Free VIN decoder on used vehicles. Run our free VIN checker and search for vehicles registered in the United States and find out if there were accidents, title brands or thefts.
Enter a 17-digit VIN number above to get a full vehicle history report, including thefts, recalls, accidents, sales, titles, specifications, and more.
What is a Vehicle Identification Number?
A Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) is a unique number that identifies and describes a vehicle. It is like a finger print for a vehicle as a number cannot be shared by two or more vehicles. VIN is not only found in vehicles but also in other means of transport such as buses, motorcycles, trailers, mopeds, and trucks. The VIN contains 17 characters that includes numbers and letters without spaces in-between, however, the letters Q (q), O (o), and I (i) are not eligible due to them being confused with numerals 0 and 1.
What is the Importance of a VIN
Data registries use the VIN to record the history of a vehicle. When one wants to buy a car, a check of the VIN can be used to know the history of the vehicle, records of the vehicle’s previous owners, repairs, or accidents it might have been involved in. It is also possible to find out through a check if a vehicle had been recalled and the reason for the recall plus if the anomaly was rectified. Lastly and most importantly, VIN helps law enforcers in identification of stolen vehicles or those that have been shipped illegally to evade tax.
How to Decode a VIN
Each section of the VIN has a different meaning. It is based on 1979 and 1980 ISO standards. Each part of the VIN gives a particular piece of information concerning the vehicle; this information includes the country, year, and factory of manufacture, model and type, and serial number. VINs are displayed in a single line and it is divided into three sections.
The first three characters of the VIN indicate the World Manufacturer Identifier (WMI), that is, the country and the manufacturer. For example, all vehicles manufactures in USA have a vehicle identification number starting with 1.
The fourth to the ninth characters are referred to as the Vehicle Descriptor Section (VDS) which include the vehicle type, whether the vehicle contains air bags, types of safety belts fitted, number of doors, and the class of car.
The tenth to the seventeenth characters are the Vehicle Identifier Section (VIS) that makes it possible to identify a specific vehicle but may also include type of engine and accessories. This is also the part that contains the model year and the place of manufacture.
Model Year Character Codes
Where is the VIN Number Located
A vehicle’s registration book displays the VIN in the “E” field. The field is a requirement for a vehicle to be registered hence it should always be filled. Always make sure that the VIN in the registration book is the same as that on the nameplate.
A VIN number may also be found on body elements such as near the front passenger seat, the pillar’s bottom section, near the front door hinges, or on the firewall. It is also visible on the vehicle’s dashboard on the driver’s side where it connects to the windshield. The vehicle identification number is strategically placed to be readable on the outer side of the vehicle.
The benefits of using the VIN Decoder
Do not make the costly mistake of buying another persons problem. Use our free VIN Decoder and get a full history report before buying!
Enter a 17-digit VIN above to get a full vehicle history report, including thefts, recalls, accidents, sales, titles, specifications, and more.
Check for accidents
Around 6.0 million automobile accidents are reported by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration - every year
Check for title brands
Title brands include flood, hail-damage, and salvage titles.
Check for special purposes
Make sure your car was not used as taxi, rental or police-car.
Check for thefts
Use our VIN decoder to check for an active theft or previously recovered theft record.