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June 21, 2022

Tracking Down Your Vehicle Identification Number (VIN): A Step-by-Step Guide

Find your Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) quickly and easily with this step-by-step guide. Learn where to look for your VIN number and why it's important to keep a copy. Keep your vehicle information up to date and secure with our helpful tips.

Magnifying glass searching for a car's Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)
Written by

Matthew Oliver

Tracking down your vehicle identification number (VIN): A step-by-step guide

Your Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) is a unique 17-digit code that is assigned to every vehicle manufactured. This number serves as a key identifier for your vehicle and is used by car manufacturers, dealerships, insurance companies, and government agencies to track information about your vehicle.

How do I find my Vin Number

If you're looking to find your VIN, there are several places to look. Here's how to find it:

  1. Check the dashboard: Look at the lower corner of your windshield on the driver's side. You should see the VIN number printed on a sticker or metal plate.
  2. Check the doorjamb: The VIN number may also be printed on a sticker or metal plate on the driver's side doorjamb.
  3. Check the vehicle registration: Your VIN number should be listed on your vehicle registration document.
  4. Check the insurance policy: Your VIN number should also be listed on your insurance policy.
  5. Check for an owner's manual: Your VIN number may be listed in the owner's manual.

Used cars and other important information

Here are other potential locations for your VIN. If you have a used car and the vehicle is from the 60s or 70s, then you can locate your vehicle's VIN Driver's Side Quarter Panel, which is the part of the vehicle where the rear door meets the trunk of the car.

You can get a free VIN check and vehicle history report through the DMV. Additionally, the DMV offers a free VIN database that you can access once you purchase the car. Much like a VIN check from the DMV, Consumer Reports and Experian offer customers vin background checks and give you information on the car's previous owners,

These reports can help identify problems the car may have, report any major accidents with the car like flooding or fires, and even identify if there are stolen parts on your motor vehicle. API also offers a VIN decoder, which helps you find what each character from your vin means.

On certain vehicles, one can also locate the VIN by the rear wheel, not the driver's side, directly above the wheel or underneath the spare tire. These are two possible locations for the VIN, but they are not a guarantee. The owner's manual is another potential location for the VIN, but again not the most common place to find it.


It's important to have your VIN number readily available in case you need to verify the information on your vehicle or if you need to make a claim with your insurance company. So, make sure to keep a copy of your VIN number in a safe place. Finding your VIN number is simple and straightforward. By following these steps, you can quickly and easily locate your VIN and have the information you need to keep your vehicle running smoothly. For more insights on car ownership, read our blog, and if you want to see if you can save money on your auto loan, get a free auto refinance quote here with RateWorks!