What is the VIN?
The Vehicle Identification Number, commonly referred to as the VIN, is a sequence of 17 letters and numbers that is uniquely assigned for each vehicle. The VIN can usually be found on the driver's side dashboard near or under the bottom portion of the windshield. It can also be found in various other places on the vehicle, including the certification label found on the driver's doorjamb.
The VIN provides some information about the vehicle. It is typically composed of four sections. The first three digits are called the World Manufacturer Identifier (WMI). This identifies where the vehicle was manufactured or assembled and the type of vehicle it is. Honda has factories in Japan, Canada, Mexico, and the United States. Each factory has it's own identifying code. For example, a VIN starting with 1HG identifies a passenger vehicle manufactured at Honda of America, while 2HG identifies a passenger vehicle manufactured at Honda of Canada. Honda currently has 10 different manufacturing locations.
The next five digits (4 through 8) are the Vehicle Description Section (VDS). These digits provide information on the engine type, body style, and vehicle model type. The ninth digit is a check digit used internally. The 10th digit indicates the model year; letters (except "O" and "Z") were used for vehicles up to the 2000 model year while numbers are used for 2001 and newer vehicles. For example, "X" means the 1999 model year, "Y" is the 2000 model year and "1" represents the 2001 model year. The 11th digit is the plant code. Finally, digits 12 - 17 are the serial number, which is unique to each vehicle.