The Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC) has launched a free online service to allow customers to look up a vehicle’s status, helping them to make informed buying decisions when purchasing used vehicles. All vehicles in North America are assigned a status to describe the general state of the vehicle and whether it qualifies to be on the road. The vehicle status search launched today on icbc.com and works by entering the vehicle model year and vehicle identification number (VIN). After entering the VIN and vehicle model year online, customers are provided with the current status of the vehicle salvage, rebuilt, altered, or normal. The online vehicle status search was one of the commitments made by ICBC following the investigation into its Burnaby-based research and training facility. The status search provides the current status listed in the B.C. vehicle registry. Changes to a vehicle’s status are reported by insurance companies, tow operators, and automobile recyclers to the Registrar of Motor Vehicle, which in BC is ICBC. ICBC provides vehicle licensing and vehicle registration services, including maintaining the vehicle registry, on behalf of the provincial government. Salvage is the status is given to a vehicle that has been written off as a result of a crash, but has the potential to be repaired or reconstructed. The vehicle must be repaired and inspected before it can be licensed or reinsured. Rebuilt status is assigned to “salvage” vehicles after they have been repaired and have passed inspection. It is also used for homemade and specialty vehicles to indicate that they have been inspected and are structurally sound. Altered is the status is given to a vehicle that has been significantly modified after its manufacture. The status is added when the vehicle has passed inspection. If a vehicle does not have a status of rebuilt, salvage or altered, it is considered to have a normal status. “Normal” is simply a term used for the purposes of vehicle registration, it does not mean the vehicle has never been damaged or is in good mechanical condition.