Q. Understanding Vehicle Identification Numbers (VIN)
The U.S. Department of Transportation (US DOT) does not maintain a database that contains vehicle information by Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). However, you may find the following commercial sources of interest:
Car Detective: http://www.cardetective.com/vin-lookup.html
For information on vehicle and manufacturer codes, please see: http://www.angelfire.com/ca/TORONTO/VINcode.html
For the Edmunds.com web site "Making sense of your VIN," please see http://www.edmunds.com/driving-tips/making-sense-of-your-vin.html
(Note: The above private-sector web sites are not maintained by US DOT or any other US Government office. We take no responsibility for the content or accuracy of any non-US DOT web page, and offer the above links strictly as a courtesy, should you be interested.)
VINs are assigned by the manufacturer according to the format and content requirements found in 49 CFR 565 .
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has contracted with the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) to coordinate the assignment of manufacturer identifiers. All requests for assignments of manufacturer identifiers should be forwarded directly to: Society of Automotive Engineers, 400 Commonwealth Avenue, Warrendale, Pennsylvania 15096, Attention: WMI Coordinator.
For more information, see the SAE web site at http://www.sae.org/standardsdev/groundvehicle/vin.htm
You can search NHTSA's Manufacturers' Databases at http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/cars/rules/manufacture/