How To Register A Trailer Without A VIN Number? (Do This)

How To Register A Trailer Without A VIN Number

If you’ve bought a trailer without the right identification, you’ll benefit from this guide: “How to Register a Trailer Without a VIN Number; All You Need to Know.”

To register a trailer without a VIN number, first, check the state requirements for a VIN and see if you can register it as “home-made.” If not, the police may provide a VIN number and the town office will accept this for registration.

In this article, you will discover a complete overview on how to register a trailer without a VIN number. Let’s begin.

What is a VIN Number?

Before we get started on figuring out exactly how to handle registration with a VIN-less trailer, let’s be very clear about why it’s even necessary. A VIN number is a 17-digit number or series of numbers and letters, usually located on a tag.

This tag can either be on the landing leg near the rear of the trailer, or it can be found on the frame rail of the trailer on the driver’s side.

A VIN Number is an identifying code. It is made for a specific vehicle, be that an automobile or a trailer. These include, as previously mentioned, both capital letters and numbers. They act as the “fingerprint” of the vehicle itself, especially in legal cases.

Usually, the VIN is used to also show off the specifications and features put there by the vehicle’s manufacturer.

It is important to have because it can be used to track a theft, help out in insurance cases, verify registration, track the trailer in case of a need for a recall, and of course, determine warranty claims.

Sometimes, unfortunately, the trailer that you may have acquired without a VIN number has been tampered with. This can include replacing parts of the vehicle, or removing the VIN number intentionally because the trailer was once stolen.

That being said, it is very important for your own security to get the VIN number replaced as soon as possible!

How to Register a Trailer Without a VIN Number

Registering a trailer is an important part of a trailer-owning process. However, if you went to pick up your new trailer, or purchased one, only to find out that its VIN number is nowhere to be found, you may find registering the vehicle impossible.

After all, without the VIN number, the registration office may not accept your trailer. This leads to the question: “How to register a trailer without a VIN Number?”

Luckily, we’ve got a step-by-step guide for you to make the process as easy as possible! Check out the list below to get an overview of the process.

  1. Understand State Legislature
  2.  Go to the Town Office if Necessary
  3. Contact the Authorities For a New VIN Tag
  4. Return to the Town Office to Register

Let’s examine each of these steps with a little more detail in order to fully understand them and smooth out the registration journey.

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Understand State Legislature

Not every state has the same laws or requirements for a trailer’s registration. If you do not understand the requirements, you may find yourself running unnecessary errands.

The truth of the matter is, only 11 states in the United States do not require a vehicle to be registered with a VIN number. These are:

  • Washington
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • North Dakota
  • Mississippi
  • Montana
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Arkansas
  • Iowa
  • Alaska

All other states require you to have a VIN number on most vehicles. Some states, however, do give a little bit of wiggle room when it comes to something called “homemade” trailers.

If you made your trailer yourself, or if you are trying to register your trailer as a trailer you built yourself, you can sometimes escape needing a VIN number at all.

Go to the DMV if Necessary

If you do need to register your trailer in a state where the VIN is required, the first step is to head to the town office.

The town office or DMV will be able to tell you whether or not the VIN needs to not only be present but verified at a verification center.

They may also be able to give you the necessary forms if in an applicable state, to get a new VIN for your trailer.

Contact the Authorities For a New VIN Tag

In most cases, even after visiting the town office, the only way forward with registering your new trailer is to call the police. This may sound like a very strange step to take, or even too extreme, but hear us out!

According to government officials, the trailer is sometimes impossible to acquire a new VIN without a law enforcement officer, who specifically deals in an auto theft, inspecting the trailer.

The law enforcement officer can determine whether or not the trailer is part of an ongoing case of a stolen vehicle, explaining the missing VIN.

Most of the time, however, this law enforcement officer can provide you with a temporary VIN, making the entire process of registering the trailer much easier!

Return to the DMV to Register

Now that you’ve got your temporary VIN and local law enforcement is aware of the trailer’s status despite a lack of the previous Vehicle Identification Number, you can move on to registering that trailer.

Remember, you will need proof of your own identification to get this done. Your identification could be a passport or a driver’s license. The DMV will also require the forms that they supplied you with in Step 1 to be filled out and ready.

Next, you’ll need to pay the title fees and registration required for your trailer. It is worth noting that many DMVs around the United States don’t accept credit cards as payment.

Afterward, all you need to do is insure your trailer. Remember, your registration may only last for up to 2 years before you need to renew it!

Frequently Asked Questions

If you’ve read the above step-by-step guide and you are still curious about a few aspects of registering your trailer, with or without a VIN number, we’re committed to helping you learn all you need to know! Find the answers to any additional questions in our Frequently Asked Questions section below.

How do I create a VIN for my trailer?

The first step when it comes to creating a VIN for your own trailer, which is the due process for homemade trailers, is to head to the DMV.

They will offer the proper forms for registering the trailer. In fact, you may even be able to access those forms from the DMV website if you so choose.

Fill this application form out completely. On the DMV website, or on the forms themselves, instructions are provided on how to submit it; this is typically done by mail. A new VIN will then be provided to you!

What do I need to register a trailer?

To register a trailer, you need money to pay the registration fee, a vehicle identification number, and identification for yourself. As previously mentioned, this can include a driver’s license or a passport.

Where is the hidden VIN number on a trailer?

The VIN Number is hidden on a trailer in many different places depending on the manufacturer. The most frequent locations are on the rear of the landing leg of the trailer, or on the frame rail of the driver’s side.

If you cannot find it at all, contact the manufacturer directly to see if they place it in a more unorthodox spot!

In Conclusion

To sum it all up, there are ways to learn how to register a trailer without a VIN number.

You can either register the trailer as a homemade trailer, which does not always need a VIN, or you can apply for a new VIN at the DMV.

Either way, just because your trailer does not have a VIN does not mean you should give up on registering it!

Reference Sources

Mike Gilmour

Hi, I'm Mike, co-founder, and editor of RV and Playa. My passion is traveling (with my RV) and enjoying the day at the beach (Playa)! Well, I originally created this blog as a way to share what I've learned by experimenting with the RV lifestyle, and I want to help others develop in life through new skills and opportunities.

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