Find Insurance Records from a Previous Owner of a Car
Obtaining insurance records from a car's past owner is beneficial, because it provides you with information about past claims or accidents that involved the vehicle. This can affect the vehicle's overall value. Here are some tips on how to find insurance records from a previous owner of a car.
- Visit the DMV.
- Your local Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) will have records of the previous title or title transfers done for the vehicle. This will also provide you with the most current information for the car including the name of the current owner, names of any past owners, and contact information.
- Expect to pay a fee for a copy of this record, which is usually around $20. You may also be required to show identification before the clerk will release the record.
- Ask the DMV clerk if the branch gathers insurance records for registered vehicles. Not all branches perform this service, but you may be able to purchase a copy of the insurance record for a small fee.
- Call the last owner.
- Use the contact information you obtained in the DMV record to call the most recent owner and ask for past insurance records for the car. A reputable car owner should have no problem releasing this information to you as a potential buyer or current owner of the car.
- Contact the Department of Insurance.
- Your state's Department of Insurance will be able to provide you with any public records or insurance records from a car's previous owner. Your state's department might have this information accessible on line. You will also be able to get a list of all previous insurance providers.
- Not all automobile insurance records are open to the public and certain state and federal laws protect some records from being released. Ask a Department of Insurance representative what information is protected and whether you can obtain this information with a court order.
- Get claims information from the insurance providers
- Call past insurance providers for the car and ask for all of the claims information or accident records involving the vehicle. This information will help you evaluate the real value of the vehicle and determine if it has had any major damage or repairs done that you were not told about.
- Use a vehicle history researcher.
- Vehicle research companies like Carfax or Car Detective will locate car history information for you and provide you with a full vehicle history report, including previous auto insurance records. Expect to pay a moderate fee for this service.
- You will need to provide the car's vehicle identification number (VIN) to use the services of one of these companies.