1. Where is my VIN (Vehicle Idendification Number)?

The VIN is located on the bottom of the driver's side windshield by the wipers. It is also on the door sill usually sitting under the bracket that the door mechanism locks onto when you close the door. On gas powered vehicles, it will be on the driver's side of the engine block.


2. Why Do I want to Check my VIN?

If you can check your vehicle's VIN you can:

  • Find out what parts fit your vehicle.
  • Make sure your insurance company has the right vehicle on your insurance.
  • Check your vehicle history using websites like Carfax and Autocheck, which pull valuable information from services like the MVR (“Motor Vehicle Report”) database that provide a vehicle's history and be less likely to buy a vehicle that has been stolen or deemed unrepairable (salvage, flood), etc.
  • Basic services need an accurate VIN, such title and registration which absolutely needs it to be correct.


3. Does the VIN tell me what color my car was? Does it tell me what options it came with?

No, it does not. That data would be with the manufacturer. The last 8 numbers of your vehicle is the serial number. That could refer the manufacturer to what that unit came with. After some time, the manufacturer may discard this information. On valuable cars, there are private (fan or collector made) registries that catalog this data for restoration and historical reasons.


4.  These numbers look hard to read and I can't get it to decode.  How do I know if I'm looking at the number "1" or the letter "l".  Or the letter "O" instead of the number "0"? I can't tell.

The letter "l" and the letter "o" are never used in a Vehicle Identification Number to prevent mistakes when reading them. When the VIN format was designed, this problem was anticipated. It's always going to be a zero or a one.


5. Is it safe to give my VIN out if I"m selling my car or looking for a part? 

Unlike your own personal information, the VIN isn't secret. That's why you can see it from the outside. Most car dealers show you the VIN so you can resesarch the car before buying, for example.


6. My VIN is shorter that 17 digits. You decoder doesn't work.

Our decoder is designed to work on vehicles after 1981, when the 17 digit format began.  You can try for these vehicles.


7. I still can't get the numbers to decode! What gives?

Be sure carefully look at the numbers. Some may still look the same. Here are some examples:

B or 8H or 8Z or 2Gor 6S or 5D or 0
M or NT or PUor 4U or VFor SY or 4


8. What is the "security code" digit?

Also known as a "Check Digit". It's the 9th character of a VIN is the verification number or letter for a calculation called a "checksum". Just like the name sounds, if all the numbers and letters on the VIN are correct, the check digit will match what is calculated for the sequence of letters and numbers in the VIN. It's simply a way the all 17 characters can be verified as being accurate should anyone think a B was an 8 or a 5 was an S, let's say. It can only be a 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 or X. If you REALLY care about how this works, go to  Vehicle identification number - Wikipedia or Vehicle Identification Numbers (VIN codes)/Check digit and have some fun.