Vehicle registration

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) example

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

Step 1: Fill out the application form

You can download and fill out the application form (MV1325) for a B.C. Assigned VIN pdf, or get it from any Autoplan broker.

Your application form must provide the name, address and telephone number of the Designated Inspection Facility that will install the Assigned VIN tag. These facilities are listed in the Yellow Pages under “Vehicle Inspection Service” or visit the Commercial Vehicle Safety and Enforcement website.

Step 2: Gather and make copies of your supporting documents such as registration/title or receipts for all major components

We need to see receipts of all the major components of your vehicle that are not part of the original, so we know where the parts came from and what they cost. Refer to the application form for more details.

Step 3: Take photographs of your vehicle, motorcycle, or trailer

Find a list of the photos we need and how to take them on the MV1325 form.

Step 4: Go to an Autoplan broker to complete the application

Ensure you bring:

  • the MV1325 application form (original only, no photocopies)

  • the photographs of your vehicle, motorcycle, or trailer

  • copies of your supporting documents

  • $25 by cheque or money order (payable to ICBC), a non-refundable fee which covers the cost of administering the program.

Step 5: Mail the complete application package to ICBC

After completing your application, you or your broker can mail it to:

ICBC - Vehicle Registration Support
Room 235, 151 W. Esplanade
North Vancouver, B.C.
V7M 3H9

After we receive your application package

Once we receive your application package, your B.C. Assigned VIN must be installed by a Designated Inspection Facility (DIF). After your B.C. Assigned VIN is installed on your vehicle, you will need to register the vehicle at an Autoplan office.

Installation of the VIN at a designated inspection facility

ICBC will courier the Assigned VIN package, along with mounting equipment and instructions directly to your chosen DIF, typically within two to three weeks. However, this may be delayed if your application is incomplete. 

Please note, you must have your new B.C. Assigned VIN attached to your vehicle within 30 days of your designated inspection facility receiving your VIN tag. You may have to pay a fee for this installation.

During peak season (April to September), processing times may be longer due to the high volume of applications.

Registering your vehicle once your VIN has been installed

Once the VIN tag has been attached to and/or stamped on your vehicle, you must take your original support documents (including the passed inspection report, if required), a copy of the B.C. Assigned VIN letter sent to you by ICBC and your vehicle to your Autoplan agent to sight the VIN and register the vehicle.

  • Cars/trucks/motorhomes: the primary location is the “A” pillar on the driver’s side (front door pillar post where the driver’s door is hinged). The second choice is the “B” pillar on the driver’s side (where the driver’s door latches).

  • Motorcycles: the VIN is installed on an unobstructed visible portion of the frame (ensure that the frame is not “oil filled”).

  • Trailers: the VIN is installed on a visible portion of the outside frame rail, curb side at the front.

  • Snowmobiles: the VIN is installed on a visible portion of the tunnel.

In addition to the B.C. Assigned VIN tag, you may also choose to stamp the B.C. Assigned VIN into an integral part of your vehicle for added security.

When you replace a dashboard, the VIN won't match the other VINs on the vehicle. So, in this situation you'll need a B.C. Assigned VIN. 

The dash VIN is the most visible and often-used VIN to identify a vehicle. Law enforcement officers will recognize the B.C. Assigned VIN as the current and correct VIN, even when other VINs are found on the vehicle. 

It's an offence under the Motor Vehicle Act to remove, alter or obliterate any VINs on a vehicle. Under the Criminal Code of Canada, the vehicle operator is presumed to be in possession of a stolen vehicle if the VIN is removed, altered or obliterated. The vehicle may be seized immediately and the operator charged under the Criminal Code. 

Once the B.C. Assigned VIN is attached to the vehicle, throughout North America law enforcement officers will recognize it as the current and correct VIN, even when other VINs are found on the vehicle.

​The application fee and cost of installation may be reimbursed to you in a claim situation. You will first have to pay the related costs and submit your receipts to your adjuster for reimbursement. ICBC claims staff are unable to waive fees or complete the application on your behalf.

​If your B.C. Assigned VIN is damaged or removed, you will have to apply for a replacement B.C. Assigned VIN and pay the $25 application fee.

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