Thanks to Tom Tate, Mike Potter, Chris LeDonne, John Scroggins, Dale Amond and Charles Walker for their help with this information.
Vehicle titles are also useful if you're lucky enough to have the original title, perhaps if you purchased the item directly from the agency, or if a previous seller kept a copy. This will list the vehicle usage as Police in some states. What's interesting about this particular title is there is no color specified for the vehicle, a common practice for police vehicles which were often repainted.
Besides vehicle titles and build sheets, there are sometimes other sources of information available. The Certificate of Origin below lists the original ordering dealer and intended vehicle usage; this type of of documentation can be invaluable when attempting to trace a car's history.
This title is for a 1993 government vehicle.
This document used for a 1993 INS car. No VIN, but model and GSA PO #, contract #.
Some other miscellaneous items that may surface include service records, oil change stickers, gas receipts, etc. Although you may find these in the glove box or door pouch, sometimes checking under a seat or in the trunk will turn up some of these items. The examples below for a FHP car provide the actual vehicle number and where and when the service was completed.
Although states vary on how long records are kept, with this information you can often trace a car's history back to a given area, and sometimes track down the individual who drove it. Note the oil change sticker above gives the date and mileage..comparing this to the purchase mileage can give you an approximate idea of how long the vehicle was actually kept in service.
The image below is an actual service record for an FHP vehicle. This kind of information is invaluable in seeing what your car has had done to it. It can be difficult to obtain depending on what agency you're dealing with, but be persistent, since you can see how the results would pay off. In this example, you can see the clutch was replaced, seats were either repaired or replaced, and numerous tires for the vehicle.
Outstanding set of documents for FHP car #631..This 1991 car came with everything including dealer info, service records, Severe Duty brochure, original FHP paperwork. Wow! Notice the engine was replaced with about 44K on it(far right). Warranty card is below...
Listed below are 3 warranty cards for SSP Mustangs. The first is for a '90 and has the specific FHP Vehicle # and Troop listed. Extended warranty protection was ordered for this vehicle. The second card is simply a warranty card without any additional information, but was also for an FHP unit. The third is for a 1991 NYSP vehicle. Interesting to note the 100,000 mileage coverage but only 3 year time frame!
Sometimes other interesting information can come with a car. The items below were with a 1993 DEA car, and include a ramp card for a new vehicle, and instruction sheets on the Motorola radio. You never know what you'll find when you buy one, especially direct from the source, so look carefully!
Original label for tires for 1993 CHP EVOC Mustang.
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