V.I.N. Number Explained

Since 1981 all vehicles sold in North America, regardless of country of origin, have a 17 digit Vehicle Identification Number. Each portion of the VIN, as defined below, have a specific purpose and meaning.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 1 5 16 17

1 2 3 – World Manufacturer Identifier – First digit is a country or region code followed by manufacturer codes.

4 5 6 7 8 – Vehicle Attributes - This is the vehicle descriptor section (VDS). This is used to identify the vehicle type, and could include information on the automobile platform used, the model, and the body style. Each manufacturer has a unique system for using this field. Most manufacturers use the 8th digit to identify the engine type whenever there is more than one engine choice for the vehicle

9 – Check Digit – This digit is determined by a formula applied to the balance of the VIN. This prevents typographical errors when inputting the VIN into systems that can verify the check digit.

10 – Model Year – As the name implies, a code to indicate the model year of the vehicle. This code is being recycled on a 30 year timetable.

Code Year Code Year Code Year Code Year Code Year Code Year
A 1980 L 1990 Y 2000 A 2010 L 2020 Y 2030
B 1981 M 1991 1 2001 B 2011 M 2021 1 2031
C 1982 N 1992 2 2002 C 2012 N 2022 2 2032
D 1983 P 1993 3 2003 D 2013 P 2023 3 2033
E 1984 R 1994 4 2004 E 2014 R 2024 4 2034
F 1985 S 1995 5 2005 F 2015 S 2025 5 2035
G 1986 T 1996 6 2006 G 2016 T 2026 6 2036
H 1987 V 1997 7 2007 H 2017 V 2027 7 2037
J 1988 W 1998 8 2008 J 2018 W 2028 8 2038
K 1989 X 1999 9 2009 K 2019 X 2029 9 2039

11 – Plant Code – The assembly plant or factory where the car was built.

12 to 17 – Sequential Number – A six digit serial number for the vehicle