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What is a VIN and where can I find it?

Every human has a fingerprint, and every car has a vehicle identification number, or VIN, to quickly identify and pull up its information. A VIN is unique to individual vehicles. In almost every case, a VIN is stamped onto a small metal strip. This strip is located on the dashboard, near to where it meets the glass on the driver's side.

The easiest way to see this number is by looking through outside, and down at the car. Some newer cars may have the VIN in a slightly different place, and if you cannot find the VIN at all, every car has it on the inside of the door where it meets the car, and in the owner's manual.

As mentioned, a VIN can identify a vehicle, and serves an important purpose for anyone purchasing the vehicle. When you are looking into buying a used car, you can use the VIN to see a report on the vehicle. This report will detail information such as who the previous owners were, whether it has been reported stolen, and how many accidents it has been in. A VIN check may be performed through any number of websites. A car should never be missing a VIN number, and in almost all cases, the VIN will be displayed on the dashboard as mentioned above. If it is not, then you should reconsider purchasing the vehicle as it is a sign of improper conduct.

Just like a fingerprint, police officers use a VIN as a way to identify a vehicle. Within seconds, an officer can learn if a car is stolen, and if they see a VIN is covered or missing, they can assume that something is not right. The VIN knows everything reported about a car, and can help both police officers and you, make better decisions about a vehicle.