Car theft happens sometime. Keep your vehicle permit and insurance certificate in a secure place on your person so you can provide this information, if requested, to law enforcement. Avoid putting it into an open purse or large pocket where it may be easily stolen or fall out.
When at home and not operating your vehicle, carry your vehicle permit and insurance certificate in a secure place.
- Never leave your vehicle permit and insurance certificate carelessly lying around, especially if you employ outside help or where thieves or strangers looking into your house can easily see it.
- Placing it in the glove box of your vehicle is not particularly secure either, in case the vehicle is stolen.
Never leave originals or even photocopies of your vehicle permit or insurance certificate inside your vehicle, particularly not in plain view.
- Thieves may be tempted to steal these and use the information they contain to perpetrate fraud.
- Store your vehicle permit and insurance certificate securely on your person so if your vehicle is stolen they cannot be used to perpetrate additional fraud.
Never leave briefcases, purses and duffel bags in plain view inside your vehicle.
- Regardless of what these actually contain, thieves who think these may contain valuables could be tempted to break into your vehicle.
Never leave your vehicle running or leave the keys in the ignition unless you are in it.
- Thieves could not only steal your vehicle but may also use any personal information they find, to steal your identity or perpetrate other fraud.
Lock the doors of your vehicle when you leave it.
- Auto theft does not just happen in large urban centres.
- Thieves may steal an unlocked vehicle, or rummage through it looking for valuables and documents containing personal information (i.e. vehicle registration and insurance information).
- Do not store a set of keys, vehicle permit and registration information or other documents containing personal information in your vehicle.
Never put your vehicle permit or insurance certificate in the trash or recycling bin without first cutting it into small pieces or shredding it.
Never provide information about your vehicle (in particular about the Vehicle Identification Number or “VIN” information) in response to an unsolicited Internet or telephone request, regardless of the apparent source.
- The VIN is a unique series of 17 letters and numbers used to identify a vehicle. It contains valuable information about the manufacturer, make/model, equipment and class of vehicle that helps law enforcement, insurance industry, consumers and government and others, identify it.
- If you are asked to provide it, find out who will have access to it, why it is needed and what safeguards are in place to prevent unauthorized use.
- If you are not satisfied with the response, ask more questions or consider not providing the information being requested.
- Remember, it’s your identity – you must protect it.
Before you make a decision to buy a used vehicle privately, ask to see the sellers Used Vehicle Information Package (UVIP) and review it closely.
- For more consumer protection tips on buying and selling a used vehicle in Ontario, see Buying and Selling a Used Vehicle in Ontario at www.mto.gov.on.ca/english/dandv/vehicle/used.shtml
If you are victim of vehicle theft/fraud, report the incident immediately to your local police.