ATLANTA - With all of the rain and some flooding we've had around the southeast, it's important to know when buying a used car whether it's been under water. You might be not be aware, but Georgia offers a few services that you can put in your car hunting tool kit.
Let's start with your vehicle's identification number or VIN. That is the automobile's version of a social security number. It comes with a lot of information. The Department of Revenue offers a portal for running that VIN. Here are three things you might want to learn from that identifying number through DO's "VIN Check."
DOR's VIN Check
SALVAGED: This is a way to learn if that shiny used car was declared a loss at some point and has a salvaged title. FLOODED: VIN Check can help you determine if that auto has been underwater or has previous flood damage. REBUILT: This is also a good tool for determining if the vehicle has been rebuilt after being salvaged.
The state's link accesses approved data providers that loop into a national database. It's not free, but it's not pricey either. We're talking five bucks. These data providers meet federal reporting requirements so they are deemed safe sources.
Now here is a free offering. Department of Revenue offers a free way to check a vehicle's registration and insurance status. This is a good place to check if you have recently switched insurance carriers and you want to make sure the state database is up to date, or just to do a periodic check.
So, get online and use it. It's your taxpayer money at work. So get your money's worth.