A vehicle identification number (VIN) (also called a chassis number or frame number) is a unique code, including a serial number, used by the automotive industry to identify individual motor vehicles, towed vehicles, motorcycles, scooters and mopeds, as defined in ISO 3779 (content and structure) and ISO 4030 (location and attachment).
VINs were first used in 1954 in the United States.From 1954 to 1981, there was no accepted standard for these numbers, so different manufacturers used different formats.
In 1954, at the request of the US government, US car manufacturers and the Automobile Manufacturers Association were involved in the creation of the new, standardized vehicle identification numbering system named the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) with an agreed upon digit sequence and concealed chassis markings of this VIN. Up to that time, states used the engine number to register and title cars and trucks which became a problem if the engine was replaced, which was fairly common at the time.[ citation needed ]
In 1981, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration of the United States standardized the format.It required all on-road vehicles sold to contain a 17-character VIN, which does not include the letters O (o), I (i), and Q (q) (to avoid confusion with numerals 0, 1, and 9).
There are vehicle history services in several countries that help potential car owners use VINs to find vehicles that are defective or have been written off.
There are at least four competing standards used to calculate the VIN.
Modern VINs are based on two related standards, originally issued by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) in 1979 and 1980: ISO 3779and ISO 3780, respectively. Compatible but different implementations of these ISO standards have been adopted by the European Union and the United States.
The VIN comprises the following sections:
|ISO 3779||World manufacturer identifier||Vehicle descriptor section||Vehicle identifier section|
| European Union |
more than 500 vehicles/year
|World manufacturer identifier||Indication of "the general characteristics of the vehicle"||Indication that provides "clear identification of a particular vehicle"|
| European Union |
500 or fewer vehicles/year
|World manufacturer identifier||9||Indication of "the general characteristics of the vehicle"||Indication that provides "clear identification of a particular vehicle"|
| North America |
more than 2,000 vehicles/year
|World manufacturer identifier||Vehicle attributes||Check digit||Model year||Plant code||Sequential number|
|North America |
2,000 or fewer vehicles/year
|World manufacturer identifier||9||Vehicle attributes||Check digit||Model year||Plant code||Manufacturer identifier||Sequential number|
The first three characters uniquely identify the manufacturer of the vehicle using the world manufacturer identifier or WMI code. A manufacturer who builds fewer than 1,000 vehicles per year uses 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 use the third character as a code for a vehicle category (e.g., bus or truck), a division within a manufacturer, or both. For example, within 1G (assigned to General Motors in the United States), 1G1 represents Chevrolet passenger cars; 1G2, Pontiac passenger cars; and 1GC, Chevrolet trucks.
The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) in the US assigns WMIs to countries and manufacturers.
The first character of the WMI is the region in which the manufacturer is located. In practice, each is assigned to a country of manufacture, although in Europe the country where the continental headquarters is located can assign the WMI to all vehicles produced in that region (Example: Opel/Vauxhall cars whether produced in Germany, Spain, the United Kingdom or Poland carry a WMI of W0L because Adam Opel AG is based in Rüsselsheim, Germany).
In the notation below, assume that letters precede numbers and that zero is the last number. For example, 8X–82 denotes the range 8X, 8Y, 8Z, 81, 82, excluding 80.
|A–H = Africa||J–R = Asia||S–Z = Europe||1–5 = North America||6–7 = Oceania||8–9 = South America|
AA-AH South Africa
SA-SM United Kingdom
1, 4, or 5 United States
The fourth to ninth positions in the VIN are the vehicle descriptor section or VDS. This is used, according to local regulations, to identify the vehicle type, and may include information on the automobile platform used, the model, and the body style. Each manufacturer has a unique system for using this field. Most manufacturers since the 1980s have used the eighth digit to identify the engine type whenever there is more than one engine choice for the vehicle. Example: for the 2007 Chevrolet Corvette, U is for a 6.0-liter V8 engine, and E is for a 7.0-liter V8.
One element that is inconsistent is the use of position nine as a check digit, compulsory for vehicles in North America and China, but not Europe.
The 10th to 17th positions are used as the vehicle identifier section or VIS. This is used by the manufacturer to identify the individual vehicle in question. This may include information on options installed or engine and transmission choices, but often is a simple sequential number. In North America, the last five digits must be numeric.
One consistent element of the VIS is the 10th digit, which is required worldwide to encode the model year of the vehicle. Besides the three letters that are not allowed in the VIN itself (I, O and Q), the letters U and Z and the digit 0 are not used for the model year code. The year code is the model year for the vehicle.
The year 1980 was encoded by some manufacturers, especially General Motors and Chrysler, as "A" (since the 17-digit VIN was not mandatory until 1981, and the "A" or zero was in the manufacturer's pre-1981 placement in the VIN), yet Ford and AMC still used a zero for 1980. Subsequent years increment through the allowed letters, so that "Y" represents the year 2000. 2001 to 2009 are encoded as the digits 1 to 9, and subsequent years are encoded as "A", "B", "C", etc.
On April 30, 2008, the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration adopted a final rule amending 49 CFR Part 565, "so that the current 17 character vehicle identification number (VIN) system, which has been in place for almost 30 years, can continue in use for at least another 30 years", in the process making several changes to the VIN requirements applicable to all motor vehicles manufactured for sale in the United States. There are three notable changes to the VIN structure that affect VIN deciphering systems:
Compulsory in North America and China is the use of the 11th character to identify the assembly plant at which the vehicle was built. Each manufacturer has its own set of plant codes.
In the United States and China, the 12th to 17th digits are the vehicle's serial or production number. This is unique to each vehicle, and every manufacturer uses its own sequence.
A check-digit validation is used for all road vehicles sold in the United States and Canada.
When trying to validate a VIN with a check digit, first either (a) remove the check digit for the purpose of calculation or (b) use a weight of zero (see below) to cancel it out. The original value of the check digit is then compared with the calculated value. If the calculated value is 0–9, the check digit must match the calculated value. If the calculated value is 10, the check digit must be X. If the two values do not match (and there was no error in the calculation), then there is a mistake in the VIN. However, a match does not prove the VIN is correct, because there is still a 1/11 chance that any two distinct VINs have a matching check digit: for example, the valid VINs 5GZCZ43D13S812715 (correct with leading five) and SGZCZ43D13S812715 (incorrect with leading character "S"). The VINs in the Porsche image, WP0ZZZ99ZTS392124, and the GM-T body image, KLATF08Y1VB363636, do not pass the North American check-digit verification.
Transliteration consists of removing all of the letters, and replacing them with their appropriate numerical counterparts. These numerical alternatives (based on IBM's EBCDIC) are in the following chart. I, O, and Q are not allowed in a valid VIN; for this chart, they have been filled in with N/A (not applicable). Numerical digits use their own values.
|A: 1||B: 2||C: 3||D: 4||E: 5||F: 6||G: 7||H: 8||N/A|
|J: 1||K: 2||L: 3||M: 4||N: 5||N/A||P: 7||N/A||R: 9|
|N/A||S: 2||T: 3||U: 4||V: 5||W: 6||X: 7||Y: 8||Z: 9|
S is 2, and not 1. There is no left-alignment linearity.
The following is the weight factor for each position in the VIN. The 9th position is that of the check digit. It has been substituted with a 0, which will cancel it out in the multiplication step.
Consider the hypothetical VIN 1M8GDM9A_KP042788, where the underscore will be the check digit.
With a check digit of X, the VIN 1M8GDM9A_KP042788 is written 1M8GDM9AXKP042788.
A VIN with straight-ones (seventeen consecutive 1s) has the nice feature that its check digit 1 matches the calculated value 1. This is because a value of one multiplied by 89 (sum of weights) is 89, and 89 divided by 11 is 8 with remainder 1⁄11; thus 1 is the check digit. This is a way to test a VIN-check algorithm.
The VIN is marked in multiple locations; normally in the lower corner of the windshield on the driver’s side, under the bonnet next to latch, at the front end of the vehicle frame, and inside the door pillar on the driver’s side.On newer vehicles VINs may be optically read with barcode scanners or digital cameras, or digitally read via OBD-II. There are smartphone applications that can pass the VIN to websites to decode the VIN.
The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) assigns the WMI (world manufacturer identifier) to countries and manufacturers. The following list shows a selection of world manufacturer codes.
|ADM||General Motors South Africa|
|ADN||Nissan South Africa (Pty) Ltd|
|DA1 DA4||Egypt||Arab American Vehicles Company|
|DAA||Fiat Auto Egypt Industrial Co|
|DAB||BMW Egypt SKD|
|J8B||Japan||Isuzu Motor Co/Chevrolet|
|JAA JAL JAM||Isuzu|
|JDA JD1||Daihatsu Motor Co. Ltd.|
|JF1 JF2 JF3||Subaru - Fuji Heavy Industries|
|JHD JHF JHH||Hino|
|JL5||Mitsubishi FUSO Truck & Bus Corp|
|JM0||Mazda for Oceania export|
|KL1 KL2 KLA||South Korea||Daewoo/GM Korea|
|KMA||Asia Motors Co Inc|
|KNA KNC KNE||Kia|
|KNM||Samsung Motors Inc|
|L1C||China||Hubei Huawei Special-Purpose Automobile|
|L2C||Chery Jaguar Land Rover|
|LDN||South East Motor Co Ltd|
|LFA||Ford Lio Ho Motor Co Ltd|
|LGW||Great Wall ( Havel)|
|LJD||Dongfeng Yueda Kia|
|LJU||Shanghai Maple Automobile Co.|
|LPA||Changan PSA (DS Automobiles)|
|LSG||SAIC General Motors|
|LTV||FAW Toyota (Tianjin)|
|LUX||Dongfeng Yulon Motor Co. Ltd|
|LZW||SAIC GM Wuling|
|MA3||Maruti Suzuki India Limited| Maruti| Suzuki|
|MA6||General Motors India Pvt. Ltd.|
|MA7||Hindustan Motors Ltd|
|MAJ||Ford India Ltd.|
|MAK||Honda Motor India Pvt. Ltd.|
|MAL||Hyundai Motors India Ltd|
|MAT||Tata Engineering & Locomotive Co|
|MB1||Ashok Leyland Ltd|
|MBH||Maruti Suzuki Automobiles India Limited|
|MBJ||Toyota Kirloskar Motor Pvt Ltd|
|MBK||MAN Truck & Bus India Pvt. Ltd|
|MBU||Swaraj Vehicles Limited|
|MBV||Premier Car World Pvt. Ltd|
|MBY||Asia Motor Works good vehicle Ltd|
|MC1||Force Motors Limited|
|MC2||Eicher Motors Limited|
|MC4||Dilip chhabria design pvt ltd|
|MCA||FCA India Automobiles Pvt. Ltd|
|MCB||General Motors India Pvt. Ltd.|
|MCL||International Cars And Motors Ltd|
|MD2||Bajaj Auto Ltd|
|MDH||Nissan Motor India Pvt Ltd|
|MEC||Daimler India Commercial Vehicles Pvt. Ltd.|
|MEE||Renault Nissan Automobiles Pvt Ltd|
|MH1||Indonesia||PT Astra Honda Motor|
|MM8||Mazda (Ford-Mazda AAT plant)|
|MMK||Toyota (Auto Works plant)|
|MNB||Ford (Ford-Mazda AAT plant)|
|MNK||Hino Motors Manufacturing Thailand Co Ltd|
|MPA||IMCT Isuzu Motors Company Thailand|
|MPB||Ford (FTM plant)|
|MR0||Toyota (Ban Pho and Samrong plant)|
|MR2||Toyota (Gateway plant)|
|NAG||Bahman Industrial Group|
|NFB||Pakistan||Honda Atlas Cars Pakistan Ltd|
|NLC||Turkey||Askam Kamyon Imalat Ve Tic.A.S.|
|NM1||Oyak-Renault Oto Fab AS|
|NM4||Tofas Turk Otomobil Fabrikasi AS|
|PAB||Philippines||Isuzu Philippines Corporation|
|PMK||Honda Boon Siew|
|PMV||Yamaha Hong Leong|
|RF5||Taiwan||Yulon Motor Co Ltd|
|RFD||Tai Ling Motor Co Ltd|
|RHA||Ford Lio Ho Motor Co Ltd|
|RLE||Vietnam||Isuzu Vietnam Co Ltd|
|SC6||INEOS Automotive Limited|
|SCF||Aston Martin Lagonda Limited|
|SCK||Ifor Williams Trailers|
|SDB||Talbot Motor Co Ltd|
|SFE||Alexander Dennis (North America)|
|SUP||Fabryka Samochodow Osobowych|
|TCC||Switzerland||Micro Compact Car|
|TEB||UK/Switzerland||Johnston sweeper (Bucher)|
|TW8||Portugal||General Motors De Portugal Lda|
|VF5||Iveco Unic SA|
|VSE||Santana Motor SA|
|VSK||Nissan Motor Iberica SA, Nissan Passenger & Multi-Purpose Vehicle|
|VSX||Opel Automobile Espana,SA|
|VV9||Tauro Sport Auto|
|WDC WDD WMX||DaimlerChrysler AG/Daimler AG|
|WF0||Ford of Europe|
|WKK||Karl Kässbohrer Fahrzeugwerke|
|WV1||Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles|
|WV2||Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles|
|W08||Adam Opel AG Belgium|
|W0SV||Opel Special Vehicles|
|XU1||UAZ Special Purpose Vehicles Ltd|
|XUF||General Motors Auto|
|XWB||Uzbekistán||Daewoo GM Uzbekistán|
|YT9||Koenigsegg Automotive AB|
|ZA9||Italy||Bugatti Automobili S.p.A|
|1GB||Chevrolet incomplete vehicles|
|1GD||GMC incomplete vehicles|
|2DG||Canada||Ontario Drive & Gear|
|2L9||Les Contenants Durabac|
|4S2||Isuzu Motors America Inc|
|6U9||see note below|
|7A8||NZ Transport Agency (pre-2009)|
|7AT||NZ Transport Agency (post-2009)|
|8BB||Agrale Argentina S.A|
|8G1 8GD||Chile||Automotores Franco Chilena S.A|
|8GG||General Motors Chile S.A|
|8LB||Ecuador||General Motors OBB|
|8Z1||Venezuela||General Motors Venezolana C.A.|
|93X||Souza Ramos - Mitsubishi / Suzuki|
|95P||CAOA / Hyundai|
|99J||Jaguar Land Rover|
|953||VW Trucks / MAN|
|9FC||Compañía Colombiana Automotriz S.A|
|9GC||General Motors Colmotores S.A|
Note: Vehicles to be registered in Australia without a 17 character VIN
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