You’ve just found your dream car while strolling through the used car lot. Everything seems to check out, but you may have some questions regarding the history of the vehicle. This is where a vehicle record, or vehicle abstract, will come in handy. There are many reasons why someone may need a vehicle record, and it’s generally a requirement after an insurance company or your employer requests it! Below, isure will walk you through what a vehicle record in Ontario is, and how to obtain one.

What is a vehicle record in Ontario?

To start, a vehicle record is a ‘document containing information about a vehicle registered in Ontario.’ There are two general types:

  1. Certified vehicle record
  2. Uncertified vehicle record

The main difference between the two is that a certified vehicle record will come embossed with a seal of certification from the Ministry of Transportation. Similar to a driving record, these are generally only necessary during specific legal situations. In most cases, an uncertified record will do just fine! Check with the person who is asking for the VR which type they require. Uncertified vehicle records in Ontario are generally a request by an employer or the insurer that deals with your auto insurance. You can order them online for your convenience. An uncertified vehicle report may contain:

  • A description of the vehicle, specifically the year, make and model
  • The current plate number on the vehicle
  • Any recent plate numbers attached to the vehicle
  • Registration dates for the vehicle to each specific registrant
  • The vehicle status (e.x. rental)

Vehicle records that you order online will not contain information on specific details, such as odometer ratings, previous collision information, or the personal information that belongs to previous owners.

If I request the report, what documents are required?

If neither the licence plate or VIN are showing results, you may have to request an uncertified vehicle report yourself. Luckily, this can be done quite easily online through the Government of Ontario’s website or by visiting a ServiceOntario centre near you. To do this, you will need to have a bit of information and documents on-hand, including:

  • Your valid Ontario driver’s licence number
  • Registrant Identification Number (RIN) or
  • Your name and address

Depending on what type of record you are looking for, you may also need to present the following:

  • Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)
  • Licence plate number

How do I order a vehicle record in Ontario?

There are different types of uncertified vehicle records that are available online. Uncertified vehicle records in Ontario can be ordered by mail, at ServiceOntario, or online, through websites, such as and When it comes to these websites, there are two ways to go about searching for a specific record. Most commonly, people will use a vehicle’s licence plate number or Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). By doing so, you can find:

  • Specific date ranges for the vehicle
  • Current owner and vehicle information
  • Complete history of the vehicle, including when it was purchased, what its been used for, etc.

Remember, if ordering online, save or print the PDF of your vehicle abstract after the transaction is complete. A paper copy will not be mailed to you.

How much does a vehicle abstract cost?

When it comes to the cost of obtaining a vehicle report in Ontario, it is easy to know the general cost when ordering through the Ontario website or by visiting ServiceOntario. A certified report, with an approved seal from the Ministry of Transportation, will cost you $18.00. An uncertified report will cost you only $12.00. However, when ordering through websites, like Carfax, these can vary in price. Amount will depend on the website you use and what exactly you are looking for in your report. However, never by more than a few dollars!

What is a vehicle confirmation letter?

Sometimes, a vehicle record won’t provide the information you’re looking for. This can be extra frustrating when you are required to have specific information on a vehicle for legal or work purposes. When this happens, your next step will be to request a vehicle confirmation letter. By sending a letter and a small payment to the Ministry of Transportation, they will be able to give you any information on vehicles you may be looking for. Each letter will cost you $6.00, however you may also get a certified one with an approved seal from the Ministry of Transportation for $12.00. You can make these requests online through the Ontario government website, or through mail order. Your mail request should include the following:

  • Name of card holder and person requesting
  • Card type (Visa or Mastercard)
  • Card number
  • Expiry date
  • Reason for vehicle confirmation letter request
  • Amount to be charged

If you are in the market for a used vehicle, contact isure for a free, non-obligation quote. Already a client of ours? We’ll help you adjust your policy where necessary for your new ride. Request a quote with us today!

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