A Vehicle Identification Number Vehicle Identification Number, commonly, abbreviated to abbreviated to VIN, is a unique serial number used by the automotive industry to identify individual motor vehicles.
VEHICLE IDENTIFICATION NUMBER & WORLD MANUFACTURER IDENTIFIER (WMI) CODE
Prior to 1980, there was not an accepted standard Prior to 1980, there was not an accepted standard for these numbers, so different manufacturers used for these numbers, so different manufacturers used different formats. Modern day VINs consist of 17 characters which do Modern day VINs consist of 17 characters, which do not include the letters, I, O or Q. At present, Vehicle Identification Number systems are based on two related standards, originally issued by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) in 1979 and 1980; ISO 3779 and ISO 3780, respectively.
- Compatible but somewhat different implementations of these ISO standards have been adopted by the European Union and the United States of America.
- It specifies the content and structure of VIN in order to establish, on a world-wide basis, a uniform identification numbering system for road vehicles.
- ISO 3779: Road Vehicles – VIN – Content & Structure.
- ISO 3780: Road Vehicles – WMI Code.
The first three characters uniquely identify the manufacturer of the vehicle using the World Manufacturer Identifier or WMI code. A manufacturer that builds fewer than 1000 vehicles per year uses a 9 as the third digit and the 12th, 13th and 14th position of the VIN for a second part of the identification. Some manufacturers use the third character as a code for a vehicle category (e.g., bus or truck), a division within a manufacturer, or both. For example, within 1G (assigned to General Motors in the United States), 1G1 represents Chevrolet passenger cars; 1G2, Pontiac passenger cars; and 1GC, Chevrolet trucks.