Vancouver, British Columbia –  The Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC) has launched a free online service that allows customers to look up a vehicle’s status, helping them to make informed buying decisions when purchasing used vehicles. All vehicles in North America are assigned a status to describe their general state and whether they qualify to be on the road.

The service can be found at ICBC.

Customers must enter the model year and vehicle information number (VIN), a seventeen-digit number that can be found on the vehicle’s dashboard identification plate, or on the door post or engine firewall. The service provices the vehicle’s current status, which will be one of the following four designations: 

– Salvage – a vehicle that has been written off as a result of a crash, but has the potential to be repaired or reconstructed. The vehicle must be repaired and inspected before it can be licensed or reinsured.

– Rebuilt – the status assigned to “salvage” vehicles after they have been repaired and have passed inspection. It is also used for homemade and specialty vehicles to indicate that they have been inspected and are structurally sound.

– Altered – the vehicle has been significantly modified after its manufacture. The status is added when the vehicle passes inspection.

– Normal – the vehicle does not have a status of rebuilt, salvage or altered, and is a term for the purpose of vehicle registration. It does not mean that the vehicle has never been damaged or is in good mechanical condition.

ICBC said that the vehicle’s status is only one part of its overall history and may change over time; additional tips for customers buying used cars are available on the web site. Customers can also get detailed information on a vehicle’s registration, crash and lien history through the existing Vehicle Claims History report and CarProof Verified BC report. Information on these reports, which are available online for a fee, is found at the website.

“We encourage anyone thinking of buying a used vehicle to use the tools ICBC makes available to them,” said Mark Francis, manager of Provincial Vehicle Registration and Licensing. “A little research can go a long way. There are a number of precautions people can take to protect themselves in making an informed buying decision, giving them the trust and confidence that their purchase is a good one.”


Connect with