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How to Obtain a Car's Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)

A car's Vehicle Identification Number is the car equivalent of human DNA -- it uniquely identifies it. Here are some places to look for your car's VIN.


  • Step 1: Check the dash Look for the number in the lower left of your dashboard, in front of your steering wheel and visible through the windshield.
  • TIP: This is the first place you should look if your car was manufactured after 1968.
  • Step 2: Check the engine block Open the hood and check the front of the engine block. The VIN will be etched into the block.
  • Step 3: Check the frame Look for your VIN at the front of the car's frame, near the windshield washer fluid container.
  • Step 4: Check the wheel well Get the VIN from the rear wheel well, directly above the tire.
  • Step 5: Check the doorjamb Examine the doorjamb on the driver's side, below where the rear-view mirror would be if the door were closed.
  • Step 6: Check the doorpost Look for the VIN at the door post on the driver's side, near the door latch.
  • Step 7: Check under the spare tire Check for the VIN underneath the spare tire.
  • Step 8: Call a dealership Call a dealership or the car's manufacturer if all else fails and ask them where the VIN is located on your car's make and model. If you can't find it in any other place, they will be able to tell you where it's located.
  • FACT: Although VIN numbers are now standardized, prior to 1981, manufacturers used any number they wanted.

You Will Need

  • Car
  • Dashboard
  • Engine block
  • Frame
  • Wheel well
  • Doorjamb
  • Doorpost
  • Spare tire
  • Dealership
  • Car manufacturer

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