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Where Can You Find the Vin Number on a Car

Where Can You Find the Vin Number on a Car

The Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) is a 17-character code that uniquely identifies a vehicle.

The vin number is usually placed on a metal or plastic plate and then affixed to certain areas of the vehicle.

There are multiple locations (Some actually hidden) where you can find the vin number. they are:

LocationDetails
DashboardStamped on the driver’s side, near the windshield. Visible from outside through the windshield.
Driver’s Door JambInside the area where the door latches when it is closed, usually on a sticker or stamped into the metal.
Engine CompartmentOn the front of the engine block or on the firewall.
Spare Tire WellUsually on the driver’s side rear quarter panel, inside the well.
Inside the Driver’s Side DoorpostLocated where the door hinges meet the frame.
Transmission TunnelUnder the carpet on the transmission tunnel.
Frame Near the Windshield Washer Fluid ReservoirStamped on the frame close to where the windshield washer fluid reservoir is located.
Vehicle DocumentsPrinted on the title, registration, insurance card, and owner’s manual.
Car windowsSome vehicles receive VIN Etching at the dealership. If your car had this, you will find a number on your door windows near the bottom
Where you can find the vin number on a vehicle

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Where to Find Your Vin Number

On average, there are 3-5 locations on every car where you can find a vin number, although its common to have more. Here are the most common places to find the VIN on your car:

Dashboard

One of the easiest spots to check is on the driver’s side dashboard, near the windshield. Stand outside and look through the windshield at the corner where the dashboard meets the glass.

Driver’s Door Jamb

Open the driver’s side door and inspect the door jamb area where the door latches. The VIN is often printed on a sticker or stamped into the metal.

Engine Compartment

Yes, engines do have vin numbers. Pop the hood and check the front of the engine block or firewall. Some manufacturers stamp or affix a VIN plate here.

Spare Tire Well

The VIN may be located on the spare tire well, usually on the driver’s side rear quarter panel.

Other Locations To Find Vin Numbers

  • Inside the driver’s side doorpost
  • On the transmission tunnel under the carpet
  • Stamped on the frame near the windshield washer fluid reservoir
  • Printed on vehicle documents like the title, registration, insurance card, and owner’s manual

How to Find My Vin Without My Car

Here are the key ways to find your car’s VIN number without having the vehicle physically present:

  1. Check your vehicle title or registration documents. The VIN is printed on both of these.
  2. Look at your car insurance card or policy documents.
  3. Refer to your vehicle owner’s manual. The VIN might be noted inside.
  4. Contact your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles and request the information, as the VIN is tied to your vehicle’s registration on file.
  5. If you have previously purchased a vehicle history report like a CarFax, the VIN will be listed on that report.

Do Cars Have Hidden Vin Numbers?

Yes, cars do have hidden or confidential Vehicle Identification Numbers (VINs) in addition to the main VIN that is easily visible. These hidden VINs are often referred to as “confidential vehicle identification numbers” or “secondary VINs“.

They are usually located in hidden or hard-to-reach places on the vehicle, such as inside the frame, under the spare tire, or on the firewall inside the engine compartment

Do Vin Numbers Change?

Yes, there are several limited situations when a VIN Number changes, and they are:

  • When a car is declared a total loss and rebuilt using an entirely new frame or body
  • When a replacement part has a different vin stamped on it, some states allow re-stamping the new part with the original vin under strict procedures.
  • When the manufacturer makes an error at the time of assigning a VIN
  • For Kit cars or rebuilds that use components from multiple sources, some states allow assigning a new vin through a heavily regulated process.

Insider Tips on vin Numbers

  • If you can’t find the VIN, call the manufacturer with the make, model, and year for guidance on its specific location.
  • When buying used, carefully inspect the VIN plate and surrounding areas for signs of tampering, which could indicate the vehicle was stolen.
  • Use an OBD2 scanner to pull the VIN directly from the vehicle’s computer system for verification against physical plates/stickers.

What You Need a Vin Number For

  • Register a car
  • Get car Insurance
  • Research the value of your car (We do this at Autohitch)
  • Find the trim level of your car
  • Order Car Parts
  • Look up Service Records
  • Ordering a vehicle history report

The Types of Vehicles Assigned a Vin Number

  • Motor vehicles
  • Towed vehicles
  • Motorcycles
  • Scooters
  • Mopeds

Sources For This Article

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Picture of Steve Momot - Author

Steve Momot - Author

Steve, a seasoned expert in the automotive industry, formerly held a car dealer license in Florida. With extensive experience spanning across car trading and mechanical work, he founded Autohitch. His mission? To guide both buyers and sellers through the intricate maze of car purchasing, ensuring a seamless and informed experience. Outside of the automotive world, Steve has a passion for fishing and capturing the beauty of nature through photography.

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