HOW TO: Decode a vin (Vehicle Identification Number)

HOW TO: Decode a vin (Vehicle Identification Number)

This post was most recently updated on May 18th, 2023

A vin is a unique number assigned by the manufacturer to every vehicle made. It’s important, because it’s the primary means of tracking a vehicle from production to sale. In this blog post, we will walk you through the steps necessary to decode a vin and we’ll also talk about the best vin decoder for sure. From this information, you will be able to learn more about your vehicle and where it was made. This can help you make better decisions when purchasing or leasing a car.

What is a vin?

A vin is a unique number assigned to each vehicle by the manufacturer. It consists of nine digits and can be found on the driver’s side of the car near the windshield. The first two digits are assigned by the factory, while the remaining seven digits are unique to each vehicle. The vin can also be found on a Vehicle Identification Plate (VIP) or frame that is located behind the windshield on most cars.

How to decode a vin?

The Vehicle Identification Number or vin is a six-digit number that appears on most U.S. manufactured vehicles. It is also found on title documents for those vehicles. 

Each vin begins with the letters “1,” “2,” etc., and is followed by five digits. The first two digits indicate the year of manufacture, the next three digits indicate the month of manufacture, and the last two digits indicate the day of manufacture.

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What does a vin number mean?

A Vehicle Identification Number (vin) is a unique 12 digit number assigned to every vehicle manufactured in the United States. Between 1965 and 1995, all motor vehicles sold in the U.S. were required to have a vin. The vin is often printed on a sticker located on the driver’s side of your car or truck’s dashboard. You can also find vin numbers on a registration document or title. 

The first six digits are the Manufacturer’s Serial Number, followed by four digits that represent the Vehicle Model Year. The last two digits represent the specific production run of that model year. For example, a 2008 Toyota Camry might have a vin of 1HGCC038XXX.

What is on a vin?

A vin (vehicle identification number) is a unique serial number that is assigned to each car, truck, motorcycle, or other vehicle manufactured. It consists of a series of letters and numbers and can be found on the plate on the front or rear of the vehicle. 

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), “The Vehicle Identification Number (vin) is a 12-digit alphanumeric code that uniquely identifies each passenger car, light truck, van, pickup, and minivan manufactured in the United States.” The first two digits are always the manufacturer’s code followed by a check digit. The next six digits are the Vehicle Model Year. The last four digits are the Make, Model, and Serial Number for your specific vehicle.

What are the different types of vins?

A Vehicle Identification Number, or vin, is a unique number assigned to each vehicle manufactured. It’s important to know what type of vin your car has in order to properly diagnose and repair it. There are three main types of vins: U.S., Canadian, and Mexican. Each country uses its own numbering system, so be sure to check your car’s paperwork for verification. 

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U.S.-made cars have a 4-number vin starting with the number “1.” For example, a 2008 Chevrolet Impala with the vin 1ZV3H29F26100 would have the first two numbers “1Z” and the third number “H29.” Canadian-made cars use a 5-number vin that starts with “1C.” A 2010 Honda Civic Coupe with the vin 1HGCU5J4K327965 would have the first two numbers “1H” and the last three numbers “CU5” J4K327965. 

Mexican-made cars use a 6-number vin that starts with “MM.” A 2007 Nissan Maxima with the vin JM6DS3EJG000001 would have the first two numbers “JM” and the last four numbers “DS3EJG000001.”

Where can I find a vin?

When looking for a vin, you can find them on most new cars and trucks. The vin is a long string of numbers that starts with the letter “V” and ends with the number “8”. You can also find vins on older cars and trucks by asking the dealership or manufacturer. 

To decode a vin, start by writing down the first five digits. These are the Manufacturer’s Division Number. Next, write down the next three digits. These are the Vehicle Assembly Plant (VAP) Code. Finally, write down the last six digits. These are the Vehicle Serial Number.

How to use a vin number

Vehicle Identification Numbers (vins) are a standard feature on all new cars. They help law enforcement track down stolen or lost vehicles. The vin is a 12-digit number that starts with the letter “V.” 

Here’s how to decode a vin:

1. Look for the first 3 digits of the vin. These are usually assigned to the car’s manufacturer.

2. The next 6 digits are the vehicle’s serial number. 

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3. The last 2 digits indicate the plant where the car was built.


In this How To article, we have discussed decoding a vin. A vin is essentially a unique identifier for a car or truck. This number can contain many different pieces of information, including the make, model, and year of the vehicle. By understanding how to decode a vin, you will be able to do things like track down your car or truck if it’s stolen or get servicing done on it without having to bring it into the dealership.

Sikander Zaman
writing is my profession, doing this from long time. writing for many online websites one of them is scoopearth