HOME -Vehicle Identification Number

Car History Reports

VIN Search

VIN Decoders


Lemon Law Info


Auto Recall

VIN Information

Understanding VIN

VIN Details

VIN History

State Transportation Web Sites

VIN Europe

VIN Code Law

VIN Glossary

VIN and Auto Theft

Deter Auto Theft

VIN and Flood Damage

Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) - by State

About Us


Free VIN Decoder Search

Our Free Online VIN decoder can look up detailed vehicle information like:
  • Car Manufacturer (All major models supported - Ford, GM, Toyota, Honda, many more)

  • Model Year (Over 30 years of data analyzed - Years 1980 - 2010)

  • Body Type (Passenger Car, Truck, Van, etc)

  • Vehicle Options (Over 50 different categories like - Air Conditioning, Anti-Lock Brake System, Cruise Control)

Enter your VIN number and the visual security code to complete your search.

(View Example)
Enter Security Code:

Every vehicle made has its own unique vehicle identification number, also called a VIN for short. This is equivalent to a persons DNA in many ways. The numbers are a code with each number or letter signifying something about that particular car. No two VIN numbers are the same. The purpose of the vehicle identification number is to keep a record of not only what type of car it is and specific manufacture information, but also to track ownership and any damage that may be done to a car.

Whenever a car is serviced or an insurance claim is filed, the information all gets recorded by your cars VIN. It is through this information that people can now track their cars history or track the history of a car they are thinking of buying. Basically, through the VIN, all information about the car is recorded from when it was coming off the assembly line to any damage it has sustained since being built. Tracing a VIN used to be available only to agencies such as law enforcement and insurance companies but now it is available to everyone.

Your car’s VIN (if your car was made after 1981) contains 17 numbers and letters. There are no letters “I” or “O” so there is no confusion with the numbers 1 and 0. The vehicle identification number has three sections.

The first section is the WMI, which is the world manufacturer identification. The second section is the VDS or the vehicle description section and the third is the VIS, which is the vehicle identification section. This is the general breakdown of the meanings of the numbers and letters in the sequence:

The first character in the VIN identifies where the car was made and can be either a number or a letter. 1 and 4 mean the United States, J is for Japan and so forth. The second character refers to the manufacturer. These too can be letters or numbers (for instance, Chrysler is “C” and Buick is “4”.) The third character is the vehicle type.

The next five characters describe everything from the engine type, body style and restraint system. The ninth number is an accuracy check, which is determined by the Department of Transportation based on a mathematical formula. The last eight characters describe the model year; the assembly plant and the twelfth to seventeenth characters are the actual serial number of the vehicle.

Since every VIN is unique, tracing a car history is easy. The VIN is used when a title is made for the car and also when you get insurance. Since every repair is recorded under your car’s VIN, it basically has its own “medical record,” so to speak. It is through this system that people can now check the history of a car before they buy it. They can find out if it has been in an accident, fire or water damaged. It can also be determined how many repairs have been made on the car for whatever reasons. This takes a lot of guesswork out of buying a car.


Vehicle Identification Number - VIN Numbers
Copyright  © 1999-