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Many people think a car title cannot have the wrong VIN, but it happens and it can happen to you too. When you purchase a car, you assume the vehicle VIN matches that on the title. Most people don’t even bother comparing the two. However, when it is time to sell the car, that’s when the majority of people compare the number on the vehicle to the one on the title.

This is why, whenever you are buying a car, make sure everything about your car matches and is accurate. It is best to catch any mistake in the VIN right away. However, if you have already made the purchase, there are options to correct the problem.

VIN Errors before the Sale

If you are lucky enough to notice VIN errors before the sale, know that it is a definite red flag. Stop the proceedings and talk to the seller first. There is a possibility that they made an honest mistake and were not aware of the mistake themselves. There is also a possibility that the seller is trying to scam you into buying a stolen car. Either way, it is the sellers’ responsibility to fix the problem before the sale is finalized.

Vehicle VIN Errors after the Sale

If you are getting a registration renewal done on your recently purchased car and get to know that the VIN on the title does not match the VIN on the vehicle, you got a problem. Whether you have purchased the car from your neighbor, a private party, or a dealership, you must contact them immediately and ask them to help you solve the problem. Also, contact local law enforcement to check whether your car has been reported stolen.

For New Cars, Talk to the Dealership

If you have purchased a brand-new car and later discover that the VIN on the title is wrong, the first step is to contact the dealership. They may fix the problem by re-doing the paperwork and sending the corrected title application to the DMV. By simply going back to the dealership where you bought the car and working with them directly, you can get things done quickly.

What about a Private Sale Vehicle?

If you have purchased a used car from a private seller and later realized the VIN on the title is wrong, correcting the issue might be a little difficult. However, if it is an honest mistake, then working with the seller can help you get the issue corrected. Unfortunately, if the seller is a scammer and has sold a stolen car, they will not answer your phone calls. If the seller is unwilling to cooperate, you must talk to law enforcement and an attorney to check what options are in your state.

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