How Do You Read Ford VIN Numbers?

The vehicle identification number for Ford cars and trucks is a 17-digit series of numbers and letters that identifies an individual vehicle and certain aspects of the vehicle’s construction. According to Ford Fleet, the 17-digit series identifies vehicles made from 1982 and is used universally in vehicle manufacturing as of 2014.

The 17 digits of a Ford VIN are split into eight separate single- or multi-position sets. The first three spaces in the sequence represent the world manufacturer. The fourth position indicates the restraint system type, the types of brakes on the vehicle and the vehicle’s GVWR class. The fifth through seventh positions indicate the line, series and body type of the vehicle, while the eighth position identifies the engine type. Position nine is used to provide a check digit for the VIN. Position 10 is the model year, while 11 is the location of the plant where the vehicle was assembled. Positions 12 through 17 provide the production sequence number to identify individual vehicles produced with the same features shown through the earlier VIN positions.

VINs from earlier than 1982 must be run individually at a dealership or repair shop to identify the vehicle’s features, as they do not follow the universal 17-digit structure.