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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.

The B.C. Assigned VIN program

The B.C. Assigned VIN program provides a unique 17-digit VIN tag to B.C. residents whose vehicles do not have VINs, or as listed below.

Situations where your vehicle 
must have a B.C. Assigned VIN:

  • ​the manufacturer's VIN is stolen or damaged,
  • the dashboard has been replaced,
  • the door has been replaced and the vehicle no longer has two remaining VINs intact,
  • two public VINs don't match (exception: older vehicles that were only issued one VIN),
  • differing VINs are found on the vehicle, or
  • used vehicles where no registration or record is found and continuity of ownership can't be established

​Types of vehicles that
need a B.C. Assigned VIN:

  • ​modified vehicles without two intact identical public VINs
  • "ubilt" vehicles, trailers, snowmobiles, and motorcycles
  • amalgamated vehicles
  • replica/constructed vehicles
  • glider kits, even if the manufacturer has provided a VIN
  • farm and industrial
  • off-road vehicles

Need more information?

You can contact the Vehicle Registration Support department for information about:

  • identifying vehicles repaired from salvage or constructed from parts, and
  • registering amalgamated vehicles, ubilt vehicles, modified vehicles, replica/constructed vehicles and glider kits.

Lower Mainland: 604-661-6638

Toll-free: 1-844-904-8212

Fax: 604-443-7341