How To Look At A House
McGarry and Madsen's home inspection blog for buyers of
site-built, mobile/manfuactured and modular homes
Where do I find the vehicle identification number (VIN) on a mobile home?
Thursday, June 28, 2018
There’s two ways to find the VIN number, the easy way and the hard way. Let’s start with the easy one:
1) There is a paper sticker on the interior of all mobile homes manufactured since June of 1976, called the “data plate,” which lists the VIN number (also called the serial number), along with other facts about the manufacture of the home. We most often find it on the wall of the master bedroom closet, but it might also be located near the back door or under the kitchen sink on the inside of a cabinet door. The VIN will be called a manufacturer’s serial number on the data plate.
To learn more interpreting all the information provided on the data plate, here’s a link to our blog about data plates:
Sometimes we find that a previous owner did not understand the importance of keeping the data plate intact and it has been painted over, or removed during a remodeling, so you will have to move on to method #2. Also, occasionally a homeowner decides to protect the data plate by removing it and putting it away for safe-keeping, and you will be presented with a data plate that is detached from the wall. In this case it would be a good idea to cross-check it by method #2.
2) The vehicle identification number is also 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). You will likely have to remove the skirting across at least part of the front of the home to get to the I-beam. The numbers are stamped into the metal in letters about 2-inches high, running horizontally or vertically. If the home is a double-wide, there will be an “A” and “B” side, with the number for each side ending in “A” or “B.” The VIN number on the title paperwork for the home will end in “AB,” designating that the title is for both halves of a double-wide. Manufacturers create their own format and company abbreviation, and sometimes and sometimes the state abbreviation is placed first and the manufacturer abbreviation may be more than three digits.
The stamping shown above indicates that the home was manufactured by Oasis Homes (OH), of Augusta, Georgia (GA), serial number 11011960, section B.
See our blog post What is the HUD-code requirement for the manufacturer's serial number of a mobile home? for the text of the HUD requirement for a manufacturer’s serial number at 24 CFR 3280.
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