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The Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) is a unique code used to identify individual motor vehicles. The concept of VIN began to take shape in the 1950s as a means to track vehicles, but it wasn't until 1981 that a standardized version was adopted. Before this, manufacturers had their own systems, making it difficult to identify vehicles accurately across different brands. The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) introduced a standard format, known as ISO 3779 in 1977, which was a precursor to the more universally accepted system. By 1981, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) of the United States standardized the format to a 17-character code, devoid of characters that could be easily confused, such as "I", "O", and "Q". This format allowed for more detailed information to be encoded into the VIN, including the country of manufacture, the make and model of the vehicle, the year of production, and even specific factory information. The adoption of this system greatly facilitated the tracking and registration of vehicles, enabling more efficient recall processes and law enforcement procedures related to stolen vehicles. Over the decades, the VIN has become an essential tool for manufacturers, regulators, and customers, providing a precise identification mechanism for automobiles around the world.

Of course, if you've got a classic car or truck that doesn't help you much. You're stuck pouring over old books or web sites trying to manually decode your old, non-standard VIN. That's why we created Classic VIN Decoder. Just type your VIN into the box above and we will happily confirm the make & model of your vehicle along with any imformation that is encoded in there.

We do not store your VIN or any other information. Once you leave our site we have no record of your VIN or your vehicle. Happy cruising!