The VIN number on your car is important information that identifies your car, much like the Social Security number for a person.
Using a vehicle’s VIN number, you can get information about the vehicle’s manufacture, recalls in the past and present, and much more. Here’s everything you can learn from a VIN number, whether you’re just curious or you’re buying your own car.
An automotive industry serial number (VIN) identifies individual vehicles. The VIN number can provide information about the features, specifications, and manufacturer of a car. In addition to tracking safety recalls, registration histories, and liens, it can be used to track claims, thefts, and insurance coverage.
VIN numbers can be found in several places. The dashboard window on the driver’s side is the most common location. There is also a possibility that it could be in the door jamb of the driver’s side. It might be under the hood of an older car or positioned above the driver’s wheel on its front end.
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VIN Number: What Does It Mean?
VIN numbers aren’t just a collection of random letters and numbers. It is composed of six parts: the World Manufacturer Index, Manufacturer Specification Data, Check Digit, Model Year, Plant Location, and Vehicle Unique Number.
The World Manufacturer Identifier is comprised of digits 1-3
You can tell the country of origin by the first digit. As an example, American cars start with 1, 4, or 5, while Canadian cars start with 2 and Mexican cars with 3.
You can learn more about the manufacturer from the second letter. Letters can sometimes correspond to manufacturers’ names, for example, Audi for A, BMW for B, and so on. Nevertheless, this rule does not always apply since multiple car manufacturers share the same first letter. If you don’t know whether this rule applies to your model, don’t rely on it.
You can determine the type or manufacturing division of the vehicle by the third letter. The World Manufacturer Identifier or WMI code is created by this first set of three letters and numbers.
Manufacturer Specifications: Digits 4-8
The Manufacturer Specification Data section tells you how the car is built, what body type it has, what kind of restraint system it has, what kind of transmission it has, and what engine code it has. Your exact model can be pulled up by an online insurance provider or car worth estimator due to this part of the code.
Check Digit 9-11, Model Year, and Plant Location
It is possible to determine if a VIN number is valid by looking at the ninth digit. In order to calculate this number, a specialized math formula was developed by the Transportation Department.
Model year is indicated by the tenth digit.
A plant code is represented by the eleventh digit. Safety issues and recalls can be tracked by knowing the manufacturing plant where the car was built.
The 12-17th digits are the unique identifier for the vehicle
According to the date of manufacture, this part of the VIN number is sequential. When a vehicle goes through the production line, it is stamped with these digits.
How Do I Check a VIN Number for Free?
Using a high-quality VIN decoder with EpicVin, you can decode VINs in real time with verified information. A total of 40 million records of vehicles are contained in the archive, including accident records, titles, models, types, and other specifications. The service provides information from NMVTIS, the largest database in the country.
The EpicVin team strives to provide a comprehensive car report without overcharging. Using the platform, you can validate reports by year, model, engine brand, manufacturing, history, and other written details. A user can access various vehicle review records online about the purchased or to-be-purchased used car once they get past the confusing website layout.
Can You Get Personal Information from a VIN Number?
Personal information such as VINs is considered to be confidential. VIN numbers are similar to social security numbers, so you should treat them as such. It is possible for thieves to use your VIN number fraudulently if it falls into the wrong hands. Many vehicles can be registered with a single VIN.
The VIN number of a car can be accessed by anyone, but can it reveal personal information about a driver?
In both cases, yes.
According to the breakdown in the VIN number, most of the code details the manufacturing process. It’s possible, however, for someone to trace you if your name (like your registration and insurance) is linked to the VIN.
It’s not a big deal: you can search VINs to learn about other people using a few free and legitimate resources.