A cloned car is a stolen car whose manufacturer-installed Vehicle Identification Number, or VIN, and title documents have been altered to conceal the real identity of the vehicle. Vehicle cloning is a form of car identity theft.
A cloned car usually bears a legitimate VIN stolen from a similar, legally owned and titled vehicle from a different state. With the fake VIN, the stolen car becomes a clone of the vehicle from which the number was lifted. The clone can be registered afresh with a motor vehicle agency in another state and sold. The United States Department of Justice operates a database of vehicle histories, known as the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System, to protect buyers from vehicle cloning.