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Everything you need to know about BMW VIN

What is a BMW VIN?

The BMW VIN is a 17-character code that uniquely identifies every BMW vehicle in the world. Think of it as the fingerprint of a BMW motor vehicle - each car or motorcycle has one, and no two BMW VIN codes are alike. Because of this, you can use the VIN to learn a lot about your vehicle. This information is particularly useful when purchasing used cars. The BMW VIN will tell you whether the seller is telling the truth about the vehicle’s specifications and history.


What does the BMW VIN contain?

The various letters and numbers in the BMW VIN indicate different types of information about the vehicle:

  • World Manufacturer Index (WMI). Indicates the manufacturer (BMW), country of manufacture, and the vehicle type
  • Vehicle Descriptor Section (VDS). Vehicle characteristics: the brand, engine type, body type, transmission type, and more
  • Vehicle Identifier Section (VIS). The final 6 digits are a unique serial number that identifies the specific BMW vehicle the VIN belongs to.

Where to find it?

You will normally find the BMW VIN:

  • On the driver’s side of the dashboard. Just step outside the car and look behind the windshield.
  • On the driver’s side door pillar. Look around the area where the door connects to your vehicle.

If you can’t find your BMW VIN printed in either of these places, you can also check on the engine block under the hood. Alternatively, it should also appear on the insurance or registration documents.