Understanding Your Car’s VIN

Understand Your Cars VIN Bolt Insurance

If you have ever gone into the DMV to get your car registered or tried to get auto insurance, you know that the vehicle’s VIN is always requested. This stands for vehicle identification number and is often needed as a way to further identify your vehicle.

Here are some things to know about the VIN, where to find it, and why it is needed.


What is a VIN?

The VIN number is completely unique to your vehicle, which is where its benefit comes from. There are many cars with the same color, year, make and model, so the VIN is needed to identify your vehicle.

There are VINs on all types of vehicles, including mopeds, scooters, towed vehicles, and motorcycles. The VIN was originally used in 1954 and converted to a standard format in 1981. Each section of the numbers actually mean something. For example, the first digit is for the country of the manufacturer. The following numbers are for the make of the vehicle, type of vehicle, and background information.


What is the Main Purpose of a VIN?

Identification is the primary purpose of having a VIN. It helps people who want to buy a used car and need to know the history of a vehicle. To obtain a vehicle history report for a vehicle, you need to have the car’s VIN. A VIN is also requested when you buy auto insurance, for the same reasons. The insurance company can look up that vehicle’s service history to determine its reliability.


Where Can You Find the Car’s VIN?

The VIN can be found in your official sales or title documents, as well as on the vehicle itself. If you are not in front of your car at the moment, you can find the VIN in the insurance or registration documents, owner’s manual, or the title if you have it. Local auto repair shops and police reports should also have it. When you want to find it on the vehicle, there are a few places to check, including:

  • In the rear wheel well.
  • Inside the door of the driver side.
  • The engine block.
  • In front of the car frame.

Whether you are buying a car and want to see the report, are registering a vehicle, or getting auto insurance, you need to know the VIN. This is another good reason to have some documents outside of the car that would have it listed, such as the title, so you can access the number anywhere.