How do I know the original in-service date?


One of the most important details you need to note when buying a car is its original in-service date. The original in-service date can affect the sale value of your vehicle and the buying decision of your potential customers. 

In this article, we're going to discover more about how to find the in-service date of a vehicle and what makes it essential.


a calendar with red pin 


What does the original in-service date mean?

The original in-service date is the date the vehicle was first registered/titled  to the original owner

It's also the start date of the vehicle's manufacturer's warranty. There are times when the Vehicle's manufacturer's warranty beginning date (as determined by the manufacturer's records) is unavailable. If this is the case, the original in-service date will be the original record of sale/original DMV registration date as indicated on the CPO vehicle history report utilized during the certification process.

It's important to note that the original in-service date isn't a legal term. Therefore, the warranty must define this term to avoid future problems.



How is the original in-service date applicable in used cars?

The warranty period begins on the original in-service date. This means the warranty clock started when the first owner took ownership of the vehicle - when it was brand-new, regardless of whether that owner was a person, government agency, rental car business, or other corporate entity.

Suppose you purchase a certified pre-owned car with a five-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty. In that case, you get the remaining time and mileage from the date the vehicle left the dealership and was first put into service. For instance, for a 2-year-old car with 30,000 miles on the odometer, the remaining powertrain coverage is for three years or 70,000 miles, whichever comes first.


magnefying glass with blocks



How to find the original in-service date of a vehicle?

Finding the vehicle's original in-service date can be as easy as looking at the limited warranty contract. If the previous owner lost the copy, don't worry, as there's a second option.

To know your vehicle's original in-service date, you must first locate and note your VIN. Once recorded, use a reliable VIN lookup where you can type in the VIN and find out that vehicle's original in-service date.

The easiest way would be to obtain a vehicle history report (VHR) like Carfax or Autocheck and look for the date the vehicle was registered to the First Owner

You can also us a VIN lookup tool

Here are some free VIN lookup tools that you can try

Can-Am Warranty Lookup Tool: This tool will help determine if your vehicle has a limited warranty from Can-Am Dealer Services, which specializes in prev. Canadian vehicles. If your car does not have a Can-Am Limited Warranty attached, you will find a link to access our dealer portal.

Vininspect- A centralized database with the goal of preventing the resale of stolen vehicles and preventing fraud by providing users with up-to-date and accurate information about vehicles across the country.

BeenVerified - Discover accident reports maintained by trusted state agencies and automakers.

Driving-tests- A free lookup tool from Driving-tests

AutoDNA- Reports on the past owners and accidents of used cars imported from Europe and the United States.

Vindecoded- A database where you can see your vehicle's engine specs, theft records, consumer complaints, and more

On the driver's side door, there's a date found on a large sticker inside the door jam. That sticker contains information about your vehicle's weight, as well as its production month and year. The date there is the assembly date, and you shouldn't confuse it with the in-service date.



Can’t find the VIN?

For standard passenger vehicles, here's where to look.

You can look at the dashboard on the driver's side of the car to find the VIN. The easiest way to see your VIN is to stand outside the car and look at the dashboard corner where it meets the windshield. If somehow it's not there, then you can look at these other areas:

- Open the hood of your car. The VIN should be found in front of the engine block on most gasoline cars.

- The Vehicle Identification Number may also be located on the driver's side door post (The part where the door latches when it's closed).

- If you have an older car, you may find the VIN in the front end of the car's frame.

The VIN is usually placed below the handlebars on the steering neck for motorcycles. But sometimes, it's on the frame near the motor or the motor itself.

A trailer's VIN is displayed on the left front side of the trailer. This is because it must be positioned so that users can read outside the trailer without moving its components.


mechanic in uniform checking the serial numbers 


Conclusion or Takeaway

The car's original in-service date is significant since it's not only the day it was first sold but also the date the vehicle's warranty starts. When some prev Canadian vehicles are exported to the US, its OEM's warranty is voided. You can purchase a replacement warranty via Can-am Warranty so that your customers won’t be reluctant to buy prev Canadian. This warranty gives you more inventory options and increases your sales.

Can-Am Warranty mimics the OEM's warranty making it seem like the manufacturer's warranty wasn't voided at all. The starting period of Can-Am Warranty will be the same as the vehicle's original in-service date. 

So, if you want to know more about how Can-am warranty can exponentially increase your inventory and sales, click here to be our partner dealer.


Have inquiries and worries? Reach out to the Can-Am Team, we'd be pleased to assist you.