Manufactured Home HUD Tags, Labels, Serial Numbers, and Data Plates

Mobile home hud tags, labels, serial numbers and datas plates

Manufactured home HUD tags and data plates are confusing. Add the VIN and serial number and HUD number and it gets even more frustrating.

For example, manufactured home HUD tags and data plates are confusing because a plate is not a plate and a tag really isn’t a tag, A data plate is a simple sheet of paper. Granted, that simple piece of paper has a lot of important information on it.

A certificate is not the same as a plate or a manufactured home HUD tag, but it is displayed on a tag. A tag is different from a data plate but has the same information as a certificate.

Understand?

 

2 Labels, 2 Numbers

To simplify it all, remember that there are only 2 main labels attached to a factory-built home: a manufactured home HUD tag and a Data Plate.

In addition to the two labels, there are 2 main numbers used in the manufactured home industry: a serial number and a certification number. The certification number is stamped onto the HUD tag. The serial number is not.

Manufactured Home HUD Tags 101

A manufactured home HUD tag is a metal plate that is riveted onto the exterior of the home. It has a certification label number stamped into it.

Manufactured home HUD tags are also called construction code labels, certification labels, and HUD labels.

There should be a red metal tag with silver text riveted to the rear exterior of each section of every manufactured home built since 1976.

This metal tag has 3 letters and 6 numbers stamped into it. It gets confusing because there are several terms used when referring to this metal tag. They come from the fact that the certification number is stamped onto the HUD tag or HUD label.

Here are a few of the different names I’ve seen used for this metal tag:

  • HUD Tag
  • Construction Code Label
  • Certification Label
  • HUD Label

 

Red Manufactured Home HUD Tags and labels and a HUD Labol that has lost its red paint and is all silver

 

If that’s not confusing enough, the HUD website plainly states that the metal must be red with silver lettering.  So, why are there black labels and silver labels?

The best explanation I could find is that the red paint sometimes chips off and the different color is simply based on whatever kind of metal the factory used to make the tag.

 

What Information is Displayed on Manufactured Home HUD Tags?

A manufactured home HUD tag, or certification tag, is the metal plaques attached to the exterior of your home that is 2″ wide and 4″ long. It proves that the home was inspected at the factory and passed.

The tag is typically placed one foot above the bottom and one foot from the edge of the back of each section of a manufactured home. Like this:

 

Manufactured Home Tags - must be one foot up and one foot over from the manufactured homes rear edge

 

Manufactured home HUD tags have the same paragraph on every manufactured home in the US. It reads:

The manufacturer certifies to the best of the manufacturer’s knowledge and belief that this manufactured home has been inspected in accordance with the requirements of Department of Housing and Urban Development and is constructed in conformance with the federal manufactured home construction and safety standards in effect on the date of manufacture. See data plate.

Label Numbers

Within the first sentence of that metal tag, there are 3 letters, a dash, and then 6 numbers. These are different for every manufactured home in the country. The number and letter sequence is the certification label number.

This means that the home was inspected in the factory before it left and met all the requirements set by HUD in the Federal Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards law.

Per HUD’s online portal, the first three letters mean:

The label number shall be etched or stamped with a 3 letter designation which identifies the production inspection primary inspection agency and which the Secretary shall assign.

But, what exactly does “the production inspection primary inspection agency’ mean?

It’s just the third party inspection agency that inspected the home at the factory.

The 6 digit number is simply stamped sequentially by the label maker and used as an identifier for the home.

 

Related: Learn about the 3 Levels of Manufactured Homes Quality and Price here.

Manufactured Home Data Plates 101

A manufactured home Data Plate isn’t a plate, it’s a sheet of paper inside your kitchen cabinet or bedroom closet.

 

A Data Plate is Just a Piece of Paper

A Data Plate is the white paper you see glued to the wall or cabinet. It has a bunch of really important information along with a simple line map of the United States. The paper is 8.5″ x 11″ and looks like this:

 

Manufactured Home HUD Tag - DATA PLATE EXAMPLE

 

The Data Plate will include the following information: 

  • Manufacturer, or builders, name, and address.
  • Date the home was built.
  • Serial number
  • Model number
  • Code Certification – Identifies the Federal HUD Manufactured Housing Code in effect at time of construction (Source)

The data plate also has information about the home’s construction. Roof and floor load and wind zone details will be listed.

Data plates will also have the inspection agency’s information. These agencies use codes to identify the company’s name. Only a few companies are certified to do HUD home inspections.  They cannot be affiliated with the builder at all.

HUD Label Number

The first 3 letters are the third party inspector that inspected, passed, and labeled the home at the factory.

For example, GEO means it was inspected by Georgia and the label’s number will provide the exact factory information based on records. A few more examples:

  • HWC = Hilborn, Werner, Carter & Associates, Inc.
  • PFS = PFS Corporation
  • NTA = NTA, Inc.
  • RAD = RADCO
  • TRA = T. R. Arnold and Associates, Inc.
  • GEO = the state of Georgia
  • TEN = the state of Tennessee

Here’s how HUD explains all the information displayed on the Date Plate:

(a) The name and address of the manufacturing plant in which the manufactured home was manufactured;

(b) The serial number and model designation of the unit, and the date the unit was manufactured;

(c) The statement: This manufactured home is designed to comply with the Federal Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards in force at the time of manufacture;

(d) A list of the certification label(s) number(s) that are affixed to each transportable manufactured section under §3280.8;

(e) A list of major factory-installed equipment, including the manufacturer’s name and the model designation of each appliance;

(f) Reference to the roof load zone and wind load zone for which the home is designed and duplicates of the maps as set forth in §3280.305(c).

 

Where is the Data Plate Located? 

By federal law, all manufactured homes must have a data plate attached inside the home. It can be put in several different places:

  •  inside of a cabinet door in the kitchen
  • the back wall of the small bedroom closet or master bedroom closet
  • inside your water heater closet
  • on the inside of a bathroom cabinet door

Location of Manufactured Home Data Plates
Location of Manufactured Home Data Plates - Upper kitchen cabinet

FYI: DATA PLATES SHOULD NEVER BE REMOVED!

 

If you replace your cabinets or plan to remove the wall that has the Data Plate you should carefully remove and attach the paper to a different area of the home (in another cabinet or closet, for example).

You should protect the Data Plate, by all means necessary. Losing it can keep you from financing, selling, improving, or repairing your home. Some professionals suggest adding a thick clear piece of laminate over it so that it cannot fall off or be destroyed.

Is it a mobile home or a manufactured home?

 

 

 

How to Get a New Data Plate or ‘Performance Verification Certificate’

 

If you are missing your data plate and need it to meet your state or local laws for property sells, improvements, etc. you will need to request and pay for a new one through the IBTS.

 

Institute for Building Technology and Safety

The IBTS, or Institute for Building Technology and Safety, is a long-term HUD subcontractor that handles all requests for missing manufactured home Data Plates. If you need a new Data Plate for a manufactured home you will submit the request directly to the IBTS, not HUD. Oh, you will also be paying the IBTS for the new data plate and it isn’t cheap. The basic certification is $50 and if you need it expedited you get to pay $100.

 

Your bank may require an inspection of the home for refinancing, learn about manufactured home inspection here.

 

manufactured home serial number example

 

 

Manufactured Home Serial Numbers 101

All manufactured homes have a serial number assigned to it. It’s important for many reasons.

Your serial number will be clearly displayed on your home’s data plate or stamped into the steel cross member where the hitch is attached to for each section of the home.

 

manufactured home serial number stamped into metal frame
The manufactured home serial number stamped into the metal frame.

 

If your home is a double wide, it will have the same serial number but a letter at the end. but there will be an A used for one section and B for the other section.

In most states, the serial number and the VIN, or vehicle identification number will be the same thing.

What Does Each Digit Mean in the Serial Number? 

I get this question at least a few times every month. Fortunately, Mcgarry and Madsen designed a handy image that explains each digit in a manufactured home serial number:

 

Manufactured Home HUD Tags -what each digit represents in a manufactured home Serial number

 

  • The first three digits represent the factory where the home was built.
  • After the three digits, there are two letters that represent the state where the home was built.
  • After the state abbreviation, you have the six digits that represent the manufactured home’s serial number.
  • A double wide will use the same number but one section will be identified with an A and the other section with a B (C if it’s a triple wide) that represents each section of the home.

 

Conclusion

Buying a used mobile home is a pain in all honesty. Even after you think you’ve found the right home you have to deal with mobile home titles, inspections, appraisals, insurance, and lenders. Even cash sales are difficult.

However, it will all be worth it in the end. You will be able to live in a home you can afford without working 3 jobs to pay for!

Thank you so much for reading Mobile Home Living!

Image Source: McGarry and Madsen

43 thoughts on “Manufactured Home HUD Tags, Labels, Serial Numbers, and Data Plates”

  1. Hi Chrystal, you really have a vast amount of information and I really appreciate all of it. Awhile back I read this article and realized there was no data plate. This 1977 single wide “Buddy” has had a lot of things done to it, most of it poorly and for reasons I haven’t quite figured out. It’s been a constant neverending project. I keep telling myself, “be grateful! You have a roof over your head and it’s all mine… Good bad or indifferent”.

    Walls have been moved, 2×3’s seem to be original, but they supplemented with 2×4’s thus explaining the wavy and crooked walls. Anyway, as I began to disassemble one, I discovered my data plate hidden behind some drywall. Surprise surprise!. Unfortunately it didn’t glean much information and I was disappointed. What I really want to know is what was the original floor plan and why so many changes?! I know I will never know! I can only imagine and speculate but I’m nearly certain prior owner(s) were on drugs, had no idea what they were doing and dyslexic (nearly all light switches are upside down) but that’s the least of my problems, Well, just wanted to share with you my discovery… Lol.

    1. Hi Liz! Glad you found your data plate! It kinda sounds like your home did, in fact, have some prior owners that liked to do things they knew nothing about. It’s all fixable though! Unfortunately, it seems like the industry wants to limit any and all information to the public. They don’t release floor plans for older models for some reason.

      Best of luck on your home! I’m sure it’s a great home and you will make it even better!

  2. I have recently purchased a piece of property which has a trailer on it. I am in the process of selling the trailer and do not have a title. I have found the sticker with a partial vin number on it and the DMV has not been able to help with a partial vin. I have the HUD id number which is still on the trailer. Can HUD supply me with the vin since I have the HUD id number?

    1. Hi ALicea,

      I already answered this but my system says I didn’t so I’ll try again (sorry). You really shouldn’t need anything other than a title and your local DMV should be able to do that. Otherwise, you’re paying $150 for a certification and I really don’t think you need any of that. Just make sure the bill of sale states ‘as-is’ and you sign the title over.

      Best of luck!

    1. Hi Kandace,

      There’s not a whole lot you can do and since the home was built before 1976 I don’t think there would be a certificate of compliance. Unless you are trying to sell the home you shouldn’t need to worry about any of this, though. You would want to make sure you have a title produced through your state DMV to prove ownership (though, technically, titles are used as proof that the home could be transported on public highways).

      Start by calling your state’s DMV and tax assessors office. One of them will be able to help you. Best of luck!

  3. If a single wide 16×80 is set up on blocks or jacks (or both) what would you say is a maximum height from the ground ? I want to be able to comfortably get underneath if it needs work. I bought one in a rural area which was already set up but the ground wasn’t properly leveled. Working under the North end of the home was a real horror show. Hey ….. This is the best site I’ve ever seen about mfg homes ! 🙂

    You can delete or modify this part if you want: Would you send me a nice clear closeup of the paper data plate so I can read the fine print ? Thanks

    1. Hi Alan,

      I’m not a certified installer so this is just my opinion as a homeowner but I would say 24″ would be about the lowest I would want. I really liked being able to duck walk under the back side our home. It made repairs a lot easier!

      Sorry I can’t be any help!

  4. We recently had a mobile home painted and the painter painted over the State issued tag. We tried cleaning it off but now the numbers and letters are gone. What can we do? Do we need to order a new tag?

    1. Hi Reyna,
      I’m pretty sure that unless you plan on selling the home I wouldn’t worry about it. The tags simply prove the home was properly inspected at the factory. In order to get a new one you will have to pay and it isn’t cheap (as stated above).

      Best of luck!

    1. Yes, I understand that there is one HUD label for each section. Titling used to be the same (one title for each section but most states have changed that to just one title per home now).

  5. I was researching a home with a tag number that started ULI. I found that it stands for Underwriter’s Laboratory. The only manufacturer that used ULI was Skyline, although not all Skyline homes have a number that begins ULI. Some are numbered differently.

    1. Hi Joan,

      I had to research a lot for this post because I’m not that knowledgeable about it. I do remember reading that ULI was one of just a handful of inspection companies in the US. There is an inspector at every factory so I’d say that the numbers without ULI on it were built in a factory that had a different inspector/inspection company.

      Sorry I can’t be more help.

  6. I recently bought a Fleetwood 1680sqft double wide HUD label no. RAD965245 and RAD965246. It is on a private city lot with a block foundation. When I bought it I fixed it up and cleaned the brush and lot up to make it look nice…. the county assessor must have thought I did a good job because the property taxes more than tripled.. I am trying to find out how much the trailer cost new so I can show the assessor that it didn’t cost as much new as they say it’s worth now. Any idea where I can find that info. I’ve looked on the fleetwood web site and even call four different dealers to no avail.

    1. Hi Glen,

      I’m sorry but every home is different based on specs and location and I don’t have any way to look up your numbers. You may be able to get a range of manufactured home prices for the year your home was built from a consumer or government housing statistic site (HUD or US Census, maybe?). You may want to double check that your home is actually permanently installed – just because it has a nice skirting made of the block doesn’t necessarily mean it is installed permanently (tie downs are a more important aspect to installation). That will have a bigger impact on your taxes (at least in WV it does).

      Best of luck!

  7. Hello,

    I am trying to buy a home that the real estate agent says is a modular home. It is a Fleetwood Highland Park Model 5602L built in 1991 and on a permanent foundation (cinder block perimeter). The City officials say it is a modular home, but the bank disagrees and says it’s a manufactured home, not a modular. Is there any way to tell for sure?

    Thank you!

    1. Hi Kaye,

      Modular homes are different from manufactured homes because they must meet both local and national regulations. I’m not very knowledgeable about modulars unfortunately.

      I would suspect that your bank knows best though. They have access to the Fannie Mae DO system and from what I’ve seen that system knows everything about housing. They can type in model numbers or whatever and bring up all the info about it (all manufactured homes must be inspected and recorded by a licensed HUD agent at the factory so that info ties in with the system).

      You may find more info on that model at the Fleetwood website here.

      Best of luck – let me know what you find out.

    2. Did you find out what your home was? I am in insurance and have a several things to look at to determine. The best way is that the home would have a Deed if Modular and a Title if Manufacturer.

      1. Hi Sunshine!

        I would love to ask you a couple of questions. I’m not that knowledgeable about mobile home insurance and titling/deeding and every little bit of info can help. Would you mind if I emailed you? (I’m Crystal, the founder of Mobile Home Living by the way).

        Thanks so much for commenting!

  8. My double wide is listed as real estate, but in trying to sell this home, HUD is asking for a tag. The house has been remodeled and no papers are in the house and they put siding on the home. I have checked with my counties personal property ,and real estate offices and they have no title. Any suggestions on how to proceed to get a tag?
    Thanks, Linda

    1. Hi James,

      I’ve looked for a few minutes and I just can’t find any HUD tag or serial number that begins with ULI. I did find that ULI typically means Universal Loan Identifier in the housing world. I’m not familiar with ULI as being a factory inspection agency (which is what the first 3 letters on a regular manufactured home tag number represent). Sorry, I can’t help.

  9. I went to the DMV to find a ‘lost’ title. My parents bought this doublewide in 1996. Long story short , our names were not on the title. Found out it is registered to someone else with the same serial# since 1998. How does this happen and what to do?

    1. Hi Vicki,

      I have no idea how that could happen – it’s a new one on me! Has the taxes been paid since 1986? In my state (WV), a title is really just a certificate that states the tax was paid and the state has given the owners permission to transport the home but it is used to prove ownership. You’ll want to find out what your state requires to have the title transferred. Usually, a bill of sale will be all the proof you need.

      The DMV or the tax assessors office should be able to help. Best of luck!

  10. This is a seasoned and important article and I commend you for it. We are retired and now in Florida. Looking at the huge array of manufactured homes around Florida and have toured 4 factories to see their production. This is the first time we clearly was presented with the differences between manufactured Double-wide homes and Modular home clarification. Not one of the factories brought this to our attention.

    In fact we found one really nice double wide home with an added room and front porch finished interior. However, When we asked about it being modular the sales personal stated no it a manufactured house. he was being honest there. He failed though to explain the difference and thus I began my research between Modular and Manufactured double-wide homes so I could be an educated buyer before investing $200,000.

    As you stated it is overwhelming at times, but now even though I have been acquainted with some of the housing industry before you have provided some additions to the puzzle. Something that more people need to read before purchasing. Your article is appreciated and for your readers they need to graduate to reading and researching Appraisers evaluations of manufactured, Modular and site built homes.

    Your investment and equity depends on your knowledge and how the appraisers classify Modular (not manufactured homes) the same as site built. Modular homes have an inside hidden seal designating higher quality workmanship and resale value whether frame on or frame off.

  11. Hello I live in a 1987 Forrest park and need a a Digram drawing of the rooms and measurements of the inside of my trailer for getting a septic system put in

    1. Hi Penny,

      There are some good apps and software that will help you do that. Room Sketcher seems to be the favorite but you can Google floor plan maker and get a list of all of them.

      Best of luck!

  12. We recently bought a 2004 Holly Parks. I am trying to find their website to see if there is some warranty on the roof. Do you know if they are still around?

    1. Hi Cathy,

      It looks like Holly Parks closed. I found this: “Holly Park was part of the IBS network that is now closed. They produced great mobile homes and average modular homes. They had been increasing their focus towards modular homes which helped to increase their quality and options available to home buyers. We feel they best served mid-range home buyers. If they do reopen they would be worth a consideration.”

      Usually, homes only have a 1-year warranty. Best of luck!

  13. I recently bought a mobile home in the thumb of Michigan. The name on the unit is Academy and I was told that it was manufactured in 1969/1970. I am trying to find a manual for it, but I can’t find anything when I do an internet search on Academy Mobile Homes. Can you steer me in the right direction? Thanks for all of your help . . . your site is awesome for a new owner!!!!!!!!

    1. Hi Katie,

      It differs by state but in WV, you will pay $10 for a title search and just to be safe check your county/state’s DMV and or local record’s dept for a tax record.

      Best of luck!

  14. I recently purchased a used 1996 Norris mobile home. QWhere can i find a diagram or specs on the sewer and water lines

    1. Hi Debra,

      It’s not easy finding manuals for manufactured homes and if you do find them they likely aren’t going to have the information you want. As far as sewer goes, that information is dependent on location and local code. The supply lines will have a single inlet, usually close to your water heater under the home.

      We have a few manuals here that may help you. Water lines are fairly basic so there should be some useful information in one of the manuals.

      Best of luck!

  15. I purchased a double wide last year. Paid cash. It was built in 1985.I recently applied for a reverse mtg loan. Unfortunately have been unable to locate hud tags in or out of the house.. Found a 5 x 7 form that has been painted over in master bedroom closet It appears to have raised letters Maybe metal Could this be what I am looking for?

  16. Jennifer Turkette

    I own a 1969 Kropf double wide. So what about mobile homes like mine, that were manufactured prior to HUD standards?

    1. Hi Jennifer,

      Since your home was built in 1969 it is considered a mobile home and there were no codes or regulations required of the builders. The builders basically regulated themselves though there were some general suggestions that the mobile home association had but nothing was mandatory. There were no rules stating that data plates had to be used but a lot of state highway departments did issue titles as a certificate of transport. Buyers or transporters paid a fee to receive a certificate stating the home could be transported on the highway and people often used those as titles or certificates of ownerships.

      Kropf was a well known and liked builder. They had a few models that were known for issues but in general, they were a trusted builder. Their designs were unique which is why they are one of my favorite vintage brands.

      PS I would recommend that you have the home re-wired and new breaker box installed if you haven’t already. The products available now are far safer.

      Thanks so much!

  17. Thanks for the info! I have always wanted to know if my 1976 Artcraft was manufactured to HUD standards. 1976 is the first year they started(about half way into the year). Here the information was practically staring me in the face!
    My Data Plate was located in the master bedroom behind the door that accesses the breaker box(which is not in a closet). Thought I would mention it in case it could help someone else.
    Thanks for the awesome site!

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