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VIN INFORMATION

WHAT IS A VEHICLE IDENTIFICATION NUMBER (VIN)?

A car's vehicle identification number (VIN) is the identifying code for your SPECIFIC automobile. It is your car's fingerprint.

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It sets their vehicles apart from the millions of vehicles out there. Recently the VIN is reflected by 17 digit characters. It displays a car's uniqueness and manufacturer and provides a method to trace your car from the factory to the junk yard. Your VIN can be used to track recalls, registrations, warranty claims, thefts and insurance coverage. If you want to know the history of your car visit our car vehicle identification number (VIN) service

Common locations of the vehicle identification number (VIN) vary but the following are places to look:

  • Firewall of the vehicle
  • Left hand inner wheel arch
  • Steering column
  • Radiator Support Bracket
  • Dash by windshield
  • Drivers door or post on passenger side
  • Guarantee & Maintenance Book *V
  • Vehicle documents
  • Machined Pad on front of engine
  • Component parts as listed above -eg- engine, frame, etc.
  • Later model years - most common area's of VIN:
    • Left instrumentation/dash plate by window
    • Drivers door or post
    • Firewall

OVERVIEW OF THE VEHICLE IDENTIFICATION NUMBERS

The Vehicle Identification Number was originally described in ISO Standard 3779 in February 1977 and last revised in 1983. The ISO-VIN was designed to identify motor vehicles, trailers, motorcycles and mopeds and consists of three sections:

  • WMI - World Manufacturer Identifier, which uniquely identifies the maker of the vehicle. It occupies the first three positions of the VIN, except when a manufacturer builds less than 500 vehicles per year, in which case the third digit is always a 9 and the 12th, 13th and 14th position of the VIN are used for the second part of the WMI. The WMI is described in ISO 3780.
  • VDS - Vehicle Descriptor Section. These 6 characters occupy positions 4 through 9 of the VIN and may be used by the manufacturer to identify attributes of the vehicle.
  • VIS - Vehicle Identifier Section. The last 8 characters of the VIN are used for the identification a of specific vehicle. The last four characters shall always be numeric.
  • ISO 3779 makes a provision for a code for the year in which a vehicle is built. When a manufacturer uses a year code, ISO recommends that the 10th position of the VIN is used.

The same applies to the use of a factory code. When a manufacturer uses a factory or plant code, ISO recommends that the 11th position of the VIN is used. In the VIN-code, capital letters A through Z and numbers 1 through 0 may be used, except the letters I, O and Q for obvious reasons. No signs or spaces are allowed in the VIN.

HISTORY OF THE VEHICLE IDENTIFICATION NUMBER "VIN"

In the mid 1950's American automobile manufacturers began stamping and casting identifying numbers on cars and their parts. The vehicle identification number has become referred to as the "VIN". The obvious purpose was to give an accurate description of the vehicle when mass production numbers were starting to climb in very significant numbers. Research has shown that early Vin's came in all sorts of variations which depended on the individual manufacturer at that time.

In the early 1980's the National highway Traffic Safety Administration (U.S. Dept. of Transport) required that all road vehicles must contain a 17 character VIN. This established the fixed VIN system for major vehicle manufacturers as it is known today. Thus, establishing a unique "DNA" style number for each unique vehicle which rolled off the assembly line.

  

  
 DMV - Department of Motor Vehicles
© Copyright 1999- All rights reserved
 

  
 DMV - Department of Motor Vehicles
Copyright 1999- All rights reserved