How to Correct a VIN Number on a Title

Acquire a substitute car title by visiting a DMV service center.
••• preparing the file image by Pix by Marti from

A Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) consists of 17 distinctive digits and characters assigned to automobiles. The VIN contains the car's unique specifications, features and original manufacturer data. Sometimes the VIN is entered incorrectly on vehicle titles due to inadvertent switching of letters and numbers or otherwise incorrect copying. Fortunately, resources exist to correct title errors.

Log on to your state Department of Motor Vehicles website. Click the link under headings such as, "Automobile Services" or a similarly named feature. For example, if you are a Virginia vehicle owner, log on to the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicle's webpage. Select "Vehicle Services" and click "Substitute Titles." Select the "Corrections" tab at the top of the page.

Click the "VSA71" link. Download the "Application for Change of Record." Complete the "Registration Information" section. This portion of the application requires input of your full legal name, license plate number, vehicle make and other vital data.

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Check the box next to "Correct error in VIN." Enter your current VIN on the first blank and the correct VIN in the second blank. Complete the rest of the form, including your signature and date.

Click the "VSA66" link. Download the "Application for Supplemental Lien, Replacement Title, Transfer of Lien and Substitute Title." Check the box next to "Substitute Title Certificate." Complete sections 1, 2, 6 and 7. Sign and date the application.

Take both application forms and the $10 substitute title fee, as of November 2010, to your nearest DMV customer service center. Although the forms and section headers may vary depending on your respective state's DMV website, the overall process to correct the VIN on a car title is similar at many centers.


  • In addition to a vehicle inspection, other documentation may be needed before a new vehicle title is issued.


  • Many DMV offices are frequently extremely busy. As a result, you may experience extended wait times. Contact your local DMV office in advance and inquire about days and times that are least busy.

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