Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) Information
What is a VIN?
The Vehicle Identification
Number (VIN) is a unique number (consisting of numerals and letters)
assigned to a vehicle by the manufacturer primarily for registration and
identification purposes. Every vehicle manufactured since 1981 has a 17
character VIN. When decoded, each character of the VIN identifies
specifics about that particular vehicle. For example, make, model, year,
body style, engine size, etc.
Where can I find
The VIN can be found by
looking at the dashboard on the driver side of the vehicle. If the VIN can
not be found, open the driver side door and look at the door post (where
the door latches when it is closed). It is likely that the VIN will also
be displayed in this location.
the VIN is not 17 characters long?
the VIN is not 17 characters long, please double-check to make sure that
you have copied it down correctly. If the result of a second look is that
the VIN is still less than 17 characters long, the VIN is most likely from
Prior to 1981, VINs varied in
length from 11 to 17 characters. Information on vehicles manufactured
before 1981 is limited.
What Type of Information is Available
Vehicle History Reports
provides information pertaining to a vehicle's title, registration and
usage history. Each report displays the results of our comprehensive
search for: major accident damage; salvage or junk vehicles; damage from
hail, flood or fire; mileage discrepancies or odometer rollback; gray
market vehicles (vehicles manufactured for non-US markets that may not
comply with emission and/or safety standards.); lemon vehicles; vehicles
designated as rentals, taxis or fleet usage; abandoned or forfeited
vehicles; records of theft; liens that represent ownership interests or
unpaid judgments. Click
on the link above to obtain a
Vehicle History Reports.
How to Decode your VIN Number
The first three characters shall uniquely
identify the manufacturer, make and type of vehicle (with the same
exception of manufacturers that produce less than 500 vehicles).
Effectively, this is the WMI (World Manufacturer Identifier). There are
indeed examples of manufacturers who have more than one WMI that use the
third character as a code for a vehicle category (for instance buses
The second section consists of five characters
(VIN positions 4-8) and identify the attributes of the vehicle. For each
type of vehicle (passenger cars, MPV's, trucks, buses, trailers,
motorcycles, incomplete vehicles other than trailers), different
information is required. For cars, MPV's and light trucks it is required
that the first two characters of this section are alphabetic, the third
and fourth shall be numeric and the fifth alphanumeric.
The third section consists of one character
which is the check digit, calculated over the other 16 characters of the
VIN. This character can be numeric or the letter X.
The fourth VIN number guide section consists
of eight characters on positions 10-17 of the VIN. The last five will be
numeric for cars, MPV's and light trucks and the last four will be numeric
for all other vehicles. The first character represents the vehicle model
year, the second character represents the plant of manufacture. The third
through eighth characters are a sequential production number (for
manufacturers producing more than 500 vehicles per year). For other
manufacturers, the sixth, seventh and eight position represent the
sequential production number.
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and order your VIN number report.