A Quick Guide to Your Vehicle Identification Number (VIN): What It Is and How to Find Your VIN


One of the most important pieces of information you can have about a car is its Vehicle Identification Number or VIN. This 17-digit number encodes a huge amount of information, including the make, the model, the country of origin, and much more. The VIN format is standardized throughout most of the world – nearly any on-road vehicle you can buy will have one, aside from very old vehicles or obscure foreign models. This is crucial information, and we place a priority on consumer awareness here at Grove Collision Repairs.


So, in this blog, we wanted to quickly cover why the VIN is so important, as well as providing a guide to finding your VIN if needed.


What’s in a VIN?


There is a lot of information can be encoded into a VIN. This includes:

  • Make
  • Model
  • Year of manufacture
  • State/Province/Country of origin
  • Engine type
  • Body type
  • Manufacturer information, such as plant ID
  • Serial number

All told, the VIN could be seen as equivalent to a Tax ID, or Social Security Number in America. It’s a wholly unique identifier which separates your vehicle from all the others which are superficially like it. And like a personal identifier, the VIN is used to track a vehicle’s history. Changes in ownership, accidents, and potentially even moving violations are tied to the VIN and can be looked up via public databases.


Why You Need to Know The VIN


There are plenty of reasons knowing a vehicle’s VIN is useful:

  • Factory recalls: If your vehicle has been recalled or requires mandatory maintenance its VIN will be on a list of affected vehicles. 
  • Used car sales: Always search the VIN of a used vehicle in public databases before buying, to check its accident record. Likewise, the VIN will be needed for title transferal documents.
  • Insurance: You must have the VIN to receive insurance on a vehicle.
  • Parts ordering: Having the VIN makes it easier to find factory-spec parts.

Finding The VIN


The VIN will always be visible on a vehicle at least once, and often in a few places. These are the most common:

  1. Diver’s side dashboard (under the windshield)
  2. The front end of the frame
  3. The front of the engine block
  4. Driver’s side door jam

In addition, it will also be in your insurance documents and title.


About Grove Collision Repairs


We are one of the leading single location auto body shops in Spruce Grove, AB, specializing in autobody repair, collision repairs, auto painting and  autobody work for over 40 years. Let Grove Collision Help.  Contact us for a free estimate.


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