Every car and light truck model year 1981 or later has a unique 17-character vehicle identification number (VIN). A VIN has many important uses, including unlocking important information about a vehicle's history.
If you are wanting to learn who the owner of a vehicle is or information about a vehicle's history and there is no vehicle tag to be found on the vehicle in question you can simply run a VIN Search and get the answers you are seeking.
The VIN # is located in a number of places on a car, but most commonly on the dashboard (you can see it through the windshield) and the driver's side door jamb sticker. On some vehicles the VIN # is also placed on the engine, hood, and other parts. The VIN # may also appear on car titles, insurance policies, service records and police reports for the vehicle.
Using the VIN number in the car buying process:
There are many things a seller may not disclose to you, such as a salvage title, flood damage or an odometer rollback. Any of these and other issues can affect the safety, performance and even value of a used car.
To make it more difficult for you to learn a vehicle's history, crooked sellers may list the wrong VIN in an online vehicle posting or may not be willing to provide the VIN at all. Scam artists may also alter the vehicle's title documents to hide potential problems.
VIN #'s also have many other important uses. For example, service shops use VIN #'s to identify the engine, transmission and brake systems installed by manufacturers so that they can properly service vehicles. Law enforcement agencies use VIN #'s to identify and recover stolen cars and car parts. Auto manufacturers use VIN #'s when they resolve safety recalls.
Vehicle History Information From VIN #'s
Characters within a VIN indicate a vehicle's year, make, model, where it was manufactured, and more. VIN decoding is the process of deciphering these details.