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The VIN is the unique identifier for every car and truck made in the United States. This 17-digit code is similar to your social security number, except it also contains information about the make and model of your vehicle, as well as its history.

A VIN is a mandatory requirement for all vehicles manufactured in the United States starting from January 1981. It was standardized by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

If you’re looking to purchase a new or used vehicle, you may need the VIN to register the car with the Department of Motor Vehicles, apply for insurance, and make a claim on your policy. It is also an important part of the vehicle’s history, as it tells you if there are any outstanding recalls or other issues that have occurred with the vehicle. Read more

In addition to providing crucial information about your car, the VIN can help you avoid scams and frauds. It’s not uncommon for stolen cars to have been repurposed by impostors and resold on the secondhand market.

Getting the VIN of your car has never been easier!

You can find the VIN on a plate or sticker that is mounted on the dashboard near the windshield or inside the driver’s side door jamb. It can also be stamped onto the engine’s firewall.

The first digit identifies the country where the vehicle was originally sold, followed by a series of letters that identify the manufacturer. Generally, these codes start with the letter A or B. The second digit identifies the type of vehicle, and the third digit is usually the model year.

Once you have your VIN, you can check its history using several online tools. Many are free, so they’re a great way to learn more about your vehicle before you buy.

A number of these websites use a system called weighted multiple insertions (WMIs), which multiply numbers in specific positions within the VIN by an appropriate number of times and then divide that result by 11. In position one, for instance, the weight would be eight.

Depending on the position, the WMI might contain the country where the vehicle was manufactured, a letter to indicate the manufacturer, and a number to identify the year it was produced.

It’s also possible to find a VIN that was generated before 1980. This is because prior to 1981, VINs had a variety of formats and there was no code regulation in place.

To determine the VIN of a vehicle before 1981, you can look at its registration card and owner’s manual. You can also contact the previous owner of the vehicle if it’s a used car and ask them for their records.