How To Report a Stolen Car

The National Insurance Crime Bureau reports that a vehicle is stolen in the U.S. every 36 seconds, with about half found and returned to their owners. Increase your chances of recovery by knowing what to do if you become the victim of vehicle theft.

Immediately contact local police. Assist the police in recovery efforts by promptly reporting the theft. You’ll need a police report to file an auto insurance claim.

Have your vehicle’s information. The police and your insurer will need the following information:

  • License plate number
  • Vehicle identification number (VIN)
  • Year/make/model/color
  • Approximate mileage
  • Any tracking devices
  • Location of car keys before and after theft
  • Distinct features (spoiler, unique color)
  • List of personal property in the car
  • Location of the vehicle at the time of the theft

Report it to your insurer. Also, provide the police report number and the officer’s name when reporting your claim.

Contact your financing or leasing provider. Your lessor or lender will receive first priority for any insurance settlement.

Inform the DMV. Each state’s department of motor vehicles maintains a database of stolen automobiles.


  1. “NICB ‘Hot Spots’: Auto Thefts Up Significantly Across the Country,” (Aug. 2021)

The information and descriptions on this site are general in nature. The coverage afforded for a particular loss depends on the specific facts and the terms, exclusions, and limits of the actual policy. Nothing on this site alters the terms or conditions of any policy, as the policy controls coverage. Coverage options, limits, discounts, deductibles, and other features are subject to underwriting criteria, state availability, and effective dates. Coverage provided and underwritten by NJM Insurance Company and its subsidiaries, 301 Sullivan Way, W. Trenton, NJ 08628.