Branding Governments use brand records to help ensure proper repairs are made to salvage vehicles, and to protect consumers by making stolen vehicles and parts difficult to resell. Brand records also help police identify stolen vehicles.Assigning a BrandAny vehicle registered in a Canadian province or territory has a permanent record that is linked to its Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). If a vehicle is stolen or severely damaged, authorities add a brand or note to its VIN record. Types of BrandsGovernments assign a brand to describe a vehicle’s condition, history or situation: Irreparable – a badly damaged vehicle (for example, flood-damaged or burned) that can only be used for parts or scrap metal. Vehicles with this brand cannot be driven.Salvage – a vehicle that can be repaired but not driven until it is inspected and deemed safe.Rebuilt – a vehicle that was once branded as salvage but has since been rebuilt and inspected in accordance with regulatory criteria.Stolen – a vehicle that is reported stolen. Only police can assign this brand or cancel it if the vehicle is recovered.Brand types and names vary by province or territory. Visit your provincial or territorial government’s ministry of transportation website for additional information about branding in your area. How Branding Protects YouA criminal may take a VIN from a wrecked vehicle and place it on a stolen vehicle to mask its identity. If the vehicle is branded, though, criminals need to work very hard to make a stolen vehicle appear legitimate. By disguising a vehicle’s identity, a criminal may be able to sell a vehicle that was stolen or has serious hidden damage. An unsuspecting consumer who purchases a stolen vehicle may have it permanently seized by the police. Some people buy a seemingly fit vehicle, only to discover later that it has structural damage that makes it unsafe to drive. Branding protects consumers by making it more difficult for criminals to sell a stolen or unsafe vehicle to an unsuspecting buyer. Learn how IBC helps Canadians fight auto theft. Understanding Vehicle Identification Numbers (VINS)An accurate VIN can assist consumers in buying a used vehicle. If you know how to check your vehicle’s VIN, you will be less likely to buy a stolen vehicle or a vehicle that has been deemed irreparable or unsafe for road use. For more information about buying a used vehicle, contact your provincial or territorial licensing/registration office.Think Don’t Sink – Beware of Flooded VehiclesDamage to vehicles from wind, hail or water is usually covered if comprehensive or all perils coverage auto insurance has been purchased. This coverage isn’t mandatory, so check your policy. Related ServicesVIN Numbers A vehicle’s VIN is like a fingerprint that tells you the vehicle’s history and identifying features. Looking at the history of a used vehicle before you buy it can help you be more confident about your purchase. Vin Verify Service Buying a used car? IBC’s free VIN Verify service for consumers can help you check if a car was reported as flood-damaged and non-repairable. You just need the car’s vehicle identification number (VIN) to get started. Useful LinksCanadian Police Information CentreWelcome to the CPIC website, where the public can search our national database to see if a motor vehicle or property has been reported stolen. Law enforcement partners can register to access more detailed documentation and reports based on information in the CPIC database.National Insurance Crime BureauNICB's VINCheck is a free service provided to the public to assist in determining if a vehicle has been reported as stolen, but not recovered, or has been reported as a salvage vehicle by cooperating NICB members.Crisis ManagementIf you find yourself in a crisis situation, never admit liability. Combatting Insurance Crime IBC provides investigative services to help contain the premiums of honest Canadian policyholders.