Every truck, car, van, motorcycle, RV and almost everything else you can drive has a Vehicle Identification Number. While it may seem like a long string of random numbers and letters, every digit in your VIN has a meaning. Here are a few details you may not have known about that little plate stamped on the front of your dash. 

Why is my VIN important?

The VIN helps identify each and every vehicle’s make and model and in some cases, what engine it has and the trim package. As many models will offer different engine options and convenience packages there needs to be a way to know what kind of parts or accessories will fit that specific vehicle. This number also helps identify the owner of the vehicle in the event of an accident, theft, or if you’re just purchasing insurance. 

What does my VIN mean?

Every number in your VIN means something. Beginning with the first digit on the left, your VIN will tell you:

Figure 1: Where the vehicle was built

Figure 2-3: The vehicle’s manufacturer

Figure 4-8: Size and type of the engine

Figure 9: Security code authorizing the VIN by the manufacturer

Figure 10: Model year

Figure 11: Which plant the vehicle was assembled at

Figure 12-17: Serial number of the vehicle

Where can I find my VIN?

Most of the time, the VIN will be located on the front of the dash on the driver side and can be viewed from the outside of the vehicle. The number can also be found in the engine compartment, on the frame, near the spare tire or on any of the documentation for the vehicle such as the registration, title or insurance card.  

What is a vin