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What is the vehicle identification number (VIN)?

The car’s vehicle identification number (VIN) is the identifying code for a
SPECIFIC automobile. The VIN serves as the car’s fingerprint,
As no two vehicles in operation have the same VIN. A VIN is composed of 17 characters (digits and capital letters)
That acts as a unique identifier for the vehicle. A VIN displays the car’s unique features,
Specifications and manufacturer. The VIN can be used to track recalls,
Registrations, warranty claims, thefts, and insurance coverage.

What if the VIN is not 17 characters long?

Double-check to make sure that you have the
Right VIN and have copied it down correctly. Once you have verified that the VIN is less than 17 characters,
The VIN is most likely from a pre-1981 vehicle.

Before 1981, VINs varied in length from 11 to 17 characters. Auto-Check can only report on vehicles that use a 17 character VIN. Therefore, information on vehicles
Manufactured before 1981 is limited.

VIN Decode Explained

What do the numbers and letters in a VIN mean?

What do the 17 digits in a VIN mean?
See the breakdown below of the meaning behind each segment of the VIN:

Where Can I Find the VIN?

The VIN can be found by looking at the
Dashboard on the driver’s side of the vehicle.
The easiest way to view it is to stand outside the vehicle on the driver’s side,
And look at the corner of the dashboard where it meets the windshield.
If the VIN cannot be found there,
Open the driver’s side door and look at the door post
(Where the door latches when it is closed). Likely, the VIN will also be displayed in this location.

See the image below:

On most passenger cars,
You may find the VIN on the front of the dashboard on the driver’s side. The best way to see it is to look through the windshield from outside the car. You may also find the VIN on the driver’s side door pillar. Open the door and look around the area where the door latches to the car. A motorcycle’s VIN is usually on the steering neck below the handlebars,
Although sometimes it’s on the motor or the frame near the motor.
A semitrailer’s VIN is located on the front part of the semitrailer on the left side.

If you can’t find the VIN on the vehicle,
You should also be able to locate it on your vehicle’s title or liability insurance documents.

Look for the VIN in these other locations:

  • Insurance card/Insurance policy
  • Vehicle title and registration

How to Decode the Vehicle Identification Number

Why the VIN Is Important

There are situations in which you will want to check a vehicle’s VIN,
Since many data registries use it to record details of the vehicle’s history.
If you’re interested in buying a used car,
You can do a VIN lookup to get the vehicle history report and find records of
Its previous owners, accidents, and repairs.
You can also find out if the manufacturer had
Ever issued a recall of the vehicle and whether those repairs were made.

Finally,
Law enforcement agencies do a VIN check to identify vehicles,
That has been stolen.

Model Year Character Codes

CodeYearCodeYearCodeYearCodeYear
A1980L1990Y2000A2010
B1981M199112001B2011
C1982N199222002C2012
D1983P199332003D2013
E1984R199442004E2014
F1985S199552005F2015
G1986T199662006G2016
H1987V199772007H2017
J1988W199882008J2018
K1989X199992009K2019

World Manufacturer Identifier (WMI): Country of Origin Character Codes

The first three characters of every VIN
Uniquely identify the manufacturer of the vehicle. This is called the
World Manufacturer Identifier or WMI code.

WMIRegionNotes
A-HAfricaAA-AH = South Africa
J-RAsia>J = Japan
KL-KR = South Korea
L = China
MA-ME = India
MF-MK = Indonesia
ML-MR = Thailand
MS = Myanmar
PA-PE = Philippines
PL-PR = Malaysia
RF-RG = Taiwan
S-ZEuropeSA-SM = United Kingdom
SN-ST, W = Germany
SU-SZ = Poland
TA-TH = Switzerland
TJ-TP = Czech Republic
TR-TV = Hungary
TW = Portugal
VA-VE = Austria
VF-VR = France
VS-VW = Spain
VX-V2 = Yugoslavia
XL-XM = The Netherlands
XS-XW = USSR
X3-X0 = Russia
YA-YE = Belgium
YF-YK = Finland
YS-YW = Sweden
ZA-ZR = Italy
1-5North America1, 4, 5 = United States
2 = Canada
3 = Mexico
6-7Oceania6A-6W = Australia
7A-7E = New Zealand
8-0South America8A-8E = Argentina
8F-8J = Chile
8X-82 = Venezuela
9A-9E, 93-99 = Brazil
9F-9J = Colombia

Also, read – Car Talk | Maintenance Tips | Driving Tips

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