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What is Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)?

The vehicle identification number (VIN) is a unique code that is assigned to every motor vehicle when it is manufactured. The automotive industry uses the VIN to identify and track vehicles, and it allows consumers to verify a vehicle's identity and history.

Every VIN consists of 17 characters, and each character has a specific meaning. The VIN can be used to identify a vehicle's make, model, year, and country of origin. It can also be used to track a vehicle's history, such as its ownership history and whether it has been in any accidents. The VIN is usually located on the dashboard, on the driver's side door, or on the windshield. It is also printed on the vehicle's registration and insurance documents.

When buying a used car, it is important to check the VIN to ensure that the vehicle has not been stolen or damaged. You can also use the VIN to find out if the car has been recalled for any safety defects.

The VIN can be a helpful tool when buying a used car, but it is not a foolproof way to avoid buying a lemon. There have been cases of cars being sold with fake or altered VINs, so it is always important to do your research before buying a used car.

You can use the VIN to look up a vehicle's history, but you should also have the car inspected by a qualified mechanic before making a purchase.

How to apply for a B.C. assigned VIN?

To apply for a B.C. Assigned VIN, you must complete an application form and submit it to the address indicated on the form. You will also need to provide proof of ownership of the vehicle and a copy of your driver's license or other government-issued identification. 

There is a fee for this service, payable by credit card, cheque, or money order. Once your application has been processed, you will be issued a B.C. Assigned VIN must be affixed to the vehicle within 30 days of your designated inspection facility receiving your VIN tag in the prescribed manner. For more information on how to apply for a B.C. Assigned VIN, please visit the website of the Commercial Vehicle Safety and Enforcement website.

Where is the B.C. assigned VIN tag installed?

  • Cars/trucks/motorhomes: on the left-hand side of the dash, near where the windshield meets the dash.
  • Motorcycles: on the steering head tube, on the left side.
  • Trailers: on the left side of the tongue or main frame beam.
  • Toys: model year 2000 and newer vehicles used for off-road play must have an assigned VIN.

What if my VIN doesn't decode?

If your VIN doesn't decode, it may be because it is not a 17-digit VIN. If your VIN is 11 digits, it will not decode. Some earlier model vehicles only have 11 digits.

If your VIN is 17 digits and it still doesn't decode, double-check each character to make sure it is correct. If it is still not working, please get in touch with us, and we will be happy to help.

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