Chassis Number or VIN: Explained and How it Works

What is the chassis number? What is VIN? Why are you asked these questions when dealing with an insurance company for a car or a potential car buyer? All are explained in this post.

Chassis number and Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) are both codes unique to one vehicle – an identification for vehicles that contains manufacturing data, information about the previous and the current car owner, and service records (remodeling, overhaul, and more).

The chassis number, however, is no longer in use as an identification number for most modern vehicles. Chassis number was an identifier code for vehicles manufactured before 1989 and later was changed into Vehicle Identification Number or VIN.

The VIN is composed of 17 unique digits of numbers and letters; meanwhile, the chassis number has no standard number of digits. Here’s one quick trivia, the last 6 digits of VIN is also called the chassis number.

Where can you find the chassis number or VIN?

If you are currently looking for your Vehicle Identification Number (VIN), here are ways to locate the code:

  • Check the chassis area 

The chassis number is named after the chassis part of the vehicle, where the code is written.

  • Check your paperwork

The typical place where you can find your car’s VIN is within your vehicle’s documents, including the following:

  • Title
  • Registration Card
  • Owner’s manual
  • Vehicle history report
  • Insurance documents
  • Check the dashboard

Another common and easiest place to look for is the dashboard. Check at the right on the lower-left corner of the dashboard.

  • Check the driver’s side door

The VIN is also located at the driver’s side doorjamb just below the level of the rearview mirror.

  • Check the front of the engine block

If you are unable to find any details about your VIN, try to check the engine block.

What is the chassis number or VIN used for?

As mentioned, the chassis number or VIN is unique to one car and it is permanent. The VIN or chassis number has several purposes including the following:

  • Sourcing parts
  • Assigning traffic tickets
  • Identifying the original date of manufacture and or the replacements of equipment.

The VIN is tied up with the history of the vehicle, including history reports.

Looking up a chassis number or using a VIN lookup is one of the easiest ways to know the car’s history. Also, it is helpful when checking for data irregularities attached to the vehicle.

Another purpose of VIN is to find out if the vehicle you have purchased has histories of a car wreck or totaled. Also, it will help you check if the vehicle you have purchased; especially, secondhand and vintage cars from other countries is reported stolen or with cloned Vehicle Identification Number.

Final Thoughts

Learning about your vehicle’s history before purchasing is essential to your safety. And to do this, you need to know your VIN or chassis number.

Vehicle Identification Number or chassis number is a code unique to a vehicle. Checking its history using a lookup or a checker will help you determine if the car you have purchased, especially for vintage and secondhand vehicles, is clear and without irregularities.