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How to Find your VIN



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Non-vehicular sources



How to Find your VIN You may not be currently near vehicle, but you may still need to discover your vehicle identification number for some reason and when this happens there are some alternatives to explore. The vehicle identification number could be found on various documentation related to the car, such as the owner’s manual or even in insurance documents. However there is also other documentary sources such as police reports or even reports which is kept by the mechanic or a body shop repair businesses. Then there are also registration cards as well as the vehicle title, all of which is documents which should contain the vehicle identification number. Naturally if all of this should fail for some inexplicable reason then the vehicle identification number could still be located on the vehicle itself.



Finding the VIN number on your motor vehicle

In most cases the VIN number can be located on the lower left corner of the dashboard of that vehicle normally in front of the steering wheel. In fact it should be quite possible to read the number by simply looking through the windshield of your motor vehicle. However this important number can also be located on various other parts of your motor vehicle such as underneath the spare tire. It may also be located on the doorpost on the driver side of the vehicle, simply open the door and investigate this spot between the door latches and it could mostly be found somewhere in this area. It is always placed somewhere in the engine compartment on most cases relatively close to the container for the windscreen washer. On most motor vehicles it can also be found in the rear wheel well directly above the tire. Another popular place to find his number is on the front of the engine block and it is mostly quite visible simply by opening the hood. As you can see finding this number is most definitely not impossible. In the very rare occasion that you still cannot find your VIN you should refer to the manufacturer’s manual for some indication of where this number is located. The only other resources available will be the manufacturer or the dealership where the vehicle was purchased.



Keep record of your vehicles identification number

This number is really important and this is why you should always have it recorded in some safe place preferably at home because having this number available could be very useful in a variety of circumstances such as when you are registering your vehicle in a different state after being relocated and also when registering a new vehicle. Having this number handy can really help law enforcement officers to keep tabs on the movement of your motor vehicle in the event of vehicle theft. Also when the motor vehicle is sold it will be necessary to fill out the bill of sale and for this the VIN number is required. The use of vehicle identification numbers goes back all the way to 1954 and since 1981 all vehicles should have a VIN number which has at least 17 characters and this should include both letters and numbers. A lot of information is included in this number such as where the vehicle was manufactured, also its year of manufacture and the model of the vehicle. In plain terms the vehicle identification number represents the entire identity of that motor vehicle and its history and there is a lot more information available on exactly what is represented by the different numbers and letters simply by visiting a website with the relative information.



Decoding a VIN

How to Find your VIN The infographic below offers a simplified look at a VIN example (vehicles manufactured preior to 1981 might have fewer characters than today's VIN of 17 characters).



  • A: 1980 or 2010
  • B: 1981 or 2011
  • C: 1982 or 2012
  • D: 1983 or 2013
  • E: 1984 or 2014
  • F: 1985 or 2015
  • G: 1986 or 2016
  • H: 1987 or 2017
  • J: 1988
  • K: 1989
  • L: 1990
  • M: 1991
  • N: 1992
  • P: 1993
  • R: 1994
  • S: 1995
  • T: 1996
  • V: 1997
  • W: 1998
  • X: 1999
  • Y: 2000
  • 1: 2001
  • 2: 2002
  • 3: 2003
  • 4: 2004
  • 5: 2005
  • 6: 2006
  • 7: 2007
  • 8: 2008
  • 9: 2009

Country of Origin Character Codes

The 1st character in a car's vehicle identification number indicates the country in which it was manufactured. Some of the country codes include:
  • 1, 4, 5: United States
  • 2: Canada
  • 3A-37: Mexico
  • J: Japan
  • VF-VR: France
  • 9: Brazil
  • WA-W0: West Germany
  • S: Great Britian


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