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Vehicle identification number (VIN)

All vehicles on B.C. roads need a vehicle identification number (VIN). A vehicle can't be registered, licensed or insured without one. Find out how to apply for a VIN here.

Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)

What's a VIN?

A vehicle identification number is a series of letters and numbers that vehicle manufacturers assign to each vehicle they make. The VIN is a unique, 17-digit number used to identify a vehicle, including its

  • origin,
  • year,
  • make and model, and
  • production number.

The most recognizable location for this number is in the top left corner on the vehicle's dashboard. Other locations include the driver's door or post, and the firewall under the hood.

Please note that it's illegal to remove a VIN.

How can I tell if my vehicle needs a VIN?

A vehicle must have a VIN when

  • ​the manufacturer's VIN is stolen or damaged,
  • the dashboard, door or engine has been replaced,
  • two public VINs don't match (exception: older vehicles that were only issued one VIN),
  • differing VINs are found on the vehicle, or
  • continuity of ownership can't be established

​The following vehicles also need a VIN

  • ​modified vehicles without two identical public VINs still intact
  • "ubilt" vehicles, trailers and snowmobiles
  • amalgamated vehicles
  • "replikits" or kit cars
  • glider kits need a B.C. assigned VIN (even if the manufacturer has provided a VIN)
  • and "replicars" (if the manufacturer has not provided a VIN)

How to apply for a VIN

To apply for a B.C.-assigned VIN:

  1. Download and fill out the application form for a B.C.-assigned VIN. You can also get this form from any Autoplan broker.
  2. Gather supporting documents (see the application form for details).
  3. Go to an Autoplan broker to complete the application.
  4. Ensure you bring
    - the application form,
    - supporting documents, and
    - a $25 cheque or money order (payable to ICBC).
  5. After completing your application, mail it to
    ICBC - Vehicle Registration Support
    Room 235, 151 W. Esplanade
    North Vancouver, B.C.
    V7M 3H9

Need more information?

Please phone our Vehicle Registration Support department: 604-661-6638. (We accept collect calls.)

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