Find the Chassis and Engine Number
The chassis number is the last six digits of your car’s Vehicle Identification Numbers (VIN), so you need to find the VIN to determine the chassis number. Cars and motorcycles list the VIN in different places, so where you look will depend on the type of vehicle you have. The engine number is the number that is stamped on your vehicle’s engine. If you are having trouble finding the VIN or engine number on your vehicle, there are several places that you can check.
Finding the VIN on a Car
- Check your paperwork. If you do not have access to your vehicle or if you do not want to go looking around the vehicle for the VIN, there are several different pieces of paperwork that should include the VIN. Some of the documents that you can check include:
- registration card
- owner’s manual
- insurance documents
- body shop repair records
- police reports
- vehicle history reports
- Look at your dashboard. The easiest place to find the VIN on your vehicle is right on the lower left corner of your dashboard. You should be able to read the number by looking through your windshield on the driver’s side of your car.
- Check the driver’s side door. The VIN might also be located in the driver’s side doorjamb or on the doorpost. Open your driver’s side door and look around the edges of the doorjamb for a little white sticker.
- If your VIN is on the doorjamb, then it should be on the area of the doorjamb just below the level of the rearview mirror.
- The VIN number may also be on the opposite side of the driver’s side doorjamb, near where the driver’s side seatbelt latches.
- Pop the hood. If you haven’t found it anywhere else, then you can pop your hood and look at the front of the engine block. The VIN number may be written on the front of the engine block.
- Inspect the frame. Sometimes the VIN is written on the front of the vehicle’s frame, somewhere near the windshield washer fluid container. Go to the front of the car, pop your hood, locate your window washer fluid container, close the hood, and then inspect the vehicle’s frame near this area of your vehicle for the VIN.
- Lift up your spare tire. If you have a spare tire in the back of your trunk and you haven’t found the VIN anywhere else, it might be back there. Pop your trunk, remove the spare tire, and look in the space where the spare is usually kept. The VIN may be written in this area.
- Peek under the wheel well. Another place you can check is under your rear wheel well. Go to the back of your vehicle, get down on the ground, and look up at your wheel well. Check both sides to see if the VIN is recorded here.
- You will probably need a flashlight to see the VIN if it is written here.
- Write it down somewhere! After you have found your VIN, make sure that you write it down and keep it in a file for easy access the next time that you need it. Keep the VIN number in a physical file, save it to a file on your computer, or email it to yourself.
- Identify the chassis number. Remember that the chassis number is made up of the last six digits of the VIN. Look at the VIN that you have written down and circle the last six digits of the number to identify your vehicle’s chassis number.
Finding the VIN on a Motorcycle, Scooter, or ATV
- Look for the VIN at the steering neck. The steering neck is the most common place to find a VIN on a motorcycle. You can locate the VIN by turning the handles to one side and looking at the steering neck, which is a metal cylinder that runs down from the handles. The VIN should be etched into the metal.
- You may have to check both sides of the steering neck to find the VIN.
- Check the motor. Sometimes the VIN is located on the motor for motorcycles. If you could not find the VIN on the steering neck, then check the motor. The VIN should be near the bottom of the motor’s cylinders.
- Inspect the front frame. For ATVs and some motorcycles, the VIN may be on the frame, but it is not always easy to find. You may need to look around a bit and use a flashlight to locate a VIN that is printed on the inner frame of a bike.
- Check the outside of the frame first. The VIN may be located just below your bike’s shifter on the left side of your bike. If you can’t find it on the outside of the bike, start looking on the inside of the frame.
- Some manufacturers stamp the VIN on specific areas of the frame. For example, Honda stamps the VIN on the right side of the steering head as well as on the area of the frame just above the motor on the left side of the bike. Check with your manufacturer to see if there are specific areas where you should look first.
- Remember to circle the last six digits. The last six digits of your motorcycle’s VIN number make up your motorcycle’s chassis number. Circle the last six digits to identify the chassis number.
Finding the Engine Number
- Check the engine. Your vehicle’s engine number should be stamped right onto the engine of your vehicle. Pop the hood of your vehicle or look at your motorcycle’s engine from the side. You should see a sticker that clearly indicates the engine number.
- Look at your owner’s manual. If you cannot find a sticker on your engine that lists your engine number, then check your owner’s manual for this information. It should be located within the first few pages of the booklet.
- Your owner’s manual may also include a picture of where to find the engine number on the engine block.
- Identify the engine number. The engine number is a six digit number that follows a three digit engine code. You may notice that the engine number includes three digits followed by six more digits. The first three digits are your vehicle’s engine code and the last six digits are your vehicle’s engine number.
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Sources and Citations