The VIN is your vehicle’s identification number, and it is visible on some vehicles simply by approaching the windshield and peering at a small plate stamped to the dashboard. Additionally, a VIN can be determined by searching the license plate number, which is a practice we use to verify a vehicle’s history.
In the United States, the government maintains VIN records. Your local DMV branch has access to VIN data, as do a variety of other entities, including vehicle history reporting companies such as Carfax, organizations such as the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, law enforcement, and border customs agencies.
Yes! Because VIN data is not public record, providing your car’s VIN to a potential buyer, whether online or in person, is completely safe. A VIN number can only be used to obtain general information about the service records and history of your vehicle. After all, anyone can approach your car and read its VIN. Even so, there is no danger, as VIN data is not public.
VINs are decoded using a procedure known as VIN Decoding. Each vehicle is identified by a unique VIN sequence and decoding process. A shop manual or forum should contain instructions on how to decode your vehicle’s VIN.
The VIN number is typically located on the driver’s side dashboard near the base of the windshield on North American vehicles manufactured in the last few decades. The second location is just below the door latch on the driver’s side door jamb. The VIN is typically located beneath the hood of vintage vehicles on an identification plate.
Oftentimes, portions of the VIN can be found stamped on multiple components of vintage vehicles. The term “numbers matching” refers to a car whose engine, transmission, body, and other components all retain their original serial numbers.
VINs are used for a variety of purposes, including locating replacement parts, issuing traffic tickets, and determining the original equipment and date of manufacture for vintage automobiles. Insurance companies use VINs to associate coverage with a specific vehicle, and history reports such as Carfax are based on information associated with the vehicle’s VIN – not on the physical paper trail, title, or license plate number. This is because the VIN of a vehicle is permanent. Unless tampering has occurred – more on that later.
When selling a car, it is generally safe to disclose the VIN number. However, depending on how you sell your car, this practice may be beneficial or detrimental. In general, it is preferable not to disclose the VIN to anyone other than a prospective buyer or a professional dealer. However, what are the advantages and disadvantages of disclosing your VIN? Let’s take a look at all the critical details that can assist you in making an informed decision.
Is it time to finally upgrade the vehicle that has gotten you to work for the last five years? Are you planning to sell your car and use the proceeds to purchase a new greased lightning? While selling a car is not a difficult process, it is prudent to brush up on the fundamentals. Unlike your credit card number or mailing address, your vehicle’s Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) will never be that secure.
Indeed, it is visible through the windshield of the majority of vehicles and is easily accessible to any passing motorist. However, is it safe to give it to an audience while attempting to sell your car? Without a doubt, this practice has a number of advantages that can help you close a deal faster and increase the transparency of the transaction. However, there are a few uncommon but significant risks associated with advertising your VIN on the internet.
VIN cloning is an extremely difficult and illegal procedure. This occurs when someone scribbles the VIN of an unsuspecting vehicle of the same make and model that they stole, possibly in a parking lot or dealership, and uses it to alter documentation. The cloned VIN is then used to conceal theft by obtaining a legitimate VIN plate from another registered vehicle, typically in a different area. Another method of VIN cloning is to steal the VIN plate from a vehicle (most likely by cutting it out of the vehicle’s frame) and then welding it to another vehicle of the same make and model.
When purchasing a used vehicle, ensure that the VINs on the documentation and on the vehicle match. The manufacturer prints the VIN in a few locations on the vehicle, most notably on the dashboard against the base of the windshield and on the inside of the door frame. Conduct thorough research on your specific model to ensure accuracy. Because thieves are unlikely to take the welding-new-VINs approach to car theft, verifying that the numbers match is a good way to ensure the car is legitimate.