What Is a Vin Number and How Can I Find It?

When a baby is born in the United States, a birth certificate gets issued. It contains a unique number that’s registered with the state of birth. A Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) is the birth certificate for a car. 

Most people never ask what is a VIN number until they purchase a car and get asked the question. Usually, during a moment when someone asks for the number.

This can be at the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) when registering the car. When you’re on the phone with an insurance agent signing up for an auto insurance policy. Or when you take the car into an auto repair shop.

The one thing to remember is, every vehicle sold in the U.S. has a VIN number. If it doesn’t, it’s cause for concern. 

Keep reading to learn more about VIN numbers and where to look to find it.

What is a VIN Number Code

In case you’re wondering what are VIN numbers, the unique 17-digit code contains information about the vehicle. What’s included:

  • Where the vehicle was built
  • The manufacturer
  • The brand, engine size, and type
  • VINs security code
  • Vehicle’s model year
  • The car assembly location
  • Whether it’s a flexible fuel vehicle
  • The vehicle’s serial number

Each item has a specific location that’s identified with a mix of numbers and capitalized letters.  

Why is a Vin Number Important?

Finding a VIN number is important if you are attempting to purchase or sell a vehicle. A missing VIN number is an indication the car is stolen or may have sustained significant damage in an accident or natural disaster.

Auto maintenance and repair shops use the VIN number to register work done on the car. The same gets done by auto body shops. The information gets then entered into a CARFAX report

Sellers, buyers, dealers, and basically anyone with a vested interest in a vehicle can access the report by paying a fee. Learn more about Placas Al Instante if you find yourself unable to get information on a vehicle you’re interested in purchasing. 

Where’s the VIN Number Located?

Locating a VIN number isn’t difficult. There are several places you can look.

  • A metal plate mounted to the dashboard on the left corner of the dashboard near the windshield
  • On the engine block
  • Inside the driver’s side door
  • On your vehicle registration
  • The loan documents for the car
  • On the vehicle title
  • Printouts from an auto repair shop

It’s easier to track VIN numbers in newer vehicles makes due to digital advancements.

Don’t Lose Track of Your VIN Number

Understanding what is a VIN number is good but chances are, like your birth certificate, you’ll rarely need it. As long as the VIN number remains intact, you will be ok when the time comes to sell the vehicle.

Ensuring your VIN number is written in your auto manual is a good idea. If your car didn’t come with a manual or you lost yours, click on find your auto manual to order a replacement. 

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