Where to find the VIN number on your car

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Your VIN is your car's 17-digit serial number. Here are a few places you can usually find it (sometimes without leaving your couch). If all else fails, you can always find your VIN number on the car itself in a few different places.

Your Online Ad

If your car is currently listed for sale in a marketplace, you likely entered your VIN when creating your ad. Try looking at your ad to see if your VIN is displayed.

Your Insurance Card
If your wallet and insurance card is handy, your VIN is almost always on it. If your insurance provider has a mobile app, you can usually copy your VIN in the app.
Your Online Insurance Website
Many popular insurance companies have online access and your VIN is usually displayed somewhere on your account page. Log into your insurance website and find your insurance card or policy information.
Your Manufacturer or Lender Website
Some manufacturers, like BMW, provide you with online accounts that list the cars you own. Try logging in and searching for a section like "My Garage". If you financed your car, you might be able to log into your lender's website and find your VIN there, too.
Your Car
Your VIN is in a few places on your car
Your VIN is located in a few places on your car itself. In the order of easiest to hardest to find:
  • On a sticker in the driver's door jam. Pro tip: newer smart phones will let you copy the VIN right from a photo of this sticker.
  • On a plate at the base of the windshield. The VIN plate can be seen from outside the car on the driver's side.
  • Under the hood, on the engine block. However, this is probably the least convenient location to look.
Your Registration
Your annual registration will also have your VIN and it should be in your car, probably in the glove compartment.
Your Email
You may have received an insurance quote or car repair receipt via email at some point. Try searching your email for the text "VIN" or your car's make and model ("BMW X3"). Sometimes you can get lucky.
Still Can't Find Your VIN?
That's impossible. We just told you so many places to find it. Are you sure you own a car?
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About Andrew Crowell

Andrew is an avid car enthusiast, software engineer, and business leader in the automotive and e-commerce industry. He's owned a couple Mazda Miatas, an E46 M3, a Subaru WRX STI, and a Porsche 911 Turbo.

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