Buying a Used Car in Mexico? This Free Site Will Tell You If It’s Reported Stolen

Source: Q-Roo Paul

I’m continuing the car theme this week by sharing a useful Mexican government operated website that will help you determine if the used car you’re thinking of buying is actually stolen.

You might be asking yourself, do people really steal cars and then sell them to unsuspecting people? Yep, they sure do.

In most cases, the buyer only discovers that the car is stolen when they attempt to register it — or they get arrested at a police checkpoint.

If you ever find yourself in the second scenario, I’m sure that once you explain to the officers that you bought it from a stranger and you didn’t know it was stolen, they’ll let you go. Cops always believe that one–not.

Fortunately, this site might help you avoid that fate:

Using the Site

Since the web site is in Spanish and many of my readers only speak English, I decided to include some instructions.

Screenshot from government site

Section 1 

This is for the license plate number (no spaces or dashes). In experimenting with this site, I found that the majority of the license plate numbers that I checked were not in the system; however, when I check the vehicle identification number (Section 2) or the REPUVE number (Section 3), I was able to locate the information.

Section 2

This is for the VIN (Vehicle Identification Number). That is a 17 character alphanumeric code that is stamped somewhere on the vehicle. Always check the VIN against the paperwork presented when buying a vehicle.

Section 3

In my last article, I wrote about Mexico’s program (REPUVE) to enter every vehicle into a national database and tag it with an RFID tag. The RFID tag is incorporated in a blue sticker that is placed on the windshield. If the car you’re buying has this sticker, you can check the number on the bottom.

The number has been altered in the photo and is for deomstration purposes only

Section 4

It is unlikely that you’re going to have this number. It’s an 8 character alphanumeric number assigned to the vehicle when it’s entered into the REPUVE system.


If the vehicle is not found in the system at all, you’ll get this message:

This is a common response when checking the vehicle by tag number, even if it’s in the system.

If the vehicle’s information has been entered into the REPUVE system, it will look something like this:

Information from the database

At the bottom of the report, you will receive a message advising you if the vehicle is reported stolen. If it’s not, it should look something like this:

Vehicle not reported stolen notice

Let’s Wrap This Up

This site is a useful tool to help you avoid buying a stolen car; however, it’s certainly not foolproof. Besides, there are lots of other scams to look out for that are directed at potential used car buyers. I’ll be covering some of the more common ones in a future article.

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About the Author

Qroo Paul
Paul Kurtzweil (Q-Roo Paul) was a deputy sheriff in Florida for 25 years before retiring at the rank of lieutenant in 2015. He and his wife moved to Mexico looking to maximize their retirement income. They later started a blog called Two Expats Mexico ( to share their experiences as well as information about the logistical and legal aspects of retiring south of the border.

9 Comments on "Buying a Used Car in Mexico? This Free Site Will Tell You If It’s Reported Stolen"

  1. Ginger Childers | April 18, 2017 at 9:22 am |

    Thank you, Q-Roo. Your blogs are always welcomed and so informative.

  2. Joanne Cowan | April 18, 2017 at 12:53 pm |

    This is really helpful. Do you find that buying a new car in Mexico is more expensive, cheaper or about the same as in the states?

  3. Niederegger Maria | April 19, 2017 at 3:22 pm |

    Maria Niederegger- April 19 2017

    How is about to rent a car?

  4. ANNA NEGRETE | June 8, 2017 at 7:16 am |

    Is this the same site that they would use if you were actually in Mexico? Just wanted to make sure since it would be a special trip for a family member to go to the actual office to get the vin checked.

  5. Dennis Billo | October 14, 2017 at 9:50 am |

    I will be shopping for a used car when we return to Mexico on Nov 1st and I was wondering if your blog on additional car scams will be available soon? Thanks for the great blogs.

Comments are closed.