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What Is A VIN Number (Vehicle Identification Number)?
It's a number that consist of 17 characters, as originally defined by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). US regulation can be found here.

Where is the VIN number located?
On cars dashboards, driver's side door jamb stickers, and title documents.

The main purpose of the VIN number is the identification of the vehicle. It also can be used to obtain a lot other information about the vehicle:
- Vehicle history reports (available only on vehicles made after 1981):

* Accident information
* Salvage or junk status
* Flood, fire or hail damage information
* Odometer information
* Lemons
* Gray market information
* Fleet / rental vehicles
* Records of theft
* Current liens on the vehicle
* Theft information
* Car recalls

- Obtain information about the vehicle's manufacturer, manufacturing year, country or region of manufacturing, and more. The following explanation is about the VIN structure. An easier method is to use VIN decoders. Full US regulation can be found here.
- Checking if airbag deployment was reported.
- Checking if the vehicle is a destructively tested vehicle.

History Of VIN:
First VIN System: 1949 to July 1964
The VIN for cars in this period corresponds to the production serial number. The information that can be obtained is only the vehicle model.

Second VIN System: August 1964 to July 1980
The VIN for cars in this period includes the vehicle model and year, along with the serial number. The first two digits indicate the model, the third digit indicates the year, and the fourth through tenth digits indicate the serial number.
1965-1969 vehicles have a 9-digit VIN unless production exceeded 1 million, in which case the VIN is 10 digits, with the fourth digit being 1.
1970-1979 vehicles have a 10-digit VIN, with the fourth digit of 2 or 3.
1980 vehicles have a 10-digit VIN, with the third digit of A.

Third VIN System: 1981 to current models (ISO Standard 3779 February 1977 and last revised in 1983).
The VIN for cars now is a 17-digit number, which includes not only the year, model, and serial number, but also the country of manufacture, body style, engine type, restraint system, and manufacturing plant. The VIN contains three sections:
- WMI - World Manufacturer Identifier, which uniquely identifies the maker of the vehicle. It occupies the first three positions of the VIN, except when a manufacturer builds fewer than 500 vehicles per year, in which case the third digit is always a 9 and the 12th, 13th, and 14th positions of the VIN are used for the second part of the WMI.
- VDS - Vehicle Descriptor Section. These 6 characters occupy positions 4 through 9 of the VIN and may be used by the manufacturer to identify attributes of the vehicle.
- VIS - Vehicle Identifier Section. The last 8 characters of the VIN are used for the identification a of specific vehicle. The last four characters shall always be numeric.
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