Edmunds Answers

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  • avatar Stever@Edmunds 07/09/09 1:07 pm PST

    I don't think there's much risk, unless you are trying to keep your name and address completely secret from all potential buyers until you exchange the title for the money in the lobby of your local bank branch.

    The Driver's Privacy Protection Act is supposed to protect the release of personal information for a non-permitted use, but it's probably not that hard to get around the law and find out your name and address from the VIN.

    But anyone can walk up to your car and read the VIN from the plate on the dashboard.

    And it's a legitimate request by the buyer - they won't be able to run a Carfax without the VIN and that's a cheap way for the buyer to gain a little protection.

    Some dealer service writers will pull up service and recall records by VIN for potential buyers but most of them are pretty careful not to disclose personal information about the current owner of the car.

Answers

  • Stever@Edmunds 07/09/09 1:07 pm PST

    I don't think there's much risk, unless you are trying to keep your name and address completely secret from all potential buyers until you exchange the title for the money in the lobby of your local bank branch.

    The Driver's Privacy Protection Act is supposed to protect the release of personal information for a non-permitted use, but it's probably not that hard to get around the law and find out your name and address from the VIN.

    But anyone can walk up to your car and read the VIN from the plate on the dashboard.

    And it's a legitimate request by the buyer - they won't be able to run a Carfax without the VIN and that's a cheap way for the buyer to gain a little protection.

    Some dealer service writers will pull up service and recall records by VIN for potential buyers but most of them are pretty careful not to disclose personal information about the current owner of the car.

  • boomchek 07/09/09 2:41 pm PST

    Yes it's ok. They need to do their Carfax check unless you already have one done that you're willing to show.

    The VIN is visible to anyone outside anyways, so it's no secret.

  • Stever@Edmunds 07/09/09 3:09 pm PST

    I have read about people who will "casually" cover up their VIN on their dash with a slip of paper when they go car shopping so that the dealer won't try to pull the VIN info and try to research their financial status.

    Probably overkill if true. :-)

  • boomchek 07/09/09 3:43 pm PST

    I'm not sure how someone's financial status can be found from a vehicle's VIN.

    You may be able to find out if there are any liens on that particular car, but not it's owner's financial status.

  • chuckinnc 07/24/09 1:37 pm PST

    The only risk is that the carfax has some unfavorable news. Which I would assume you would know about. I wouldnt give much more info out, but giving someone a vin is somewhat harmless, it actually shows interest.

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