Free Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) Decoder & Lookup

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What does a Vehicle Identification Number look like? Where to find a Vehicle ID Number on a vehicle? How to read a VIN Number. What is a Vehicle Identification Number VIN A vehicle identification number, VIN for short, is a distinctive serial number used by automotive manufacturers to identify each individual motor vehicle.

How to Tell a Vehicle's History by the VIN The vehicle identification number is like the fingerprint of a vehicle, unique to the individual car, it can tell you a lot about the vehicle's history. Two things you must do to protect yourself before buying a used car: 1.

Decoding and Understanding Vehicle Identification Numbers / VIN's

The most common places a Vehicle ID Number can be found are: On the dash, in front of the driver, where the windshield meets the dash. Most common location on a vehicle Drivers door jam on the inside edge of the door where it latches to the frame. Second most common location In the engine compartment on the firewall. On the vehicle stats plate located under the hood somewhere in the engine compartment. On the steering column on some of the older vehicles.

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On the inside of body panels, engine, heads, frame, etc. Sometimes it can be found on the glass of some vehicles. CarMD APIs provide data on vehicle maintenance, future breakdowns, fixes for vehicle issues, repair costs, TSBs, safety recalls, and warranty information.

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Likewise, if you see an O or Q, it is probably a 0. Next, understand how a VIN is created. Each VIN is created in the same way.

How to Decode/ Read Your VIN Number

The first digit indicates the country where the car was manufactured, while the second represents the manufacturer and the third the type of vehicle. These three digits are followed by a five-digit sequence that will tell you specifics about the car including model, engine information, series, etc. The 9th digit is a security check--it has no special meaning, but it does confirm that the manufacturer has authorized the VIN for a specific car. The 10th digit tells the year associated with the car model, and the 11th the plant where the car was assembled. Finally, the last six numbers of a VIN are a serial number for the car.

This number will allow you to track exactly when your car was produced. This can be helpful if there were assembly errors between certain dates.

Decode Your VIN

Only cars manufactured between those dates will need to be fixed. Between and , VINs varied widely by manufacturer. If you have a car manufactured within this time frame, your VIN may look completely different from the standard we are used to today.