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About Vehicle Identification Numbers (VINs)

A Vehicle Identification Number, or VIN, is a unique 17-character series of letters and numbers that serves as a distinct serial number for specific cars, trucks and other vehicles.

VINs are unique automotive identifiers that help to differentiate one car from another car. These distinct sets of 17 characters reveal the details about a specific car, including manufacturer information, where it was built, model information and more.

The use of Vehicle Identification Numbers (VINs) was first adopted in 1954 and has been in the 17-character standard format since 1981. The letters I, O & Q are not used in VINs to avoid confusion with the numbers 1 & 0.

Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) Decoding

Vehicle Identification Numbers (VINs) are unique sequences of numbers and letters that can paint a detailed picture of a car that you own or one that you are thinking about buying.

Basic VIN decoding will provide general details about a specific vehicle: The year it was built, where it was built and other manufacturer information. There is also a "check digit" within a VIN that validates that a particular VIN is real and not ficticous.

A more advanced VIN decoder can provide even more specific information about a particular automobile, including: Model, engine, body style, trim and transmission details. Note: vehicle color cannot be decoded from a VIN.