Where Can It Be Found?
On cars dashboards, driver's side door jamb stickers, and title documents.
Main purpose of VIN number is an identification of vehicle. It can be used to obtain a lot other information about the vehicle:
- Vehicle history reports (Vehicle history reports are only available on vehicles made after 1981):
* accident information
* salvage or junk status
* flood, fire or hail damage information
* odometer information
* gray market information
* fleet / rental vehicles
* records of theft
* current liens on the vehicle
* theft information
* car recalls
- obtain an information about who is the manufacturer of the vehicle, which year is manufactured, which is the country or region of the manufacturing and more. The following explanation is about the VIN structure. The easier method is to be used VIN decoders. Full US regulation can be found here. - checking if the vehicle has a deactivated air-bags. (this check is no more available).
- checking if the vehicle is a destructively tested vehicle.
History Of VIN: First VIN System: 1949 to July 1964
The VIN for cars in this period corresponds with the production serial number. The information which can be obtained is only what model the vehicle is.
Second VIN System: August 1964 to July 1980
The VIN for cars in this period includes vehicle model and year, along with the serial number. The first two digits indicate the model, the third digit indicates the year, and the fourth through tenth digits indicate the serial number.
1965-1969 vehicles have a 9-digit VIN unless production exceeded 1 million, in which case the VIN is 10 digits, with the fourth digit being 1.
1970-1979 vehicles have a 10-digit VIN, with the fourth digit of 2 or 3.
1980 vehicles have a 10-digit VIN, with the third digit of A.
Third VIN System: 1981 to current models (ISO Standard 3779 February 1977 and last revised in 1983).
The VIN for cars now is 17-digit number, which includes not only the year, model and serial number, but also the country of manufacture, body style, engine type, restraint system, and manufacturing plant. The VIN contains three sections:
- WMI - World Manufacturer Identifier, which uniquely identifies the maker of the vehicle. It occupies the first three positions of the VIN, except when a manufacturer builds less than 500 vehicles per year, in which case the third digit is always a 9 and the 12th, 13th and 14th position of the VIN are used for the second part of the WMI.
- VDS - Vehicle Descriptor Section. These 6 characters occupy positions 4 through 9 of the VIN and may be used by the manufacturer to identify attributes of the vehicle.
- VIS - Vehicle Identifier Section. The last 8 characters of the VIN are used for the identification a of specific vehicle. The last four characters shall always be numeric.
For more information visit our links page.
Most crashed cars can be rebuilt. Most flooded cars too. The Odometers can be returned. Don't buy used cars without car history checking. 25 dollars for a car history report may save you from a mistake that could cost you thousands of dollars. Remember, nothing's free.