VIN and Tag Numbers — Do They Help Verify Military Duty?

There are a number of reasons people search online for military verifications. You may be:

  • A landlord or property manager who has a tenant behind on rent
  • A bank or other financial institution with a client behind on a mortgage payment or another loan
  • A car dealership with a client behind on auto or lease payments
  • A storage facility operator with a client behind on rental payments
  • The parent of a child whose other parent has not been paying child support
  • A lawyer representing a client who wants to file suit against someone who may be in the military

Regardless of the reason you are planning to take legal action against another individual, it’s important to determine first if they are in the military. If you take action, such as when evicting someone, seizing a bank account or assets, selling a car or taking other collections actions against a servicemember without first obtaining a court order, you could be in violation of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, a federal law that protects servicemembers.

The Department of Justice has brought a number of complaints over the years against banks, property managers, car dealerships and others for violating the SCRA. Settlements have been in the millions of dollars.

But how do you find out if the defendant in your potential lawsuit, is a servicemember?

Use SCRACVS for Military Verifications

The easiest was is by using the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act Centralized Verification Service. While it is possible to do a military verification search on your own by contacting each military branch, it may take months and the results may be inaccurate. If you try the Defense Department’s database, you may be blocked if you don’t know the person’s Social Security number or date of birth.

With SCRACVS, you get guaranteed results, usually within 24 hours, even if you don’t have a Social Security number or date of birth.

How do you get started?

The easiest way is by creating an account and then submitting a request. Creating an account is free, and there is no obligation. You only pay for a search if you get results. You can get the fastest results by supplying SCRACVS with the individual’s Social Security number.

What Info Is Helpful?

Unfortunately, many times a Social Security number is unavailable. Whether it is not information you require when you do business, it was somehow lost or the number you have is incorrect, if you do not have the Social Security number, it complicates the military verification search.

However, it is possible to get an accurate response without a Social Security number, because the SCRACVS may be able to provide a military verification based on other information, such as name, address, telephone number, date of birth, driver’s license number, names of relatives and other data.

VINs & Tag Numbers

Another helpful source is if you have the subject’s vehicle identification number or tag (license plate) number. Sometimes towing companies, repossession services, insurance companies and law firms only have a VIN or license plate number which may help the SCRACVS to find the individual’s social security number.

However, national VIN and tag number databases that show names and addresses do so based on information supplied by the individual states. But only about half of states share this information. If the VIN was registered in a state that does not share its information, a search on national databases will come up empty.

AL
AR
CO
DC
DE
FL
GA
IA (No Tag numbers)
ID
IL
IN
KY
LA (No Tag numbers)
MA
MD
ME
ME
MI
MN
MO
MS
MT
NC
ND
NE
OH
PR
RI
SC
SD
TN
TX
VT
WI
WV
WY

Depend on SCRACVS

Therefore, when using SCRACVS for your military verification services, it’s best to supply all the information you have about the individual, including VIN and tag numbers, if you have them. The more information SCRACVS has, the better the chances you will get the information you need.

Rely on SCRACVS for your military verifications, even without a Social Security number.

Roy L. Kaufmann

Attorney Roy Kaufmann serves as the Director of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act Centralized Verification Service, located in Washington, D.C. As a recognized authority on the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, Mr. Kaufmann has published hundreds of articles and hosted many webinars. His teachings help law firms and businesses to remain compliant with the SCRA rules and regulations so as to avoid costly fines.