NICB's Popular VINCheck Service Enhanced With Photo Search Capability

VINCheck Upgrades

Free Service Protects Consumers Shopping for Used Vehicles

DES PLAINES, Ill., November 9, 2021 — The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), the insurance industry’s association dedicated to predicting, preventing, and prosecuting insurance crime, proudly announces an upgrade to its popular VINCheck® service. A new photo feature allows users to take a picture of the vehicle identification number with any camera-ready device, and VINCheck will take care of the rest.

“Cars damaged in floods or in accidents and then carefully restored could be hiding some very unsafe parts, placing drivers, passengers, and others on the road at risk,” said David Glawe, president and CEO of the NICB. “NICB’s free VINCheck tool helps car shoppers check on the known history of a vehicle through data made available by our participating member companies. Adding photo search capability makes it easier than ever for consumers to make an informed decision before making a big-ticket purchase.”

Using the photo capability of VINCheck is a straightforward process.

  1. Locate the VIN, usually placed inside the windshield in front of the driver seat or on a sticker on the driver’s side door.
  2. On your camera-ready device, go to
  3. Under “Look up a VIN,” users can still manually enter a VIN or click on the camera icon to the right of the open field.
  4. Upon selecting the camera icon, click “Choose File.” Here you can either take a real-time picture that will not be stored on your device or select a VIN image from your photo library.
  5. Select “Use Photo,” verify the text detected, and continue. The VIN will populate into the “Enter VIN” box.
  6. After agreeing to the terms and conditions and verification, “SEARCH VIN,” and in moments it will give you the vehicle’s theft record and salvage record analysis.

NICB has been offering its free VINCheck service for more than 16 years. Established in response to the several hundred thousand vehicles flooded during Hurricane Katrina, the database has since grown to include not only flood-damaged vehicles but also those involved in accidents and unrecovered stolen vehicles.

Over the past several years, VINCheck has provided users more than 5.5 million VIN searches. Here are a few testimonials from users:

  • “We were looking at purchasing a car which the owners said had never been in an accident. VINCheck came back with a salvaged title, due to collision. We will NOT be buying that car!!”
    --N.V., Arizona
  • “I have bought used vehicles in the past and always check the vin# and have them inspected. This is the second vin# from this dealer to come back as totaled.”
    --J.R., Minnesota

VINCheck is made possible through the cooperation of participating NICB member companies. The information in VINCheck includes vehicles insured in the United States. VINCheck also includes some motorcycles and watercraft. A maximum of five searches can be conducted within a 24-hour period per IP address.

Media Contact

If you have a question, want further information on the NICB, or to discuss insurance fraud or vehicle crime, please contact:

Joe Brenckle
Director, Public Affairs

Nicholas Zeitlinger
Public Affairs Specialist

If you are a reporter and have a request or question, please complete the Media Request Form.

Anyone with information concerning insurance fraud or vehicle theft can report it anonymously by calling toll-free 800.TEL.NICB (800.835.6422) or submitting a form on our website.

About the National Insurance Crime Bureau: Headquartered in Oak Brook, Ill., the NICB is the nation's leading not-for-profit organization exclusively dedicated to combatting and preventing insurance crime through Intelligence, Analytics, and Operations; Education and Crime Prevention; and Strategy, Policy, and Advocacy. The NICB is supported by more than 1,200 property-casualty insurers, self-insureds, rental car, vehicle finance, and auto auctions. To learn more, visit