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The car's vehicle identification number (VIN) is the important identifying code for a specific vehicle. Consider the vehicle identification number as representing the car's fingerprint. It goes without saying that of course, no two cars in operation can possess the same vehicle identification number. A VIN is comprised of 17 characters filled with digits and capital letters that act as a unique identifier for the specific car. A VIN displays the car's unique features, specifications and manufacturer. The Vehicle identification number can be used to track important information. It's necessary for registration and insurance information as you can imagine, and of course, importantly vehicle theft. However, consider all the latest car recalls of the past few years, the VIN is important to help save lives also.

What if the VIN is not 17 characters long?

Double-check to ensure that you have the right VIN and have noted it down correctly. As soon as you have verified that the VIN is definitely less than 17 characters, the VIN is most likely from a pre-1981 vehicle.

You see prior to 1981, VINs varied in length from 11 to 17 characters. As a result, information on vehicles manufactured before 1981 is rather limited.

What do the numbers and letters in a VIN mean?

The VIN is a special code where each segment means something precise. The first three characters uniquely identify the manufacturer of the vehicle using the world manufacturer identifier or WMI code. Manufacturer who build fewer than 500 vehicles per year can use a 9 as the third digit, and the 12th, 13th and 14th position of the VIN for a second part of the identification. Some manufacturers utilize the third character as a code for a vehicle category such as bus or truck, or perhaps a division within a manufacturer, or even both.

Where to locate the VIN?

The VIN can be located by checking the dashboard on the driver's side of the car. The simplest way to view it is to stand outside the vehicle on the driver's side and look at the corner of the dashboard where it meets the wind-shield. If the VIN cannot be found there, open the driver's side door and look at the door post, around where the door latches when it is shut, you should be able to locate it there also.

You can obtain a free VIN check by running an Auto check. You can check for the year, make, model, style and country of assembly for your VIN. Furthermore, should you be considering a vehicle purchase of some kind, you can pull up a full, detailed history report of the vehicle. This comes in handy if you want to buy a used vehicle, perhaps it's been salvaged or had accidents, very important information for you to know.

Therefore, you can see the importance of the vehicle identification number. This unique code, including a serial number is used as a crucial standard in the automotive industry to identify individual motor vehicles, motorcycles, scooters and mopeds etc.