Vehicle Identification Number

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File Format
Name Vehicle Identification Number
Released 1954

A Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) is attached to every vehicle (car, truck, etc.) currently manufactured. Such numbers were first used in 1954 and the numbering system was standardized in 1981. The VIN consists of 17 characters (numbers and letters), with particular positions having specific meanings including identifying the country of manufacture and the make, model, and year, along with an individual unique serial number. The meanings of the positions differ in the U.S. and European systems.

The position encoding the model year uses only one character, from a set of 30 letters and numbers, meaning that the code for 1980 repeats as 2010 and so on; this might cause VINs to be non-unique if different serial numbers or other parts of the code aren't used after 30 years.


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