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565.6 Content requirements. Vehicle Identification Numbers VIN: 
Content requirements

Code of Federal Regulations
Title 49, Volume 5, Parts 400 to 999
Revised as of October 1, 2000
From the U.S. Government Printing Office via GPO Access
CITE: 49CFR565.6

[Page 160-162]




Sec. 565.6 Content requirements.

The VIN shall consist of four sections of characters which shall be  grouped accordingly: 

(a) The first section shall consist of three characters that occupy  positions one through three (1-3) in the VIN. This section shall  uniquely identify the manufacturer, make and type of the motor vehicle  if its manufacturer produces 500 or more motor vehicles of its type  annually. If the manufacturer produces less than 500 motor vehicles of  its type annually, these characters along with the third, fourth and  fifth characters of the fourth section shall uniquely identify the  manufacturer, make and type of the motor vehicle. These characters are  assigned in accordance with Sec. 565.7(a). 

(b) The second section shall consist of five characters, which  occupy positions four through eight (4-8) in the VIN. This section shall  uniquely identify the attributes of the vehicle as specified in Table I.  For passenger cars, and for multipurpose passenger vehicles and trucks  with a gross vehicle weight rating of 4536 kg. (10,000 lbs.) or less,  the first and second characters shall be alphabetic and the third and  fourth characters shall be numeric. The fifth character may be either  alphabetic or numeric. The characters utilized and their placement  within the section may be determined by the manufacturer, but the  specified attributes must be decipherable with information supplied by  the manufacturer in accordance with Sec. 565.7

(c). In submitting the  required information to NHTSA relating to gross vehicle weight rating,  the designations in Table II shall be used. The use of these  designations within the VIN itself is not required.

Tables I and II  follow:

Table I--Type of Vehicle and Information Decipherable

Passenger car: Line, series, body type, engine type and restraint system type.

Multipurpose passenger vehicle: Line, series, body type, engine type,  gross vehicle weight rating.

[Page 161]

Truck: Model or line, series, chassis, cab type, engine type, brake  system and gross vehicle weight rating.

Bus: Model or line, series, body type, engine type, and brake system 

Trailer, including trailer kits and incomplete trailer: Type of trailer,  body type, length and axle configuration.

Motorcycle: Type of motorcycle, line, engine type, and net brake  horsepower. 

Incomplete Vehicle other than a trailer: Model or line, series, cab  type, engine type and brake system.

Note to Table I: Engine net brake horsepower when encoded in the VIN  shall differ by no more than 10 percent from the actual net brake  horsepower; shall in the case of motorcycle with an actual net brake  horsepower of 2 or less, be not more than 2; and shall be greater than 2  in the case of a motorcycle with an actual brake horsepower greater than 

2. Table II--Gross Vehicle Weight Rating Classes

Class A--Not greater than 1360 kg. (3,000 lbs.)
Class B--Greater than 1360 kg. to 1814 kg. (3,001-4,000 lbs.)
Class C--Greater than 1814 kg. to 2268 kg. (4,001-5,000 lbs.)
Class D--Greater than 2268 kg. to 2722 kg. (5,001-6,000 lbs.)
Class E--Greater than 2722 kg. to 3175 kg. (6,001-7,000 lbs.)
Class F--Greater than 3175 kg. to 3629 kg. (7,001-8,000 lbs.)
Class G--Greater than 3629 kg. to 4082 kg. (8,001-9,000 lbs.)
Class H--Greater than 4082 kg. to 4536 kg. (9,001-10,000 lbs.)
Class 3--Greater than 4536 kg. to 6350 kg. (10,001-14,000 lbs.)
Class 4--Greater than 6350 kg. to 7257 kg. (14,001-16,000 lbs.)
Class 5--Greater than 7257 kg. to 8845 kg. (16,001-19,500 lbs.)
Class 6--Greater than 8845 kg. to 11793 kg. (19,501-26,000 lbs.)
Class 7--Greater than 11793 kg. to 14968 kg.(26,001-33,000 lbs.)
Class 8--Greater than 14968 kg. (33,001 lbs. and over)

(c) The third section shall consist of one character, which occupies  position nine (9) in the VIN. This section shall be the check digit  whose purpose is to provide a means for verifying the accuracy of any  VIN transcription. After all other characters in VIN have been  determined by the manufacturer, the check digit shall be calculated by  carrying out the mathematical computation specified in paragraphs (c)  (1) through (4) of this section. 

(1) Assign to each number in the VIN its actual mathematical value  and assign to each letter the value specified for it in Table III, as  follows:
Table III--Assigned Values

A = 1
B = 2
C = 3
D = 4
E = 5
F = 6
G = 7H = 8
J = 1
K = 2
L = 3
M = 4
N = 5P = 7
R = 9
S = 2
T = 3
U = 4
V = 5W = 6
X = 7
Y = 8
Z = 9

(2) Multiply the assigned value for each character in the VIN by the  position weight factor specified in Table IV, as follows:

Table IV-- VIN Position and Weight Factor

VIN Position 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th
Weight Factor 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 10
VIN Position 9th 10th 11th 12th 13th 14th 15th 16th 17th
Weight Factor check
9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2

(3) Add the resulting products and divide the total by 11.
(4) The numerical remainder is the check digit. If the remainder is  10 the letter ``X'' shall be used to designate the check digit. The correct  numeric remainder, zero through nine (0-9) or the letter ``X,'' shall  appear in VIN position nine (9).

(5) A sample check digit calculation is shown in Table V as follows:

Table V--Calculation of a Check Digit
VIN Position................................ 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17
Sample VIN.................................. 1 G 4 A H 5 9 H .. 5 G 1 1 8 3 4 1.
Assigned Value.............................. 1 7 4 1 8 5 9 8 .. 5 7 1 1 8 3 4 1.
Weight Factor............................... 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 10 0 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2
Multiply Assigned value times weight factor. 8 49 24 5 32 15 18 80 0 45 56 7 6 40 12 12 2

Add products: 8+49+24+5+32+15+18+80+0+45+56+7+6+40+12+12+2 = 411
Divide by 11: 411/11 = 37 4/11
The remainder is 4; this is the check digit to be inserted in position nine (9) of the VIN

(d) The fourth section shall consist of eight characters, which  occupy positions ten through seventeen (10-17) of the VIN. The last five 

(5) characters of this section shall be numeric for passenger cars and  for multipurpose passenger vehicles and trucks with a gross vehicle  weight rating of 4536 kg. (10,000 lbs.) or less, and the last four (4) characters shall be numeric for all other vehicles. (1) The first character of the fourth section shall represent the  vehicle model year. The year shall be designated as indicated in Table  VI as follows:

Table VI--Year Codes for VIN

Year Code

1980 A 1981 B 1982 C 1983 D 1984 E 1985 F
1986 G 1987 H 1988 J 1989 K 1990 L 1991 M
1992 N 1993 P 1994 R 1995 S 1996 T 1997 V
1998 W 1999 X 2000 Y 2001 1 2002 2 2003 3
2004 4 2005 5 2006 6 2007 7 2008 8 2009 9
2010 A 2011 B 2012 C 2013 D

(2) The second character of the fourth section shall represent the  plant of manufacture.

(3) The third through the eighth characters of the fourth section  shall represent the number sequentially assigned by the manufacturer in  the production process if the manufacturer produces 500 or more vehicles  of its type annually. If the manufacturer produces less than 500 motor  vehicles of its type annually, the third, fourth and fifth characters of  the fourth section, combined with the three characters of the first  section, shall uniquely identify the manufacturer, make and type of the  motor vehicle and the sixth, seventh, and eighth characters of the  fourth section shall represent the number sequentially assigned by the  manufacturer in the production process.

Courtesy of NHTSA

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