This post has been republished with updates since its original publish date in April 2012
Jan 22 2016
Dec 19 2012
Since 1981 the global vehicle manufacturing community has used the 17 digit VIN as a means to uniquely identify a vehicle. The VIN captures basic vehicle information as part of an international standard, and in some countries, like the US, it is used to capture additional data. In the US, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, or NHTSA, is tasked with regulating the information the VIN must capture, how it is assigned and to whom. Some of the many benefits of the VIN system include being able to identify and recall vehicles with safety issues, track vehicle's accident and maintenance history, and identify vehicles that have been stolen.