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Lost title / No VIN number

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Lost title / No VIN number

Postby » Thu Apr 12, 2012 5:06 am

I bought my home and lot september of 2009 and signed the title and paid the IL secretary of state. They took the title and I never received one back in the mail.

I had forgotten about it over a few months.. a few months turned into the last few years and now I've put my lot and mobile home up for sale..

I went to the IL Secretary of State to apply for a lost title and they can't do anything without a VIN Number.

The trailer is a 1973 memory and was bought used by the previous owner in Vandalia. I called the dealer and he can't seem to find the 'needle in the haystack' as he put it.

The county shows no records of the trailer VIN as the previous owner was on homestead exemption on taxes and for some reason they never taxed him for the mobile home.

There are no info plates or papers within the trailer and we can't seem to find a VIN on the tongue or frame of the trailer.

The title company that did the closing also has no info on the VIN.

What do I do?

my next plan of action is to talk to the loan officer in charge of the whole process (who I know personally) and see if there is any work around we can do, and I am also going to the secretary of state in person at the main branch tomorrow to see if there is anything else they can do...

I am going nuts as I just want a smooth sale and move.

thanks in advance. I tried to be as detailed about the work that I have done as possible so that I could avoid redundancy.
bendewitt offline
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Re: Lost title / No VIN number

Postby » Thu Apr 12, 2012 1:35 pm

The typical place to find serial numbers is the front bumper. If you are standing looking at hitch end of the home it would be on your right.



For many homes that were built prior to 1976 you can find the number stamped into the main I beam under the home, near the hitch end. As you homes has been around a while the numbers may not be easily seen. You may need to sand off years of oxidation rust.

The serial number may also be found on old insurance documents or through a search of building permits by your local building and health department from the time of the original installation.
David Oxhandler
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David Oxhandler offline
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1978 Bendix-Data Plate Location

Postby » Mon Apr 16, 2012 5:51 am

I have looked in the kitchen cabinets,Bedroom closets Electrical panel and I can not find DATA PLATE Help!
freeley offline
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Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2012 5:33 am

Re: Lost title / No VIN number

Postby » Mon Apr 16, 2012 2:35 pm

The data plate is a sheet of paper that looks like this

It is not surprising if it has been removed or painted over at some point over 33 years.

Check the back end (opposite the hitch end) of your home for a metal tag that looks like this

if you find it click thru to The Institute for Building Technology (IBTS). They are the Department of Housing and Urban Development's monitoring contractor under the Federal Manufactured Housing Program. The are required to maintain all reported certification label applications, and have been the sole source of this data since 1976.

They can provide you:

  • Serial Number
  • Date of Manufacture
  • Name of the Manufacturer and Plant Location
  • Wind Zone, Roof Load Zone and Thermal Zone for which the home is designed.

    IBTS may be able to provide a copy of the data plate/compliance certificate if your home contains HUD label numbers starting with IDA, PEI, or ULI. If a copy is not available, they can provide a substitute Performance Verification Certificate.
  • David Oxhandler
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    Re: Lost title / No VIN number

    Postby » Tue Aug 28, 2012 4:23 am

    we bought our modular home from Vindale in 1978.I can not find our contract so have no way of proving it's a modular.It's 24 x 60 & was sold to James & JoLaine Cotton in 1978.Is there anything you can e-mail me to show it's a modular home.Thank you so much.
    jolaine offline
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    Re: Lost title / No VIN number

    Postby » Tue Aug 28, 2012 2:02 pm

    We are a question and answer service. We are not Vindale, or associated with any builder. We do not have the authority or ability to offer any certification of your home one way or the other.

    Vindale has been out of business for over 20 years. Finding any documentation through them is probably not possible. Your best option would be your state's DMV.

    After 34 years what purpose would it serve to have the documentation your seeking?
    David Oxhandler
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    Re: Lost title / No VIN number

    Postby » Tue Sep 25, 2012 1:00 pm

    We bought land with a mobile home on it and 6 years ago. Now we want to sell it and have it moved. But we have never seen a title and there is no information on the trailer. The only plate we found was on the back of the trailer. And there is no title that matches that number. So what do I do now.
    croberts offline
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    Re: Lost title / No VIN number

    Postby » Tue Sep 25, 2012 1:32 pm

    From your address it appears that you are in North Carolina. Your state requires the "Cancellation" (retirement) of Mobile Home Titles if the home is being recorded as real estate. Contact the NC Dept of Motor Vehicles at (919) 715-7000 and ask about the process for reactivating the title.

    The DMV may be able to ID your home by address or they may require a serial number.


    If the plate on the back looks like this -


    Numbered HUD Inspection Tag



    get the number off of it and then click thru to The Institute for Building Technology (IBTS). They maintain all reported HUD certification label applications.

    They can provide you:

    Serial Number
    Date of Manufacture
    Name of the Manufacturer and Plant Location
    Wind Zone, Roof Load Zone and Thermal Zone for which the home is designed.
    David Oxhandler
    [email protected]
    David Oxhandler offline
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    Re: Lost title / No VIN number

    Postby » Sat Jun 06, 2015 4:52 pm

    It's a 1973 it won't have a VIN or HUD certification label since HUD didn't start certifying trailers until 1976.

    Look carefully in every closet. I found the serial number for my 1973 Marshfield on a sticker in a closet right inside the front door. It was on the wall panel at the back of the closet, and was a preprinted sticker with blanks that the factory worker filled in with an ink pen.

    Note that the serial number will only be 4 to 6 digits, it's a serial number not a VIN.

    The sticker has a map of the united states on it along with the climate zone, in my case zone 1, and the rating of your furnace.

    This is not the wind zone map that newer trailers have but it looks very similar.
    p38flnp38flm offline
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