How to Check the Year and Model of a Car

The most accurate way to check the year and model of any vehicle is to read the title or decode the vehicle identification number. This standardised number has been used in the automotive industry since 1981 to identify a variety of information including the model and year of a vehicle. Websites exist that can decode the VIN and provide a history of the car. The VIN can be found on the title of the vehicle and on the vehicle itself. Check for the VIN on the front driver side door post, the dashboard, in the boot or on the quarter panels.

Check the title of the vehicle. The title will have the make, model and year of manufacture of the vehicle. Proceed to the next step if the title is not available.

Locate the VIN and write it down. Go to the website govdmvrecords.com. Enter the VIN in the search box and indicate the type of search. Hit "Enter." Proceed to the next step if the VIN is not a standard 17-digit VIN.

Call a local dealer. If the VIN is less than 17 characters, the vehicle was made prior to 1980 and a dealer will be able to give additional details.

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Things Needed

  • Title
  • Flashlight
  • Pen
  • Paper

About the Author

Based in Minneapolis, Dawn Marcotte has been writing for more than 10 years. Her recent writing has turned to nonfiction and includes articles on home and garden, education, crafts and automotive subjects. She currently has several eBooks published and available online. Marcotte has a Bachelor of Science in elementary education from the University of Iowa.

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