The HUD tag, required to be attached to a manufactured home, is important for may reasons. We have purchased, been given, or acquired “somehow” many older mobile homes that we have renovated and flipped. In order to sell these homes, we have to have a title, a VIN number and often are required to reference the HUD tag as well as the home’s data plate. So where can all this be found? And … what does any of it mean?
The tag, issued by HUD (Department of Housing and Urban Development) is a 2” by 4” plate made of metal that is attached to an exterior wall of each section of a mobile home. A single wide has one tag, and a double wide will have two tags. In general, people will refer to this as the HUD label.
This metal tag generally should be attached to the rear of the home, usually about a foot from the side and a foot up from the bottom. This has been required by HUD on every manufactured home built since June of 1976.
How Do I Identify The HUD Label?
This is typically pretty easy to do. Since the tag is silver writing over a red background with silver writing. It is sometimes referred to as the “red tag”. The official name given by HUD is the “Certification Label”.
The tags start out as red, but like a red car, they tend to fade badly over time. You might find a pink tag, or one that just looks silver, depending on how old the home and tag is. But, everything is required to be etched into the metal tag, so you should be able to read the label.
What Do The Tags Say?
Every manufactured home “red tag” that is manufactured in the U.S. all have the same paragraph that 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.”
What Is The HUD Requirement For The Tag?
According to HUD:
The certification label (also known as a HUD tag) is a metal plate that is affixed to the outside of the manufactured home. Section 328.11(b) states, “The label shall be approximately 2 in. by 4 in. in size and shall be permanently attached to the manufactured home by means of 4 blind rivets, drive screws, or other means that render it difficult to remove without defacing it. It shall be etched on a 0.32 in. thick aluminum plate. 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. Each label shall be marked with a 6 digit number which the label supplier shall furnish. The labels shall be stamped with numbers sequentially.”
What Is The Label Number That On The HUD Tag?
You will find within the first sentence of the aluminum HUD Tag a number that is etched in. There will be 3 letters, then a dash, followed by 6 numbers. This identifying number is different for every manufactured home in the country. This is known as “the certification label number”.
What it means is that the manufactured home was inspected in the factory before it left and that the home was built to all of the requirement by HUD at the date of manufacture. These laws are set by HUD in the Federal manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards Law.
- First 3 letters – These letters identify the production inspection primary inspection agency, which the Secretary shall assign.
- What a mouthful! What does it mean? Just the third party inspection agency that inspected the home at the factory.
- 6 Digit Number – This is stamped sequential by the label maker and used as an identifier for the home.
So What Identifiers Are Part Of The Manufactured Home?
This can all be very confusing. Each home will have:
- HUD Tag
- Data Plate
- Certification Number (Found on HUD Tag)
- Serial Number (Not on the tag)
- Title Issued By The State (NOT attached to the home)
- VIN number found on the title (NOT attached to the home)
Let’s try to keep things simple. There are 2 labels that are actually ATTACHED to the home at the time it leaves the factory:
- HUD Tag (Red)
- Data Plate
What Is The Data Plate?
According to HUD:
The “Data Plate” is a paper label affixed inside the home and is the size of a standard sheet of paper (8 1/2” x 11”). The Data Plate can be found:
- In a kitchen cabinet,
- An electrical panel,
- A bedroom closet,
- Inside the water heater closet,
- Or the inside of a bathroom cabinet door.
The Data Plate has maps of the United States to inform the owner of the Wind Zone, Snow Load, and Roof Load of the home; the Data Plate Will contain the following information:
- The name and address of the manufacturing plant in which the manufactured home was manufactured;
- The serial number and model designation of the unit, and the date the unit was manufactured;
- The statement: This manufactured home is designed to comply with Federal manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards in force at the time of manufacture;
- A list of the certification label(s) number(s) that are affixed to each transportable manufactured section under 3280.8;
- A list of major factory-installed equipment, including the manufacturer’s name and the model designation of each appliance;
- Reference to the roof load zone and wind load zone for which the home is designed and duplicates the maps as set forth in 3280.305c. This information may be combined with the heating/cooling certificate and insulation zone map required by 3280.510 and 3280.511. The Wind Zone Map on the Data Plate shall also contain the statement:
DATA PLATES SHOULD NEVER BE REMOVED
If you are remodeling a home and plan on replacing whatever the data plate is attached to, you need to CAREFULLY remove it and attach it to one of the other approved areas in the home.
This plate should be kept by whatever means is necessary. Without the Data Plate you may not be able to get financing on the home.
It would be advisable to place clear plastic over the Data Plate to keep it it from being destroyed.
What If The HUD Tag Or Data Plate Is Missing?
If the certification label (also known as a HUD tag) is missing from a home, the Department does not reissue labels for manufactured homes. However, the Department can issue a Letter of Label Verification for units for which it can locate the necessary historical information. The label numbers can be found on a data plate inside the home in one of three locations: on or near the main electrical panel, in a kitchen cabinet, in a bedroom closet. The data plate has a map of the United States to let the consumer know the Wind Zone, Snow Load, and Roof Load for which their home was built.
You may request a Letter of Label Verification from the Institute for Building Technology and Safety (IBTS).
You may also contact IBTS’ Label Department by phone at (866) 482-8868 or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Both the label (tags) and data plate have been removed from my home. I can’t sell/refinance my home without the HUD Label. Where can I get this information?
If the information cannot be located on or within the home, the requester should obtain previous financing paperwork for the home where this information may have been previously required and documented by a lending institution. HUD, through its contractor IBTS, might be able to provide a letter certifying the specific HUD labels (tags) that were attached to the home.
HUD Tags and Data Plates are all part of the certification process that a manufactured home goes through to ensure the owner that the home as been built in compliance with HUD standards.
It is IMPORTANT to make sure that these to identifiers remain on the home throughout the life of the dwelling. In order to get financing on the home by any owner, the information contained on these to items is necessary.