All vehicles have an identifying number which separates them and helps the Department of Motor Vehicles keep track of information regarding each vehicle during its lifetime. This Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) is imprinted onto the vehicle itself, most often on the left side of the dash or on the driver’s side door frame. You can read a VIN and determine pertinent information on a vehicle by decoding the single characters and set of characters that make up the 17-digit number.
Step 1 Locate the VIN on the vehicle. Look on the dash, driver’s side door frame or front of the engine block, as these are the most likely areas to find it. You can also find the VIN of a vehicle on the insurance card or policy papers, vehicle title and registration.
Step 2 Read the first character of the VIN. This character represents the country in which the vehicle was manufactured.