BMWSections.com Archived Manuals, Documents & Resources for BMW Motor Vehicles
Gain an insight into your vehicle history and its NMVTIS report for your BMW, or other manufacturer
Enter your vehicle VIN Number - 17 characters - to get started:
The VIN code (Vehicle Identification Number) describes common characteristics of manufacture for individual vehicles and is unique for every vehicle. The VIN consists of 17 letters and numbers only. This is also know, although less commonly, as the vehicle chassis number.
Vehicle history reports are a proven way to check the track record and history of any vehicle, either already owned, or if considering buying a used vehicle. Information on the vehicle is kept by various government agencies and are reported through VIN Check services to you, the vehicle keeper.
For North American vehicles, info on lemon law buybacks, odometer fraud, previous collision damage, improper vehicle maintenance, product recall notices and much more vital information can be gained. Detailed info held by NVMTIS (National Vehicle Motor Title Information System) is also supplied along with manufacturing information for the vehicle.
An estimated 34% of American consumers bought a vehicle history report for a used car in 2006 alone. (UVSC - study - J.D. Power and Associates Used Vehicle Sales and Certification).
Two major VIN report providers for North American and European vehicles used here on BMWsections are - VinAudit and carVertical.com respectively. The additional NMVTIS report information (US) is available uniquely from VinAudit and not providers such as Carfax, CVR, DMVDesk, Experian or TitleTec. The BMW VIN code check is for North American and European vehicle models.
North American and European BMW vehicles (common locations)
1. The driver side windshield, bottom right facing outward.
2. Inside the driver's side door jamb.
1. The passenger side windshield, bottom right facing outward.
2. Stamped onto the right-hand suspension turret in the engine bay.
3. A VIN code 'plate' may be riveted to the left-hand suspension turret in the engine bay. This plate may shows additional information such as weight and capacity.
The following is a standardized structure of the VIN for the United States and Canada according to standards ISO 3779 and ISO 3780.
Characters 1 - 3: WMI - World Manufacturer Identifier
Char 1: Region/Country of manufacturer
This is always the first character. We are only concerned with BMW models, so this will be one of the following:
|W = Germany||S = Germany||4 = United States||N = South Africa|
Char 2: Vehicle manufacturer name
|B = BMW AG|
Char 3: Vehicle type
|A = Passenger Car||A = Utility Vehicle||S = Passenger Car||X = Utility Vehicle|
Characters 4 - 9: VDS - Vehicle Descriptor Section
Char 4 - 7 are the Vehicle Model Codes. This is used to identify the overall vehicle type and body style.
Char 8 - Safety System Restraint Identifier
Char 9 - Vehicle check-digit calculation and is used for all road vehicles sold in the US and Canada.
Characters 10 - 17: VIS - Vehicle Identifier Section
Char 10 - Year Identifier (excluding European models. There seems to be no date code for European built BMWs. 0 (number) is often used in 10th place).
|A = 1980||B = 1981||C = 1982||D = 1983||E = 1984||F = 1985||G = 1986||H = 1987||J = 1988||K = 1989||L = 1990||M = 1991||N = 1992||P = 1993||R = 1994||S = 1995||T = 1996||V = 1997||W = 1998||X = 1999||Y = 2000|
|1 = 2001||2 = 2002||3 = 2003||4 = 2004||5 = 2005||6 = 2006||7 = 2007||8 = 2008||9 = 2009|
|A = 2010||B = 2011||C = 2012||D = 2013||E = 2014||F = 2015||G = 2016||H = 2017||J = 2018||K = 2019||L = 2020||M = 2021||N = 2022||P = 2023||R = 2024||S = 2025||T = 2026||V = 2027||W = 2028||X = 2029||Y = 2030|
|1 = 2031||2 = 2032||3 = 2033||4 = 2034||5 = 2035||6 = 2036||7 = 2037||8 = 2038||9 = 2039|
Char 11 - Assembly plant code
|A, F, K = Munich, Germany||B, C, D, G = Dingolfing, Germany||E, J, P = Regensburg, Germany||V = Leipzig, Germany||0, L, M = Spartanburg, U.S.A||W = Graz, Austria||N = Roslyn, South Africa||4 = Araquari, Brazil||M, S = Shenyang, China|
Char 11 - 17 - BMW Serial Number - often used for BMW parts look-up (last 7 digits of VIN).
Characters 12 – 17: Sequential Production Number. A unique character combination for every BMW.
1. Wikipedia: Vehicle Identification Number
2. National Motor Vehicle Title Information System
3. NHTSA GOV