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The vehicle identification number - VIN number- is located on a metal plate and is attached to the drivers side of the dash where it meets the window. The VIN allows the Department of Motor Vehicles to keep track of the vehicles registered owner. Every vehicle manufactured has a unique VIN and is the equivalent of human "DNA".

The vin sets each vehicle apart from the other vehicles out there. In recent times it has been reflected in 17 digit characters. It can be used to track recalls, registrations, warranty claims, thefts and insurance coverage. Each character or digit has a particular purpose.
This is why CLOVERLEAF INSURANCE 1-800-530-5822 needs the vehicle id number.

History of the VIN

Automobile manufacturers began stamping identifying numbers on cars and their parts in the mid 1950's . The primary purpose of this vehicle identification number (VIN) was to give an description of the vehicle. The early VINs came in a range of variations depending on the individual manufacturer at that time.

In the early 1980's the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration required all road vehicles must contain a 17 character VIN. This established the standard VIN system which major vehicle manufacturers use currently. For each vehicle rolled off the assembly line a unique number is given to each vehicle. The Vehicle Identification Number was revised in 1983. The ISO-VIN was designed to identify motor vehicles, trailers, motorcycles and mopeds.

Vehicle Identification Numbers are used to uniquely identify vehicles. Prior to 1980 there was not an accepted standard, so different manufacturers used different formats. Modern day VINs consist of 17 characters that do not include the letters I, O or Q.

How to read the VIN

  1st character- Identifies the country in which the vehicle was manufactured.
For example: U.S.A.(1or 4), Canada(2), Mexico(3), Japan(J), Korea(K), England(S), Germany(W), Italy(Z)

  2nd character- Identifies the manufacturer. For example; Audi(A),
BMW(B), Buick(4), Cadillac(6), Chevrolet(1), Chrysler(C), Dodge(B),
Ford(F), GM Canada(7), General Motors(G), Honda(H), Jaquar(A), Lincoln(L), Mercedes Benz(D), Mercury(M), Nissan(N), Oldsmobile(3), Pontiac(2or5), Plymouth(P), Saturn(8), Toyota(T), VW(V), Volvo(V).

 3rd character- Identifies vehicle type or manufacturing division.

 4th to 8th characters- VDS - Vehicle Descriptor Section. These 5 characters occupy positions 4 through 8 of the VIN and may be used by the manufacturer to identify attributes of the vehicle. Identifies vehicle features such as body style, engine type, model, series, etc.

 9th Character - The check digit "character or digit 9" in the sequence of a vehicle identification number (VIN) built beginning with model year 1981 (when the 17 character digit format was established) can best be described as identifying the VIN accuracy.

 A check digit shall be part of each vin (since 1981) and shall appear in position nine (9) of the VIN on the vehicle and on any transfer documents containing the vin prepared by the manufacturer to be given to the first owner for purposes other than resale. Thus, the vins of any two vehicles manufactured within a 30 year period shall not be identical. The check digit means a single number or letter x used to verify the accuracy of the transcription of the vehicle identification number.

After all other characters in the VIN have been determined by the manufacturer the check digit is calculated by carrying out a mathematical computation
specified. This is based on vin position, sample vin, assigned value code, weight factor and multiply assigned value times weight factors. The values are added and the total is divided by 11. The remainder is the check digit number. The correct numeric remainder - zero through nine (0-9) will appear.
However, if the remainder is 10 the letter X is used to designate the check digit value/number.

 10th character-
Identifies the model year.

 11th character- Identifies the assembly plant for the vehicle.

 12th to 17th characters- 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. Identifies the sequence of the vehicle for production as it rolled off the manufacturers assembly line. 

 

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