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Marsha411JD, DMV - Legal-expert
Category: General
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How to register a 1949 Chevy truck with no VIN number

Customer Question

How to register a 1949 Chevy truck with no VIN number
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: DMV - Legal
Expert:  Marsha411JD replied 1 year ago.


This is just an information request not an answer. Can you please tell me what State you would want to register the vehicle in?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

California is the state I am interested in.

Expert:  Marsha411JD replied 1 year ago.

Hello again--Can you tell me why there is no VIN? Does the engine have an ID number on it and is it a change in the engine from the original. How does the title identify the vehicle?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Marsha, I just purchased this truck and the former owner and I just found two holes that might have been where the original VIN plate was. He didn't remove it and thinks it might have been removed when it was painted twenty years ago. We have not been able to find a VIN anywhere else on the vehicle. We even looked on the engine block and found nothing. Thank you for all of your effort.

Expert:  Marsha411JD replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for that information, could you answer the question I had about how current title or registration identifies the vehicle? I assume the person selling it to you has some sort of title or ownership documentation, correct?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Marsha, The previous owner has nothing. He inherited the vehicle from his father and it has been sitting in a field for ten years. I filled out a statement of facts for DMV. I tried to register it but DMV needs something to identify the vehicle. I have a license number, but it is so old, they don't have anything in their computer.

Expert:  Marsha411JD replied 1 year ago.

Thank you. This is difficult. Usually there would be a way to register a vehicle that has no VIN by going to CHP and getting an "assigned VIN." They would normally do a check on the vehicle based on title information or engine number to make sure it is not stolen or otherwise ineligible for title and registration. In your case, you not only need registration but also a title of a vehicle that has little or no way of being identified. If you have already been dealing with the DMV then they have probably already gone through the possibilities with you.

Nevertheless, you will need to go to the CHP for "vehicle verification." They are going to have to be able to find some sort of vehicle identification number on the engine or chassis though to do that. They can assign a VIN, but must have some sort of id numbers or very copious records of ownership to assign a VIN. You can see the rest of the requirements for registering a vehicle with unavailable records by going to the following link. The information you are looking for is a bit down the page.