Free VIN Automobile History Report

Understanding VIN

OVERVIEW OF THE VEHICLE IDENTIFICATION NUMBERS

The Vehicle Identification Number was originally described in ISO Standard 3779 in February 1977 and last revised in 1983. The ISO-VIN was designed to identify motor vehicles, trailers, motorcycles and mopeds and consists of three sections:

WMI – World Manufacturer Identifier, which uniquely identifies the maker of the vehicle. It occupies the first three positions of the VIN, except when a manufacturer builds less than 500 vehicles per year, in which case the third digit is always a 9 and the 12th, 13th and 14th position of the VIN are used for the second part of the WMI. The WMI is described in ISO 3780.

VDS< – Vehicle Descriptor Section. These 6 characters occupy positions 4 through 9 of the VIN and may be used by the manufacturer to identify attributes of the vehicle.

VIS- Vehicle Identifier Section. The last 8 characters of the VIN are used for the identification a of specific vehicle. The last four characters shall always be numeric.

ISO 3779 makes a provision for a code for the year in which a vehicle is built. When a manufacturer uses a year code, ISO recommends that the 10th position of the VIN is used.

The same applies to the use of a factory code. When a manufacturer uses a factory or plant code, ISO recommends that the 11th position of the VIN is used. In the VIN-code, capital letters A through Z and numbers 1 through 0 may be used, except the letters I, O and Q for obvious reasons. No signs or spaces are allowed in the VIN.

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