A VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) is a unique identifying code given to a vehicle when it’s manufactured. Your car’s VIN provides a wealth of information from engine type to any accidents to product recalls. Police can even use your car’s VIN to determine if it was involved in a theft or other crime. It’s essentially your vehicle’s entire history!
So, where can you locate this crucial number when you need it? While there isn't one standard spot to locate your VIN, here are some of the most common places you’ll find it:
· Driver's side interior dashboard (you can read the number by looking through the windshield on the driver’s side of the vehicle)
· Driver's side door jamb (open the door and look underneath where the side-view mirror would be located if the door was shut)
· Under the hood (front of the engine block)
· The front end of the frame (near the container that holds windshield washer fluid)
· Rear wheel well (directly above the tire)
· Underneath the spare tire
· Vehicle registration
· Title documents
The numbers and letters that make up the 17-digit sequence can be confusing to decipher. Let's break the numbers down (don’t worry, there won’t be a quiz):
· World Manufacturer Identifier: The first three digits define the vehicle's country of origin, manufacturer, region where it was produced, and its type or manufacturing division.
· Vehicle Description: The next six digits describe the car's model, body, restraint system, transmission, engine, and fraud detector.
· Vehicle Identifier: The last eight digits indicate the car's year, manufacturing plant, and the unique serial number assigned while it's on the assembly line.