A Vehicle Identification Number, also known as a VIN number follows a vehicle throughout its existence. It’s quite similar to the Social Security Number (SSN) issued to Americans.

A unique code comprising of a mixture of numbers and capital letters gets assigned to every vehicle in the United States. Like an SSN, the VIN serves a specific purpose. It verifies the vehicle is the right vehicle when car owners receive parking tickets, renew their car tags, and when they apply for car insurance.

After 1981, VIN numbers are 17-digits.

Are you wondering how to find a VIN number on a car? Keep reading for a complete guide.

How to Find a VIN Number on a Car in Your Possession?

The quickest way to find a VIN number is to look inside the vehicle. Here is a list of common locations or try this page.


Inside the vehicle on the driver’s side, there is a metal plate with the VIN number. It’s mounted to the dashboard close to the windshield.

Car Frame

The VIN number is sometimes located on the car frame. The location is the wheel well on the left side of the car.

Driver Side Door

Another VIN number on a car location is inside the driver’s side door. Open the door and look towards the middle edge.

Engine Block

Most car owners are not familiar with the mechanics of a car. You may be surprised to know the VIN number is located on the engine block.

Locating a VIN Number on Paperwork

There are several pieces of paperwork that list your VIN number. The most common is your vehicle registration and car title. Here are a few you may not consider.

Vehicle Repair Receipts

Every time you take your car to a repair shop, they enter the Vin Number in their system. In most cases, the information is listed on the printout you receive with the receipt.

Vehicle Insurance

Insurance companies must verify they are protecting the right vehicle. Look at your insurance card or policy.

Vehicle Loan Documents

The lender for your auto loan needs the VIN number to protect their interest. Pull out the loan documents to find a VIN number on a car you financed.

Agencies to Help Find the VIN Number

There are three agencies that have your VIN number on file. Try these as a last result.

  • Department of Motor Vehicles
  • Dealership where purchased
  • Vehicle manufacturer

Hopefully, it won’t get this far. In instances where you no longer own the vehicle or have the paperwork, these places can help if you were once the car owner.

Have You Located the VIN for your Auto?

We hope this list was helpful in how to find a VIN number on a car. There are many reasons why you would need this information and having it at your disposal can make life easier.

The VIN number comes in handy when selling your car. Check-out our guides on buying and selling a vehicle for more useful tips.