A vehicle identification number or VIN is the unique code that identifies each motor vehicle that is sold in the United States. There are many reasons why you will need VIN like applying for car insurance policies and registering vehicles. All you need to know where to find VINs, doing business gets easier.

Why are VIN Numbers Important?

The car manufacturers along with the government use VINs to process vehicle correct safety defects. VIN checks enable tracking of compliance with federal regulation of imported vehicles. These codes simplify the collecting data process to monitor insurance coverage. VINs are also used by law enforcement agencies, state DMVs, motor vehicle researchers, and dealerships to locate particular vehicles.

Where to find VIN Numbers?

There are several places where a vehicle VIN number is available but the most accessible place to see it on a car is from the outside at the base of the windshield on the driver’s side. You can also find it on the driver’s side door jamb. You need to open the door at where the door latches to the vehicle body.

You can also look at the trunk, engines, frames and even in the radiator support bracket. On older cars, check the front end of the car frame when you open the door. You can also find it under the hood and. For motorcycles, check the steering neck under the bike’s handlebars, the frame near the motor or the motor itself. The VIN is often also mentioned in the owner’s manual for some specific vehicles. It is also on the dealer invoice and bill of sale from the dealer and receipt from a private seller.

What does the VIN’s Number & Letter Mean?

The identification number is of 17 Characters. The first character is the country of origin. If the first character is a number, it typically means the vehicle was made in North America. Similarly, Z for Italy, Y for Sweden etc & S for the United Kingdom.

The second character tells you about the manufacturer. A stands for Audi, Alfa Romeo, Jaguar Land Rover. B stands for Doget and F includes Ford etc. The third through eighth characters are reserved for manufacturers to use. These characteristics include braking system, restraint system & body type. The ninth character is a check digit that department of transportation developed based on Einstein’s theory of the check digit. The 10th character is the vehicle’s year of manufacture, starting with B & progressing to Y for 2000.

How to do a VIN Check with a Decoder?

Once you have the 17 character VIN, use it to run a free VIN check online with the VIN decoder at websites including driving tests.org. These websites give an instant report, which includes vehicle’s make, model year, body style, make and model of the engine. But pre 1981 vehicles typically have 11 character codes and reveal less information.

Checking the VIN on the automaker’s website tells you whether the vehicle has been recalled. Website VIN databases from companies such as Consumer Reports and Experian offer VIN background checks and a vehicle’s previous owners. These reports help identify problems including damage from major accidents, fires or floods, rolled-back or malfunctioning odometers, rebuilt or salvaged vehicles, and stolen cars.

Now you know where to find the vehicle’s VIN’s which mean you are ready to sell, buy, or lease. Now you know whether the model is created in 2020 or in the later years while buying from dealers or private sellers. We suggest to check out the vehicle’s VIN to find out as much as you can about that specific car & avoid any surprises.