Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) Law and Legal Definition

Vehicle identification number is a serial number used by the automobile industry to identify individual motor vehicles. Vehicle identification number is also known as VIN. In the U.S., Title 49, Part 565 of the Code of Federal Regulations deals with VIN requirements. Pursuant to 49 CFR 565.12(r), VIN means a series of Arabic numbers and Roman letters that is assigned to a motor vehicle for identification purposes. Earlier, there were no specific standards laid in terms of VIN. Currently, VIN systems are based on the standards issued by the international organization. The first three characters identify the manufacturer of the vehicle using the World Manufacturer Identifier (WMI). In the U.S., Society of Automative Engineers (SAE) assigns WMIs to countries and manufacturers. VIN helps in identifying the individual vehicle.