Not all VIN numbers are 17 digits long The NHTSA has required all vehicles manufactured since 1981 be assigned a 17-digit VIN number. Prior to 1981, there was no VIN standard. VIN formats, including length and encoded vehicle details, would vary across different manufacturers.

Can a VIN number be less than 17 digits?

2. Your VIN isn't 17 digits long. As of the model year (MY) 1981, the NHTSA required all vehicles manufactured for road use to be assigned a 17-digit VIN number. So, any vehicles manufactured in 1981 or later with VINs shorter than 17 characters are invalid.

Are VINs 16 or 17 digits?

A vehicle's vehicle identification number (VIN) is like its birth certificate, a unique identifier that sets it apart from all others. Older vehicle models carry 16-digit VINs, while newer VINs are made up of 17 digits/characters. By 1983, ISO Standard 3779 introduced a standard VIN system for all manufacturers.

Can a VIN be 15 digits?

DESCRIPTION: Vehicles manufactured prior to 1981 may have as few as 5 digits to as many as 13 digits. Within the standard 17 digit VIN, each digit or group of digits identifies certain aspects of the make, model, manufacturing plant, and the order it was manufactured.

Related Question Are VIN numbers always 17 digits?

What makes a VIN number invalid?

1) You may have mistyped the VIN. 2) You may have entered a VIN with invalid characters. A VIN can only contain certain letters and numbers. For example, VINs do not use the letters I, O or Q.

What year did VIN numbers go to 17 digits?

In 1981, VINs were standardized under the auspices of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration as a 17-digit string of letters and numbers.

What do the 17 digits in a VIN mean?

A VIN is composed of 17 characters (digits and capital letters) that act as a unique identifier for the vehicle. A VIN displays the car's unique features, specifications and manufacturer. The VIN can be used to track recalls, registrations, warranty claims, thefts and insurance coverage.

Can I lookup my vehicle specs by VIN number?

Go to a VIN decoder website, such as, or You can use any of these websites to decode your VIN and reveal the meaning of each character to find vehicle specs. Enter the VIN in the search box on any of these sites, then press "Enter."

How do you read a VW VIN number?

How many digits is a VIN?

Most people believe the VIN is just a series of random numbers and letters. But these characters are highly structured codes which have their own meaning. Vehicles from model year 1981 to present have a VIN made up of 17 characters (letters and numbers). The prior VIN length and format varied among vehicles.

Can a VIN number be 12 digits?

A 12-character VIN number

In some cases, the VIN you will find in the car will only contain 12 characters. The number may be shorter because the previous one was damaged or unreadable and the owner decided to replace it in accordance with applicable regulations.

Can a VIN number be 18 digits?

VIN numbers can include any digit from 0 to 9 and any letter of alphabet from A to Z, except I, O and Q. The VIN standards exclude these letters in order to forestall the possibility of confusing them with one and zero.

How do you decode a 13 digit VIN?

  • Examine the first digit of the VIN number to find the manufacturer country of origin.
  • Find the second digit in the VIN number sequence to determine the manufacturer of the vehicle.
  • Read the third character in the VIN number sequence to find out the vehicle type.
  • Can a VIN number be wrong?

    This is called a VIN mismatch, and a title that shows the wrong VIN number is usually a major red flag — usually. This is often a sign of theft or other fraudulent activity, but a minor difference could be nothing more than a simple mistake by someone long ago. There are two extremes of a VIN number mismatch.

    Do VIN numbers expire?

    This document amends 49 CFR Part 565, Vehicle Identification Number Requirements, to make certain changes in the 17-character vehicle identification number (VIN) system so that the system will remain viable for at least another 30 years.

    What characters are not allowed in a VIN?

    In 1981, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration of the United States standardized the format. It required all on-road vehicles sold to contain a 17-character VIN, which does not include the letters O (o), I (i), and Q (q) (to avoid confusion with numerals 0, 1, and 9).

    Can 2 vehicles have same VIN?

    A VIN is a unique 17-character code of letters and numbers for a particular vehicle. Much like a fingerprint, a VIN is a unique identifier throughout the life of a vehicle: No two cars have the same VIN. However, vehicles manufactured before 1981 can have VINs that vary in length between 11 and 17 characters.

    How do I decode my Australian VIN number?

  • Character 1: Shows where the vehicle manufacturer.
  • Character 2 To 3: Designates the vehicle manufacturer.
  • Character 4 To 8: Denotes the vehicle's brand, engine size, and type.
  • Character 9:
  • Character 10:
  • Character 11:
  • Character 12 To 17:
  • Car VIN# 6HGCG1659WA029633.
  • How do I find out what year my car is in South Africa?

    If you have established the VIN number of your vehicle, the year model is represented by the tenth character in the VIN. Each of the characters represents a particular year.

    What size engine do I have by VIN number?

    Your VIN number is your vehicle identification number and you can find your engine size by VIN number. In the series of numbers and letters, the tenth from the left denotes the model year and the eighth is the engine codes. Just tell the store clerk those two characters and you're in business.

    How do you decode a Chevy VIN number?

  • 1G1 = Manufacturer (Chevrolet United States)
  • J = Platform Code (Chevrolet Cavalier)
  • C = Platform Series Code.
  • 1 = Body Style (Two-Door Coupe)
  • 2 = Restraint Type.
  • 4 = Engine Type (LN2; 2.2L; Gas L4 SFI)
  • 0 = Security Code.
  • 1 = Model Year (2001)
  • What does a VW VIN number look like?

    Volkswagen Chassis numbers are 17 digits and are made up of several elements. A good example would be WVW ZZZ 3C Z 9E 334557. WVW shows the manufacturer the vehicle was produced by. ZZZ is just a filler code as all chassis number have to be 17 digits.

    What is Volkswagen VIN number?

    The Volkswagen VIN or Vehicle Identification Number is a unique 17-character code given to every Volkswagen vehicle. No two VINs in the world are identical, making it a great motor vehicle fingerprint.

    How do you tell the year of a car by the VIN number?

  • This standard applies to vehicles built in or after 1981.
  • Note: VINs do not include the letters I (i), O (o), Q (q), U (u) or Z (z), or the number 0, so that they will not be confused with similar looking numbers/letters.
  • Is Vehicle ID same as VIN?

    VIN is the abbreviation for Vehicle Identification Number. Other terms and verbiage of VIN are: Vehicle ID Number. Car ID.

    What does a VIN number look like?

    VIN is short for Vehicle Identification Number. explains that a VIN is normally printed on a single line and consists of 17 characters that are made up of both numbers and letters. If your vehicle was manufactured before 1981, your VIN number may have fewer than 17 characters.

    How do I find out the exact model of my car?

    The back of your car should have the manufacturer's name on one side and the model on the other side. Plus, the car maker's logo is usually on the front and back of your car. The make and model of the vehicle is usually located on the cover of the owner's manual. Or, it can be found within its first few pages.

    How do you read a GM VIN number?

  • 4th digit: Model platform code.
  • 5th digit: Model series code.
  • 6th digit: Body style.
  • 7th digit: Restraint type (seatbelts and airbags)
  • 8th digit: Engine type.
  • 9th digit: Check digit.
  • 10th digit: Model year.
  • 11th digit: Factory ID.
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