VIN Numbers and How to Decipher Them

VIN Numbers and How to Decipher Them

The Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) of a vehicle is a number that is assigned to a motor vehicle upon production. It consists of 17 characters, a combination of numbers and capital letters unique to each vehicle. Like a fingerprint or social security number, a VIN serves to identify a vehicle throughout its lifespan. VINs were first used in 1954 and have since been used on cars, trucks, motorcycles, mopeds and more.

Where Can You Find Your VIN Number?


The VIN on most cars and trucks can be found on the front of the dashboard on the driver’s side. It is most easily viewed through the vehicle’s windshield. It can also be found by opening the driver’s side door and checking the door pillar in the area where the door latches to the vehicle body. More challenging locations to find a VIN include on the front of an engine block and on older cars, the front end of the body frame.

When Are VIN Numbers Used?

VINs are used throughout the life-cycle of a vehicle beginning when it is first produced and shipped to a car dealer. They are used in maintaining inventory for car dealers and are critical in the paperwork when they are initially sold, and each ownership transfer thereafter. They are used to verify the make, model, year and other aspects of the vehicle to government agencies, the Department of Motor Vehicles and to insurance companies. They help determine a vehicle’s history and can also be used to verify that any part purchased is designed to fit a particular vehicle.

What Do the Numbers and Letters Mean?

You can decode your VIN to find out some basic information about your vehicle. VIN decoders can be found online to help decipher your VIN. VINs are designed to show the following information:

1st Character: This indicates the region where the vehicle was produced

2nd & 3rd Character: The manufacturer

4th thru 8th Characters: Shows the brand, engine size, and type

9th Character: Manufacturer security code

10th Character: Model year

11th Character: Manufacturing plant

12th -17th Character: Vehicle serial number

How VINs Protect Owners

VINs protect vehicle owners in a variety of ways, including identifying a vehicle, assuring the title is legal and correct, whether the vehicle has been involved in an insurance claim and even if it has been flooded or repaired to the point of being assigned a “salvage” title.

When acquiring vehicle insurance you will need the VIN number, which will be included on your ID cards and policy.

Your VIN assists our independent agents in securing accurate insurance quotes quickly. By having your VIN number ready when contacting us, it makes the process more efficient. It is our goal to find you the best quote for your particular vehicle. Your VIN can help us accomplish this.

Let us shop your insurance needs.

Leave a Comment

9 Ways Gas Stations Have Changed Since the 60’s

March 27, 2020

Why a Non-Profit Needs Business Insurance

March 26, 2020

Life Insurance vs Burial Insurance

March 25, 2020

VIN Numbers and How to Decipher Them

March 24, 2020

Proving Losses in a Homeowners’ Insurance Claim

March 23, 2020

Tasks Those Under 21 May Not Know How to Do

March 20, 2020

Vehicles and Business Insurance

March 19, 2020

Life Expectancy Changes Through the Years

March 18, 2020

My Neighbor’s Tree Fell on My House. Who is Responsible?

March 16, 2020

Cyber-Security Tips for Small Businesses

March 12, 2020

Do I Need That Insurance Offered at the Rental Car Counter?

March 10, 2020

Is “Bundling” Your Homeowners’ Insurance a Good Idea?

March 9, 2020

Becoming a Parent? Congrats! Now Hold On!

March 6, 2020

How a Video Security System Can Benefit Your Business

March 5, 2020

How Your Hobbies Can Affect Life Insurance Rates

March 4, 2020

How Maintenance and Homeowners’ Insurance Work Hand-in-Hand

March 2, 2020

Five U.S. Cities Growing in Popularity as Trendy Tourist Destinations

February 28, 2020

The Different Types of Insurance Companies

February 26, 2020

The World of Supercars – Driving on the Next Level

February 25, 2020

Some Surprising Ways Major Cities Got Their Names

February 21, 2020

Independent Insurance Agents and Business Insurance

February 20, 2020

How Effective is Automobile Safety Equipment?

February 18, 2020

Jewelry, Termites, and Flooding: What Your Homeowners’ Insurance May Not Cover

February 17, 2020

Classification Codes and Their Impact on Business Insurance

February 13, 2020

Six Benefits of Life Insurance

February 12, 2020

You “Auto” Keep an Eye on It: Pros & Cons of Automatic Car Insurance Payments

February 11, 2020

What Are the Odds? Chances of a Natural Disaster Hitting Your Home

February 10, 2020

Best Places to Spend Valentine’s Day

February 7, 2020

What’s the Difference Between a Contract Worker VS Employee?

February 6, 2020

How Many of Us are on Drugs? Startling Prescription Statistics

February 5, 2020

4 Misperceptions about Automobile Accidents

February 4, 2020

Six Interesting and Bizarre Museums Across the Country

January 31, 2020

What to do When Striking a Large Animal with Your Vehicle

January 28, 2020

Six Ways Your Homeowner’s Insurance May Protect You That You Weren’t Aware

January 27, 2020

Six Ways to Better Protect Your Business in the New Year

January 23, 2020

What You Should Know About Accidents on Private Property

January 21, 2020

Memorable Big Game Halftime Shows

January 17, 2020

When “Oops, sorry” Isn’t Enough.

January 16, 2020

The Four Main Players in a Life Insurance Policy

January 15, 2020

What You Should Know About Insuring a Classic Car

January 14, 2020

What Do You Collect?

January 13, 2020

Business Insurance and Your Employees

January 9, 2020

Foundations of Health Insurance

January 8, 2020

Seven Factors that Affect Your Homeowner’s Insurance Rates

January 6, 2020

Five Life Insurance Resolutions for 2020

January 1, 2020

Do You Know How Much Your Home is Worth?

December 30, 2019

When is a Business No Longer Considered Small?

December 27, 2019

When Term Life Insurance Makes the Most Sense

December 26, 2019

Away From the Theme Parks: Five Unusual Places to Visit in Florida

December 20, 2019

Why You Need Commercial Insurance Even if You Rent Your Business Space

December 19, 2019

Can You Buy Life Insurance on Someone You Don’t Know or Like?

December 18, 2019

My Friends Wouldn’t Sue Me, Would They?

December 16, 2019

“Waiver of Premium” and Other Benefits Your Life Insurance Policy May Include

December 11, 2019

Detroit is North of Canada and other US Geographic Trivia

December 6, 2019

No-Fault Insurance Basics

December 3, 2019

Odd, Unusual and Unique Things That Have Been Insured

November 28, 2019

Forgotten Sports Franchise Moves

November 22, 2019

How Do My “Toys” Affect My Insurance?

November 20, 2019

American Landmarks: Why Did They Build That There?

November 19, 2019

They Don’t Make Cars Like They Used To…and That’s a Good Thing!

November 18, 2019

Contact Us



Have A Question?

We have an answer. Call us at 1-(720) 442-1544

1940 Ionosphere St. Suite A, Longmont, Colorado 80504

1-(720) 442-1544

© Copyright 2020 CYA Insurance  |   All Rights Reserved
Site by ICA Agency Alliance

1940 Ionosphere St. Suite A, Longmont, Colorado 80504
1-(720) 442-1544

© Copyright 2020 CYA Insurance  |   All Rights Reserved
Site by ICA Agency Alliance