Troy Christianson

Refurbished pickup would need inspection, reattachment of VIN plate

Ask A Trooper

Question: I’ve been helping my neighbor prep for sale a 1955 Ford pickup that has been in her family since new.t I noticed the other day that the VIN plate is missing from the glove box door (the rivet holes are still there). It must have been lost by the body shop that painted the truck about 15 years ago, and is now out of business. I was able to locate the VIN stamped into the frame and it matches the VIN listed on the title. I don’t believe the engine or any sheet metal had VIN numbers back then. Can we legally sell this truck without that plate? If not, what are the proper steps to make this vehicle legal again? Thank you in advance for your help.

Answer: The vehicle can’t be sold without a public “vehicle identification number” (VIN.) If the public VIN has been removed, the vehicle would need an inspection by the “Driver Vehicle Services” (DVS) which would result in getting a state-issued VIN (blue VIN). The vehicle owner would need to make an appointment with DVS for the inspection. There are several DVS inspection stations listed around the state, and they are listed on the DVS website.

The owner would need to bring the vehicle, title and any other paperwork pertaining to identifying the vehicle to the inspection. If the VIN on the frame has been located, it is imperative that the owner not cover up it up with primer or paint. This will help the inspector identify the vehicle. Once the inspection is completed and the vehicle has been identified, a second appointment with DVS is needed to attach the state-assigned VIN. The vehicle can be sold after the State VIN is attached.

If you have any questions concerning traffic-related laws or issues in Minnesota, send your questions to Sgt. Troy Christianson, Minnesota State Patrol, at 2900 48th Street NW, Rochester, Minnesota 55901-5848, or reach him at

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