Hello! I'm Dan Lyles with Lyles Insurance. In this video, we're going to go over how to correct an invalid VIN number on your vehicle.
It only takes one digit to be off on any of the seventeen digits of a VIN number for it to come up as invalid. But the good news is, since 1981, all vin numbers have been standardized. And because of this, there are some very good clues that are there that can help us identify which digit is not correct.
Two of the three numbers that are most likely to have an error happen to be the first and second digits. And fortunately those are very easy to look up. The first digit is simply the country in which your vehicle came from (country of origin). And I've listed several of the most common countries. And the second digit is the manufacturer code, or make of your vehicle. And I've also put most of the common makes. So that makes it very easy to check the first two digit digits.
Digits 3-8 can tell you a lot about your vehicle. However, they're all specific to your manufacturer. So you'll have to look them up online. The ninth digit is the check digit. It's basically a mathematical calculation that shows you if there's an error in a VIN number. And the eleventh digit is the plant code. This tells you exactly which factory your vehicle was assembled. And digits 12-17 are your sequence production number. And these amount to your vehicles fingerprint. However, all of these for now, I want you to just skip and ignore because there are easier and quicker ways to find the errors than pulling these.
So now let's get started with helping you find where your problem is, and how to correct it. First, we're going to start with the very obvious and easy errors. For example, there are no I’s, O's or Q’s in any VIN number. So if you see those, try plugging in a one for the I or zero for the O's or Q's and see what happens. Then you have visual errors. This is usually from not being able to read someone's handwriting. An ”S” can look like the number 5, a “B” can look like the number 8… Those are very common. So look for those. And also, if you've taken a VIN number over the phone, verbal errors happen a lot. That's because nine letters rhyme with the word “free”. Letters like “S” as in Sam and “F” as in Frank can sound alike. The letter H and the number 8 can sound alike, things like that.
Now we get to the tenth digit, which I haven't went over yet because it's the one where you're probably going to get lucky in figuring out the error. Most often the error will happen with the tenth digit, which simply represents what year your vehicle is. There's a 30-year cycle in which all model years go by. And I'm going to show you that chart here in just a second. But that's usually where the problem gets solved. So watch the tenth digit. And another thing that I've noticed in many cases, your VIN number might be correct but maybe you're just a year off on what model year your vehicle is.
So here you see the tenth digit VIN number chart. It's very important that you make sure the year of your vehicle corresponds with the right letter or number that goes with that year. And so if you see anything that doesn't match up, that tells you right off the bat that either the VIN number is wrong, or you may have the year of the car listed incorrectly. But this is where most of the errors are found. So make sure you double-check this.
And finally, if you've tried all the easy quick solutions and nothing's worked so far, the best thing to do is just find a copy of the VIN number, and check all the numbers and letters out. You can find a VIN number on your title, your registration, if you financed your vehicle, you'll find the VIN on your loan papers. A lot of people check through the windshield on the corner of the driver's side dashboard. And one that a lot of people don't know about (and this might be your best bet), there's usually a sticker placed on the outside of your door. I've included a picture of mine. I had to turn the camera sideways so you could get a better look at it. But that's going to have everything about your vehicle. So if nothing worked for you with any of the quick easy solutions, try one of those, and see if everything matches up. I hope this video has helped you get some good ideas about how to solve your problem. Thank you for watching. And have a great day!
Dan Lyles is an Independent Insurance Agent serving Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia..