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 act 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?
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:
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). It is likely that the VIN will also be displayed in this location. See the image below:
Where Can I Find the VIN?
Look for the VIN in these other locations:
- Insurance card/Insurance policy
- Vehicle title and registration