At Alfa Auto Glass the first question we ask all our customers is: What is your VIN?

What Does VIN Mean?

VIN is an abbreviation for “Vehicle Identification Number”.

Note: People will say “VIN Number” as a matter of habit, but you can just say “VIN”.

Every vehicle sold in the United States of America has a VIN. That goes for:

  • Buses
  • Cars
  • RVs
  • Semi Trucks
  • SUVs
  • Trucks
  • Vans

Some of the vehicles we service like forklifts and yard spotters use serial numbers instead. However, some yard spotters may have VINs.

Where Can I Find My Vin?

There are usually multiple locations / places where you can find your VIN:

  • Sales paperwork you got from the dealership
  • Pink slip
  • On your vehicle registration paperwork
  • On your vehicle insurance paperwork (possibly)
  • On the inside driver-side door frame (near the car floor)
  • You can usually find it right below your windshield. It tends to be on the driver’s side

vins are found under windshield

VINs are usually found under the windshield (driver’s side). There may be a rectangular view hole.

vin located on driver side door frame

You can probably find your VIN on your door frame.

How Many Characters Is A VIN?

VINs have 17 characters these days. Prior to 1981 car makers had their own formats so you will find VINs with less than 17 characters.

Do Import Cars Have VINs?

Yes, they do.

Every vehicle that’s going to be sold in the United States is going to have a VIN. Now, there might be cases where the import vehicle is very old and was sold before VIN was in place.

When Did VIN Start?

VINs started in the United States of America in 1954. In 1981 NHTSA standardized the VIN system to the current 17-character format.

Why Does Alfa Auto Glass Need Your VIN?

Your vehicle VIN helps us identify the glass parts we need to procure in order to do a replacement service. So if you need a new windshield or window, we’ll need your VIN to make sure we get the right parts. By having your VIN it reduces the chance of getting the wrong part.

The NHTSA VIN Decoder

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has a nice tool that will decode any VIN. You can enter a VIN and it will tell you:

  • The Manufacturer
  • Vehicle Type
  • Model Year
  • Make (Brand)
  • Body Class
  • Series
  • Number of Cylinders
  • Engine Model
  • Engine Manufacturer
  • Drive Type
  • Primary Fuel Type
  • Engine Brake (HP)
  • Engine Displacement
  • Airbag Data

VIN decoder data

VIN Decoder Data

Useful Links & Resources