What does “inspection required” (registration status) mean?

This means the vehicle must be certified or pass an inspection (usually mechanical) to be deemed safe. The vehicle may have not been roadworthy, or the province may be making a note that the vehicle needs inspection prior to its next registration.

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What does “motor vehicle department” mean?

A motor vehicle department is a government entity responsible for motor vehicles in a particular jurisdiction. In Canada, this is typically the provincial Ministry of Transportation (MOT); in the US it is typically the state's Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

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What does “not found” (registration status) mean?

The VIN was not found in provincial registration records. If you are viewing a report that is showing “not found” in every province and you know it has been registered, please verify the VIN to ensure you are looking at the history report for the right vehicle.

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What does “registration effective date” mean?

The date this registration record became effective.

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What does “registration/renewal” mean?

The vehicle had a registration renewal reported by a vehicle registration authority (state or provincial).

Typically, this is a change of ownership or renewal of a license plate sticker, however it can also mean that a transaction was done at the ministry such as a change of address or name change.

It’s common to see multiple transactions coming from the Motor Vehicle Department on our vehicle history report.

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What does “sold” (registration status) mean?

The vehicle has been identified as sold by the registered owner.

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What does “storm area registration/title” mean?

Storm registration/title means that a vehicle was registered or titled prior to a storm event in a FEMA-designated storm-damaged area.

Storm events can include hurricanes, floods and other natural disasters.  

While a vehicle may have been reported as titled or registered in an affected area, it may not have been damaged by the storm, or it may have been moved to safety during the storm.

We recommend a thorough professional inspection of the vehicle to confirm whether it sustained any storm damage.

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What is “branding?” and what are the various types of branding in Canada and the U.S?

Each provincial Ministry of Transportation or US state applies brands to classify the condition of a vehicle. Normal, salvage, rebuilt, junk and non-repairable are examples of vehicle brands. Vehicles are branded as normal if there has been no unusual activity.

Normal: The vehicle has no negative branding in the reporting province.

Salvage: The vehicle’s structural integrity has been compromised, and/or the repair costs are estimated to be higher than the car’s current market value.

Rebuilt: A vehicle previously declared as salvage but has been rebuilt, inspected and declared safe to drive.

Irreparable: A vehicle that has been damaged so severely that it can never be rebuilt for safe use on the roads.

The following definitions pertain to US titles only:

Junk: A Junk Title is issued on a vehicle damaged to the extent that the cost of repairing the vehicle exceeds approximately 75% of its pre-damage value. This damage threshold may vary by state; once one of these brands has been applied to a vehicle, it should never receive a normal registration again.

Not Actual Mileage: When the seller certifies, under the Federal Odometer Act, that the odometer reading does not reflect the vehicle's actual mileage. This may occur because the odometer was tampered with, broken, or replaced.

Lemon: a lemon is a US brand attached to a vehicle's title if it has problems that could not be fixed by the manufacturer. The specifics of what constitutes a lemon varies by state, but once a vehicle is branded a lemon there are various legal remedies available to the consumer, which may include the manufacturer buying back or replacing the vehicle.

Fire Damage: The vehicle sustained major damage due to fire. In most states, fire damage titles are issued when the cost of repairing the vehicle for safe operation exceeds its fair market value.

Flood: States issue flood titles when a vehicle has been in a flood or has received extensive water damage.

Hail: The vehicle sustained major damage due to hail. In most states, hail damage titles are issued when the cost of repairing the vehicle for safe operation exceeds its fair market value.

Exceeds Mechanical Limits: A vehicle with a 5-digit odometer cannot accurately track mileage after 99,999 miles because the odometer rolls over. This title is the result of a seller certifying under the Federal Odometer Act, that the odometer reading EXCEEDS MECHANICAL LIMITS of the odometer.

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What does “DMV" mean?

State agencies such as Departments of Motor Vehicles and Bureaus of Motor Vehicles are referred to as DMVs. They typically issue vehicle titles and registrations and handle individual driver's licenses.

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Why are there multiple brandings in different provinces?

This is indicating the branding for each province the vehicle has been registered in. The vehicle may have been labeled salvage in one province then rebuilt in another.

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