With criminals becoming increasingly advanced and adept at creating new ways to trick used car buyers, it can be tough to detect fraud, but a free license plate search in Minnesota makes it easier. Running a license plate search gives you access to any information publicly available and linked to that car. Not only will you have access to title information, maintenance reports, government records, and more, you’ll also have the tools you need to determine whether the license plate that you looked up actually belongs to the vehicle you’re looking at.
1. Check the name on the title
When you run a license plate search, you’ll get information on the title, including whose name is on it. If that name doesn’t match the name of the person selling the vehicle, the car could be stolen. If you buy a stolen car, you won’t be able to have the title signed over to you, so you won’t legally own the vehicle. When the police repossess the vehicle, it can be tough to get your money back. Save yourself the trouble by looking for indicators that the car may be stolen before you buy. Another detail that the title information could reveal is whether any special titles have been issued. The DMV may issue flood titles, rebuilt titles, salvage titles, and more, depending on the situation. All can mean that a car is dangerous, especially a junked title, which means that a car is considered to be totaled.
2. Look to see if the reading on the odometer matches those recorded by mechanics
When a mechanic works on a vehicle, they include the car’s mileage in their records. If these records are entered into a national database, they will be part of your vehicle’s history report that is revealed when you run a free license plate search. Compare the mileage listed on the latest maintenance record with the reading on the odometer itself. If the odometer reading is lower than the mileage in the report, or if it seems to be too low, it could be the result of odometer fraud.
3. See if any recalls come up in the car’s Minnesota vehicle history report
While failing to take a car in to get fixed when a recall is issued isn’t exactly fraud, it can be a dangerous situation for any potential buyers. Recalls can make a car unsafe to drive, and need to be fixed right away. But if a buyer is purchasing a used car, they won’t be notified of any recalls by the manufacturer; only the person who bought the car from the original dealer will. This means that the buyer could be in danger without even knowing it. When you run a license plate search, pay close attention to any recalls that have been issued, and find out whether they have been fixed.