A Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) is a unique code that identifies automobiles, motorcycles, and other motor vehicles. The VIN is typically composed of 17 characters, which can include both letters and numbers.
The structure of a VIN is standardized internationally and contains specific information about the vehicle. Let’s break down the 17-character structure of a VIN to understand its significance:
World manufacturer identifier: The first character to third characters represent the country of origin or the final assembly point, the manufacturer that built the vehicle, and the vehicle’s type or manufacturing division.
Vehicle descriptor section: The fourth to the eighth characters represent the vehicle attributes like engine size, body style, and model, while the ninth character is a check digit used to verify the accuracy of the VIN.
Vehicle identifier section: The tenth to the eleventh character represents the vehicle’s model year and the specific manufacturing plant where the vehicle was assembled. The twelfth to the seventeenth characters (digits) are the vehicle’s unique serial number assigned by the manufacturer.
By analyzing the characters within the VIN, one can gather important information. These vehicle details enable various stakeholders: law enforcement, insurance companies, and vehicle manufacturers, to track vehicles, identify recalls, and maintain accurate records.