Older cars vehicle identification number

It identifies your car for financing, registration and helps police track down stolen cars. Shops use the VIN to be sure they order the correct parts.

Where can I quickly find the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) on my vehicle?

Although the VIN might look like a random gathering of numbers and letters, there's a lot more to it than many people realize. On older cars, you are likely to find it on the dash panel, in the driver side door, or on the firewall.

Today's VINs can be on the dash panel, engine, frame, firewall, steering column, door, doorpost, radiator-support bracket, inner fender liner and other locations. Different manufacturers place them in different spots. In fact, some people even etch them into the car's window glass as a theft deterrent that can secure a discount on car insurance. When your VIN is etched on every window, car thieves are very likely to pass your car up.

Thieves will have a hard time reselling your car with the VIN from a stolen car written on every window.

They would have to go through the expense of replacing all those windows before they could sell the car. It's too much hassle for a car thief that could easily move on to the next car. Even before VINs were used, American car manufacturers used chassis numbers for similar purposes, beginning in In , the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration began requiring that all cars, trailers, mopeds and motorcycles use VIN numbers in a universal format.

Because VINs are formatted the same way for all cars, you can tell a lot about a car by decoding one.

Vehicle Identification Numbers (VINS)

The VIN will tell you where the car was made, who made it, what special features it may have and the unique ID of the car. The first digit is the country of origin, which means where the final touches were put on the car. The frame and chassis may be made in Mexico, but if everything is assembled in the United States, then the country of origin would be the U.

Numbers 1,4 and 5 represent the U.

What is a VIN and Where Can I Find It?

The next digit refers to the carmaker. It will be the first letter of the manufacturer's name, for example, F for Ford or D for Dodge.

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The final digit in the WMI represents the kind of car or carmaker's division. Every high volume manufacturer in the world is assigned its own WMI; If the third character of the WMI is a 9, then this indicates a low volume manufacturer with positions 12—14 in the VIN indicating the low volume ID. VINs can be decoded to identify this information so that the vehicle can be registered.


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Importing vehicles without a 17 character VIN If you are importing a vehicle that you intend to register for on—road use that was manufactured after 1 January , it will need a 17 character VIN so that the vehicle can be registered. Frequently Asked Questions I have taken my vehicle to be registered but the registering authority has declared that the VIN has not been loaded onto the system: Each week, an automated email is sent by the Department to the NAU which lists every VIN that has been issued with a Vehicle Import Approval over the last 7 days.

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This could be an administrative error on behalf of the Department or a personal error on your application form. The VIN was not structured correctly by the manufacturer in the first instance and cannot be decoded or uploaded.


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What do I do next? In the first instance, contact Vehicle Imports via email or by phone to identify the issue.

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In rare cases where there is a backlog of VINs to upload, the upload will generally be given priority. If you double check the VIN on your Vehicle Import Approval and realise an error, you will need to send back the original Vehicle Import Approval document to the Department , highlight the error and request that the approval be amended. This process can take up to 5 business days to rectify.