Finding the VIN number or data plate information on a manufactured mobile home can sometimes be tricky.
So, when you think data plate you probably think of a piece of metal with numbers hooked to the outside of your mobile home. There are small plates hooked to the outside of mobile homes near the back. However, these are referred to as HUD tags or Red tags. These tags do very little to tell you about your mobile home.
A data plate is simply a piece of white / yellowish paper inside the mobile home. This paper has an image of the United States on part of the paper. The paper usually measures about 8 1/2 x 11 (a standard paper size) and it looks just like the one pictured below:
So, this is not a title to a manufactured home it just tells about the home itself
Mobile Home Data Plate
When mobile homes are built in the factory these data plates, pictured above, are added to each home. These data plates are present in new singlewide and doublewide mobile homes. Because they are referred to as plates which make them sound like a metal material, they are actually made of a thin piece of paper.
Why are data plates important: VIN or SERIAL numbers
One of the most important parts of information that you will find on this sheet of paper is on the top left corner. So, here you will find who manufactured your mobile home.
You can also find the year of the mobile home and the serial number or VIN number. This data plate is important if you happen to lose the title. If you lose the title the only way to find out the serial number is with this paper. So, it will help you in identifying your home.
VIN Number Manufacturer Date
On the top left corner of this data plate it will show the year the home was built. It will give the exact date of manufacture from the company that built the home as well. Many times it will show the year prior to the date that is on your title.
For instance it may say your home was built in 12-05-2007 but your title will state that you have a 2008 home. Sometimes however the date is the same year as the title.
VIN Number Manufacturer Location
The information on the top left will also tell you which manufacturer built your mobile home. It should give the address to the home builder as well. This might come in handy if you can’t find out anything about the home. You can simply Google that manufacturer and contact them to learn more about your home.
This VIN number tip might save you a trip
TIP: If you have a data plate in your mobile home snap a picture of it with your cell phone. Then when you visit your local bureau of motor vehicle or secretary of state you will have all the numbers off from this plate.
The VIN or serial number is so long and the typing is so small it is very easy to make a mistake. Even when writing it down you can mess it up. By having a screen shot it makes it simple. You and the person at the Bureau of Motor Vehicle can look directly at the number. Then you can do a mobile home VIN number search.
Vin Number Lookup
These offices can use the serial or VIN number to look up your mobile manufactured home. It will show who the ownership is under. This is the same way you would look up your car, truck or motorcycle.
During the VIN number search you may find that the home is under a different owners name or that the title has been abolished. If this is the case you have some more home work to do.
Where is the data plate on a mobile home
These “data plates” are usually located on the inside of kitchen cupboards. Under the sink is the most common area on the inside of the kitchen cupboard door. Sometimes they are found in the kitchen cupboard above the stove area on the back wall of the cabinet.
They are sometimes located on the walls of the walk in closets in bedrooms. Data plates may also be on the inside of power boxes but that is rare. I usually find them under the sink on the inside of the kitchen cupboard door again this is typically one of the most common locations.
Rarely, these papers have been removed from the homeowners because they simply do not know what they are. Someone might have remodeled the mobile home and simply thought that this piece of paper wasn’t important. Many times when homes are being remodeled home owners will paint over these as well.
Used mobile homes: VIN numbers
In a used mobile manufactured home many times the previous owner will leave papers behind in a kitchen drawer that go to the home. Be sure to look through these papers as well to see if the VIN number is on one of these papers.
If you still know where the person who sold you the mobile home lives you might ask them as well about the title. Many times they recall information about the home that can help you.
Manufacturer of Mobile Home
The data plate will tell you the manufacturer of the mobile home at the top. This may be important if you want to set your mobile home on a mobile home foundation. Many times manufacturers can give you foundation requirements to pass code.
What Does The Information Mean on These HUD Data Plates
SNOW LOADS: The information on these data plates also illustrates information about the mobile home roof. It will tell you how much snow it can handle. On the illustration below you will see a map of the United States with the numbers 20 PSF, 30 PSF and 40 PSF. This tells you how much snow a roof can handle per square foot. 20 being the weakest and 40 being the strongest.
Building inspectors will refer to this information when the homes are being moved. It tells them if the roof can handle the weather conditions that visit the area. You will want to check with your local building inspectors for your county before you move a mobile home.
You will want to make sure your mobile home meets the criteria required by your local building codes. It is important to check on this before you purchase the home. You do not want to purchase a mobile home only to find out that the home does not meet the building zone criteria.
Data plate: Wind Zones
The map pictures above also illustrates Wind Zone 1 and Wind Zone 2. Southern mobile homes will also show Wind Zone 3 options. If you live in a hurricane area building inspectors will refer to these numbers to see if they can sustain high winds.
How many digits in a mobile home VIN number: What does a VIN number look like
You might have found a set of numbers on your mobile home. Maybe you aren’t sure if this is the actual serial or VIN number. Mobile home VIN number can vary from just a few digits to a long number depending on the manufacturer of the mobile home.
If you do find the data plate again the serial number will be up in the top left corner as pictured below. Here you can see this number only consists of approximately 8 digits. Many times there are numbers and letters mixed together. This will at least give you an example of what a mobile home VIN number looks like:
Again, your best bet would be to take a camera shot of this area of your data plate and take it to your nearest Bureau of Motor Vehicle, your Secretary of State or if you are in Texas visit:
in the State of Texas almost all information on your mobile home is done online.
Mobile HUD Home Manufacturer Data Plate
The data plate also gives information about the walls of the mobile home. It will tell you if the walls are 2 x 4 or 2 x 6 width. This is important if you live in a hurricane area and it can also help your local building inspectors decide if the home is up to code for that area. One of the key things that you can find on a data sheet is the serial number.
Also you will find the manufacturer of the mobile home and the year the home was built. This might not sound so important but if you do not have the title to the mobile home this can be a key piece of information to help you get that title back!
Mobile Home Data Plate Replacement
If you mobile home doesn’t have a data plate you can contact the Institute for Business Technology and Safety also known as IBTS. You can simply visit their website here. They may be able to help you obtain a copy of your data plate if it is missing. Typically IBTS can give you information on mobile homes that are 1976 and newer. This won’t help if you have a Vintage Mobile Home. Please note that IBTS generally charges for their services to obtain this type of information.
FINAL BONUS TIP: If all else fails you can also try to contact the original factory or company where your mobile home was purchased. Again sometimes there is packets of information on your mobile home in a drawer in your home. If you can locate where the home was purchased the mobile home sellers might be able to help you.
These papers can provide a lot of great information so they should be left in the mobile home and not removed.