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Navigating Vehicle Identification Number Verification: A Notary's Guide

B. Elise
04.13.24 06:48 PM Comment(s)

Vehicle Identification Number Verification: A Notary's Guide

In the realm of notarization, there are various documents and forms that may come across a notary public's desk, each with its own set of requirements and procedures. One such document that may be encountered is the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) verification form issued by the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles Division of Motorist Services, particularly in states like Florida. While this may seem unfamiliar at first, it's a task that notaries can handle with confidence once they understand the process.

In states such as Florida, a VIN verification is mandated for all used motor vehicles, including trailers not currently titled in Florida, with a net weight of 2,000 pounds or more. Additionally, it's required for any person or authorized agent seeking to obtain a certificate of title and/or registration, essentially those looking to acquire a state license plate and registration.

The FL VIN verification form typically consists of a two-part process. First, the vehicle owner or their representative attests to being the rightful owner of the vehicle, verifies the odometer reading, and accurately lists the Vehicle Identification Number on the document. Second, the notary public or other authorized individuals physically inspect the vehicle to ensure the information provided is correct. This will  require that the vehicle be physically present for the inspection.  

Inspect the vehicle and locate the odometer reading on the dash panel. Confirm this matches the reading written on the document.

Inspect the vehicle and locate the VIN in one of the areas pictured below. Confirm this matches the VIN written on the document.

Once verified, the notary performs the notarization according to state guidelines.

One crucial aspect to consider when notarizing such documents is the attachment of a certificate. While affidavits are commonly accompanied by a jurat, it's imperative to ensure the document is valid for notarization by attaching the appropriate certificate. However, it's worth noting that in some cases, such as with the VIN verification form, it has been verified by officials at the Department of Motor Vehicles that the document may be accepted with or without an attached certificate. In such instances, notaries are encouraged to exercise their judgment and follow their state statutes for guidance.

Navigating the process of VIN verification notarization may initially seem daunting, but with a clear understanding of the requirements and procedures involved, notaries can confidently fulfill this duty. By staying informed and adhering to state guidelines, notaries play a crucial role in ensuring the authenticity and validity of important documents in the realm of motor vehicle transactions.

For more information and guidance specific to your state's statutes regarding VIN verification notarization, be sure to reference the relevant legal documentation and consult with appropriate authorities as needed. With diligence and attention to detail, notaries can effectively fulfill their role in facilitating smooth and legally compliant vehicle transactions.

B. Elise