Where do I find the VIN/serial number on a very old (pre-1976) mobile home?

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

If your mobile home was built after June 15, 1976, see our other blog  post Where do I find the vehicle identification number (VIN) on a mobile home? That’s the date the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) took over responsibility for mobile home standards, and also officially changed the name to “manufactured home.” There are multiple ways to find the VIN/serial number on a HUD-era home, but older ones can be problematic. 

    Pre-HUD mobile homes definitely have a serial number stamped on the frame but, unlike newer homes, it is not required to be stamped in the front steel beam cross-member under the home (the beam that the tow hitch is bolted onto, perpendicular to the long side of the mobile home). It is likely there, but could also have been stamped on the towing tongue, which may be long gone. Or it might be on another location on the I-beam frame.

    Another complication is that the stamping is usually not impressed very deeply into the steel and 40-plus years of corrosion may have made it difficult to find or unreadable when you find it.

   The older homes also did not have a HUD-mandated data plate inside the home with the VIN/serial number noted on it, but many did have a similar sticker posted on an interior wall (often a closet), or inside of a cabinet door, or near the electric panel. Look around the home interior but, again, it may have disappeared after years of repainting and remodeling.

    The last place to look is the public records of the Deparment of Motor Vehicles for your state in a previous title transfer or, if the home was converted from personal property to real property, the county property appraiser or tax collector’s office. The serial number may been retired as part of the conversion to real property, but will appear on the paperwork for the conversion. There may be a fee charged for a records search to get your number.

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Here’s links to a collection of our blog posts about MOBILE/MANUFACTURED HOMES:

Where can I file a complaint if I have problems with my new or used manufactured/mobile home in Florida?

 What are the most common defects in mobile/manufactured home foundation piers?

How do I determine the age of a very old mobile home?

What is a "HUD label verification letter" for a mobile/manufactured home?  

When did a ground cover vapor barrier (plastic sheet) become required under a mobile/manufactured home? 

Is it safe to go under a mobile home? 

Are older mobile homes unsafe? 

What do I need to know about buying a foreclosed mobile home? 

Does it make sense to buy an older mobile home and remodel it? 

Where do I find the vehicle identification number (VIN) on a mobile home? 

How do I find out how old a mobile home is and who manufactured it?

What is the right price for a used mobile home?

How energy efficient is a mobile home?

When were the first double-wide mobile homes manufactured?

How do I upgrade my old (pre-1976) mobile home to meet HUD standards?

What size air conditioner is right for my mobile home? 

Can you move an older mobile home in Florida? 

What does the HUD tag look like and where do I find it on a mobile home? 

Can you put a zone 1 mobile home in Florida?

How can I remove water under my mobile home?

What's the differences between a trailer, a mobile home, a manufactured home, and a modular home? 

What is a D-sticker mobile home? 

What are the tie-down requirements for a mobile home?

How fireproof is a mobile home?  

Can I install a mobile home myself?

What is a Park Model mobile home?  

Does an addition to a mobile home have to comply with the HUD Code? 

What walls can I remove in a mobile home?

What can I do to prevent dampness and mold in my mobile home? 

How can I tell if a mobile home is well constructed?

• How can I tell the difference between a manufactured home and a modular home?

       Visit our MOBILE/MANUFACTURED HOMES  page for other related blog posts on this subject, or go to the INDEX for a complete listing of all our articles. 

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