Despite common belief, the VIN is not just a random sequence of numbers and letters; rather, it comprises highly structured codes that hold specific meanings. For vehicles produced from 1981 onwards, the VIN consists of 17 characters, comprising both letters and numbers. However, before 1981, VIN length and format varied among different vehicles.

To locate the VIN, you can often find it on the lower-left corner of the dashboard, situated in front of the steering wheel, and it is visible through the windshield on the driver's side of the vehicle. 

Additionally, the VIN may be found in various other locations:

  • Front of the engine block. This should be easy to spot by popping open the hood, and looking at the front of the engine.

  • Front of the truck frame, near the container that holds windshield washer fluid.

  • Rear wheel well. Try looking up, directly above the tire.

  • Inside the driver-side doorjamb. Open the door and look underneath where the side-view mirror would be located if the door was shut.

  • Underneath the spare tire.

  • Driver-side doorpost. Open the door and look near the spot where the door latches, not too far from the seatbelt return.

  • The first character tells you where your truck was made. The country of origin

  • The second character denotes the manufacturer.

  • The third character tells you the vehicle type.

  • The fourth character describes your vehicle’s model.

  • The fifth character describes your vehicle’s body type.

  • The sixth character describes your vehicle’s restraint system.

  • The seventh character describes your vehicle’s transmission type.

  • The eighth character describes your vehicle’s engine code.

  • The ninth character is a security code that identifies the VIN as being authorized by the manufacturer.

  • The tenth character is the model year of the truck.

  • The eleventh character tells you which plant assembled your truck.

  • The last six numbers are the specific vehicle production number representing the serial number of the vehicle.