Determining the legitimacy of your vehicle's VIN number is an important and easy process. The 17-character code includes a security check number (the 9th digit) that may be used to confirm whether or not you have a real VIN by performing some calculations.
What Is a VIN Validator?
A VIN Validator is a tool used to validate Vehicle Identification Numbers (VINs) for accuracy. VINs are 17-character codes (which can consist of both letters and numbers) that are used to uniquely identify a vehicle by serving as the vehicle’s fingerprint.
VINs are used by manufacturers and dealers to help track vehicles for recalls, warranties, registration, inspections, and more. With VIN number validation, you can quickly and easily check that the VIN you’ve been given is correct. This helps ensure that you get accurate information about your vehicle and that you can make sound decisions when buying or selling a car.
Our VIN Validator works on a simple premise. Digit 9 of the VIN serves as an error-detecting code. Using a mathematical formula devised by the U.S. Department of Transportation, we can calculate if the check digit is correct. We swap out all of the letters in your VIN for numbers that represent them, then multiply those new digits with weight factors based on their position within the sequence. This gives you 16 numbers which are summed and divided by 11. The remainder equals the check digit, and if it’s 10, "X" will be used as its replacement in the VIN.
Don't worry about performing this calculation manually with weight factor tables. Our super handy tool takes care of Vin verification for you – all you need to do is to enter your VIN and let us take care of finding your Check Digit.
VIN Check-digit Formula
Calculating the VIN number check digit is easier than you think!
- Start by transliterating all letters in your VIN to their respective numerical counterparts. See the numerical counterparts in the table below.
- Take the new numbers and multiply them according to their assigned weights from the provided table ("Weights").
- Add up all of the products.
- Divide the total sum by 11 to find the remainder.
- Note that if the remainder is 10, the check digit should be "X".
Transliteration can be used to transform the text into numerical alternatives that are based on IBM's EBCDIC system. It involves swapping each letter for its suitable number.
NOTE: Valid VINs don’t contain the characters I, O, and Q. In the table, they appear as empty cells. Numerical values remain unchanged in this transliteration process.
S is 2, but not 1. There is no left-alignment linearity even though both A and J are 1.
The following table shows the weight factor of each position. The 9th position is the check digit and is not used for validation. It has been substituted for 0 in order to cancel it out during multiplication.
Let’s look at a hypothetical VIN 4T1K61AK_PU125114. Take note of how we derive the check digit. The underscore is used as a placeholder.
- The Value is the transliteration of the VIN digits using the transliteration table.
- The Multiplier is the values from the weight factor table that have been copied below.
- The Products are what you get by multiplying the Value and the Weight.
- After adding the Products, the total will be 272.
- The modulo operation (MOD) of 272 by 11 will be 8 (272 MOD 11 = 8).
- The remainder of the mod operation is the check number. In this case, it’s eight and will be denoted as "8".
The final VIN will be listed as 4T1K61AK8PU125114.
Did you know that a VIN where the transliteration values are all "1s" will have a check digit of 1? That’s because after multiplying the values with the weights, the sum of all the products will be 89. The MOD of 89 will be 1. It’s a nice way to test the validity of the VIN-validation algorithm.