A Vehicle Identification Number, or VIN as it is commonly known, is the identifying code for each specific automobile. Every car has a unique and different code. Think of it as your individual car’s fingerprint, as no two vehicles have the same VIN.
Your car’s Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) comes in handy for multiple reasons. You can’t apply for tags and registration or getting insurance without it. Whatever the reason, you need to be able to find your vehicle's VIN number. Even if you do not need your VIN today, it is always good to know where you can find it if you need it. It is typically located in two places within a vehicle.
- You can locate your VIN Number on the driver's side where the windshield meets the dashboard. There should be a little metal plate that has the VIN and other information specific to your car.
- You can also find it where the door latches, also known as the doorpost on the driver side door.
Now that you have found it, do you know what all those characters mean? Don’t feel bad, most of us don’t. It is a great way to find out about the vehicle's history and unlocks information on where it has been and what it has done.
The VIN refers to the specific car manufacturer, specifications, and unique features. It can be used to track insurance coverage, registrations, recalls, warranty claims, and even thefts. Your vehicle identification number (VIN) consists of 17 digits. Older model cars (prior to 1981) have 11-17-character variations.
There are some interesting identifiers in the 17 characters. If you look closer at them, you can find out all you need to know about any particular car.
- 1 CHARACTER - The first character in the VIN tells you in which country the vehicle was built.
- 2-3 CHARACTERS - The second and third characters tell you who the manufacturer is as well as the vehicle type.
- 4-8 CHARACTERS – The fourth through eighth characters show you a portrait of the vehicle. The brand, body type, engine size, and restraint information can all be found here.
- 9 CHARACTER – This is the security code that identifies the VIN as being checked and authorized by the manufacturer.
- 10 CHARACTER – This is the model year of the car.
- 11 CHARACTER – This character indicates which plant assembled the vehicle.
- 12-17 CHARACTERS – The last six characters in the VIN are the serial numbers of the vehicle.
Each VIN is so unique, and it lets you unlock important information about that particular vehicle along with its history. You will use the VIN for all documents and transactions with your vehicle, so It is always good to know where it is and what kind of information it holds.
If you are looking to buy a pre-owned or new car, the VIN can help you decide on just the right car for you based on its history. I would love to help you find your next car, so contact me when you’re ready! Drive safely!