July 28, 2021
As a car owner, you’ve heard the term VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) at some point in your car’s life. Most likely at the time of sale or when you take your car in for a service. In this article, we will cover what a VIN is, why it’s important to know where to find it, and how to get a new VIN number for a car.
Your VIN is a 17-digit code of numbers and letters that serve as your specific vehicle’s identity. When it is built the car is given a unique code that serves as the vehicle’s fingerprint. Below AutoCheck.com breaks down what the numbers and letters mean in each segment of the VIN.
To prevent people from accidentally misreading Q, I, and O for 1s and/or 0s, these characters are not allowed to be included in all vehicle VINs. Also, the digits found in VINs aren’t random. VINs provide information that pertains to the vehicle. It specifies the factory, and country where the car was manufactured as well as provides the year, make, model, and serial number.
As previously stated, your car’s VIN is its identity. It is basically your car’s social security number, something you really don’t want to lose. Decoding the VIN will provide you with a bunch of information about its origin. If you are interested, use AutoZone’s Vehicle VIN Lookup tool to learn more about your car. If you are buying a car that is on Craigslist, use the tool to verify that the car they are selling is legit. Learn more about tips buying from a private party in our article: How to Buy a Used Car on Craigslist
Your vehicle’s VIN plate can be in a few different places. Often, you can find a VIN number for a new car in two places on a car:
You can also refer to the manual, car title, or insurance if you are having trouble finding the VIN after checking those two places.
Anything with a motor and registered with the state will have a VIN. Motorcycles, ATVs, boats, etc. all those types of vehicles will have a VIN usually on the frame or vehicle info plate.
There are some cases where you might be wondering how to get a new VIN number plate for a car if after searching restlessly you just can’t find it. Apply with the state for a new VIN plate if it is destroyed, stolen, or unidentifiable. You will have to provide proof of the need for the replacement, though. That is key, you can’t get a new VIN plate the way you can get a new license plate.
There are a couple of ways to get a new VIN number plate for your car.
The first is the easiest, simply look at your car’s title or registration. If you are financing the car then the finance company will have the title and can provide you with the VIN.
The absolute worst-case scenario is buying a stolen car from a private seller. At that point, you would need to contact your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles for specific instructions. To verify the VIN plate has been destroyed and the car isn’t stolen an inspection is done by a police officer or DMV official. Take all recorded info with you to that inspection to help the process.
The best place to begin the process of getting a new VIN number would the DMV.Contact Us