Are you purchasing a used car? Checking the VIN will let you know if a car has damage from accidents or due to natural disasters like floods.
Looking up the VIN can also let you know if a car or its parts have been reported stolen. But if your car is ever stolen, the VIN can help ensure nobody else registers a car that belongs to you. Your VIN should be simple to find. First, if you own the car, it should be on your registration, insurance, and car title.
VIN Decoder & Lookup
However, if your VIN goes missing, report it to the police. You can also call the manufacturer and ask where it is. Typically, it will be in the same place for all models produced in the same year.
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Make sure you have the paperwork to prove the car is legally yours. Be very careful when you write down your VIN.
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It is unique to your car and if you record an error, it can lead to a lot of paperwork if you need to register your car in a new state or want to sell your car. Knowing how a VIN is created can help you accurately transcribe the number. These letters can easily be confused for a 1 or 0, so they are never used. If you see an I, it is probably a 1. Likewise, if you see an O or Q, it is probably a 0. Next, understand how a VIN is created. Each VIN is created in the same way. The first digit indicates the country where the car was manufactured, while the second represents the manufacturer and the third the type of vehicle.
These three digits are followed by a five-digit sequence that will tell you specifics about the car including model, engine information, series, etc.
Search Vehicles by VIN (Vehicle Identification Number)
This also applies to any material changes to the overall VIN plate including paintwork. The letters were actually numbers, decoded according to the following guide, which honored leader W. Once translated to serial numbers, one must still know what runs belonged to each car. From to , Chrysler used mostly all-numeric codes with some exceptions that were sequential for given models.
Some of these are described in Gerard Wilson's articles e. In , Chrysler started putting more information into their VINs, with 1 being the make e.
How to Find the Vehicle's VIN Number
In , Chrysler switched the year to the first letter it was L , and the second two places were for the car model. Government had requested that the Automobile Manufacturers Association and the auto manufacturers get together and resolve the vehicle ID system problem. With the incompatible registration systems, cars were difficult to track between states, as were stolen cars. The letter detailed an agreement to be implemented by all U.
This new-for VIN is still evolving!
Decoding VIN numbers
The modern age for Chrysler VINs began in The first digit was the model year - M for ; the second was the brand; the third was the series; and the fourth was the assembly plant, finally making its way into the VIN. The next five digits were the build number, again sequential, so that car was the first car made.
It would take decades for the company to stop using sequential numbers. The third digit was the series see below and the fourth digit was the plant, using the codes shown in ; the rest were the sequence number. This setup might have been car-only. The car lines spread out in We'll break out from later. The first seven digits are meaningful; the last 6 are just a serial number.
The 12thth numbers are a unique, nonsequential code. These applied to trucks as well as cars. See all factories. To protect the consumer from theft and possible fraud the manufacturer is required to include a "check digit" at the ninth position of the VIN. The check digit is used by the manufacturer and government agencies to verify the authenticity of the vehicle and official documentation.
The formula to use the check digit is not released to the general public. The manufacturer space moved; and the year required two spots in vehicles with a gross weight rating below 10, lb. If position 7 is numeric, the model year in position 10 is a year in ; in position 7 is a letter, then position 10 is a year from For higher-capacity vehicles, along with motorcycles, trailers, and low-speed vehicles, the year code is simply repeated in position Plant and engine codes appear to continue.