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Chapter 1: General Registration Information
1.160 Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) Plate Assignments
Chapter 1 General Registration Information
1.160 Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) Plate Assignments (CVC §4161)
DMV will assign and affix a VIN plate when required for original registration of the following vehicles:
- Trailers with an unladen weight under 6,000 pounds (except logging and auxiliary dollies).
- Trailer coaches.
- Special mobile equipment.
- Implements of husbandry.
- New motorcycles (except specially constructed [SPCNS] motorcycles).
- Snowmobiles (except when the VIN has been defaced or obliterated).
All documents and requirements for the registration application must be complete before a VIN plate is assigned.
DMV refers all requests for assigned VIN plates on the following vehicles to the California Highway Patrol (CHP):
- SPCNS motor vehicles.
- Motorcycles (except new). (Older motorcycles registered by engine number only must be assigned a frame number by CHP before being registered with DMV.)
- Passenger vehicles.
- Commercial motor vehicles.
- Commercial trailers 6,000 pounds or more unladen.
- Logging dollies and auxiliary dollies.
- Snowmobiles (when the VIN has been defaced or obliterated).
- Volkswagen body changes.
CHP must verify a vehicle when:
- Its identity cannot be confirmed or there is a discrepancy between the public and alternate VIN.
- The public or alternate VIN has been altered or tampered in any way.
- The Federal Certification Label is missing or illegible, and an alternate VIN cannot be located.