1950 Chevrolet VIN Verification


I have a 1950 Chevrolet Deluxe Convertible. The VIN number on the Virginia Tile does not match the number on the door plate. from what I understand in the early 50’s they used the engine serial numbers instead of VIN numbers. Long story short The California DMV sent me to the Calif. Highway Patrol for a VIN verification. The officer insists that the VIN number is stamped on the frame, and says I have to remove the body from the frame so he can verify. All the research I’ve done says frames weren’t stamped until around 1955. Can anyone give me any help here? to remove the body is about 3 or 4 thousand bucks. And what if it’s not on top of the frame, what then?


Man that stinks. FWIW understanding is that VIN (Vehicle Identification Numbers) as we know them were not used on 49-54 cars. They were “Serial Numbers”…but different from the engine serial number. I assume when you refer to the door plate number you’re really looking at the left hinge pillar. That might seem like a silly point, but through the years some states issued their own serial numbers on cars in certain circumstances…recovered stolens, cars assembled from parts etc. And often those tags are put elsewhere.
FYI, (if you didn’t already know) and you have the original engine block and they used the engine serial number by mistake, that’s located just aft of the distributor. I could also see them using one of the cowl tag numbers by mistake too. The obvious one is just a production sequence number though.
And it’s my understanding that they did indeed stamp vehicle serial numbers on the frames, but only on convertibles. I have a '52, but honestly I’ve never checked it. The car’s been in the family since 62.
All the best luck regardless.


According to both the “Catalog of American Car ID Numbers 1950-59” as well as the “1950 Manual of the Identification of Automobiles” both state that the VIN is located on the plate on the left front door hinge pillar. I would imagine that the CHP probably has reliable info on where the secondary VIN is and I expect that what they are looking for is that secondary VIN which in their mind would be less likely to be touched. Personally, I think their request is a bit excessive, especially if it looks like the original VIN plate doesn’t look disturbed. That said, they are the CHP and their request may stand, even if logic defies what they’re asking for.


I agree, but the problem is the officer doesn’t know where the secondary VIN is located. He thinks it’s on the frame but can’t tell me where.(can someone tell me where it’s located) If he can’t see it he says the car is gonna be a garage car (can’t register so I can’t drive it)


I found this thread on another forum of a guy who found it on a 1952. From what I’m gathering, the hidden VIN might not have been a requirement on cars until 1955, so there stands a chance a 1950 might not have ever gotten one. Sounds like the officer neither knows that nor would they accept that, even if the car never had one. I think this puts you in quite a pickle that I don’t have the experience to help with. Here in Michigan, you can register almost anything.

Hopefully this helps. https://www.chevytalk.org/fusionbb/showtopic.php?tid/289138/post/2285706