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I got a letter in the mail last month that said the state has no record of my Corolla

I’m not so good about opening mail quickly, unless it is something I’m expecting, like a credit card bill. This letter was delivered over a month ago, from my insurance company. It says the state informed them (the insurance company) they have no record of a car registered in the state with the VIN number the insurance company says is insured. And that the state is going to do something bad to me for telling my insurance company I have a car with that VIN when I don’t. I forget what the threat is.

Now this car has been in the state for over 20 years, re-registered each year. And the same insurance company all those years. And the current registration paperwork directly from the state shows the same VIN as it always has. And it matches the VIN on the insurance company has for this car. And it matches the VIN stamped on the car.

The insurance company is asking me to send back a questionnaire explaining why I have a car with the wrong VIN number, with a long list of questions, and asking for my signature. And a self addressed envelope to some address I’ve never sent anything to regarding auto insurance.

I’m wondering if this is some kind of scam? Someone trying to rip me off, get personal information. What do you think?

I would drive straight to the State Attorney General’s office in the car that doesn’t exist with copies of everything and ask their advice. If this is a scam, and it sounds like a very sophisticated one, the AG’s office needs to know about it. If it isn’t, they can advise you on how to rectify the situation.

Sincere best.

@the same mountainbike has given you god advice. You might take your registration, title and car to your Department of Motor Vehicles in your state and see what they say. A visit to your insurance company with the same information is also in order.

My vote is with mountainbike. Offhand, I have to suspect this is some scam outfit fishing for personal information and you should definitely call your insurance company about this.

I would be sure to call the insurance company with the number you have on your insurance card or policy. If any phone number provided with the letter is not the same number, that’s a big red flag - don’t call that number. Yeah, I know, I’m being Captain Obvious . . .

You reported in the spring that your registration was suspended due to failing a state emissions test. Is this the period of time that the state of California claims the vehicle with the given VIN was not registered?

It smells like a scam to me. I continue to get “official looking” Department of Motor Vehicle letters (yeah right) to inform me that my warranty coverage for my vehicle has expired. I tear them up and send them straight to the round file without reading them.

I think everyone has good ideas here, but.

I’d first call my insurance company. Use the phone number from your last bill. Not this letter.
They should be able to tell you if there is a question about the VIN on that car or not. If there is, you might be able to rectify this over the phone.

If it is a scam, then I’d either take a trip to the state AG office, or at least call them, to make them aware of this possible scam. They might just want you to fax a copy to them.

I’m all in favor of reporting scams, but your time is valuable too. Depending on the state, the AGs office could be hours away.


I’d say that calling your insurance agent is the obvious first step here.

There’s no doubt that it is a scam. If the state had an issue with your car’s VIN, they would deal directly with you.

Call your insurer and if the letter is legitimate, go to the DMV and ask them what is going on. Take your title and registration into the office with you.

Good ideas. I think I will contact the state’s attorney general’s office and ask them to investigate what’s going on.

@Nevada_545 … re: Was this due to the prior emissions testing problem? I suppose anything is possible. But I don’t think the registration was ever suspended. They were just holding registration tags until the emissions test passed, which it did the second attempt.

Sure sounds like a scam. Does the recent letter include your correct insurance policy number and VIN? If it doesn’t, I’d say definitely a scam.

Just go see your agent or contact the co directly. Sure sounds like a scam.

I vote for scam as well. My wife works for the state dept that handles vehicle titles, and she told me they would NEVER do anything like this. They would deal with the car owner directly.

I think your insurance company would be satisfied knowing that your vehicles registration was reinstated. You stated in the past that the car couldn’t be driven because it wasn’t registered, I think your insurance company’s reaction/inquiry is a bit slow.