take the case on a contingency basis?)
4 Market St
Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles
100 Main St
Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles
27 Fisher Pond Rd
White River Junction DMV
97 S Main St
101 State Pl
Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles
100 Mineral St
Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles
1998 Memorial Dr
Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles