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Where is the vin number on a v5c?

2023-12-12 — Written by Matt

In this guide we show how to locate the VIN number on log book document, along with information what VIN is and answer common questions our readers have for VIN numbers on V5C.

  1. Understanding the V5C Document
  2. Where to Find the VIN in Your V5C
  3. What Does the VIN Look Like?
  4. The Importance of the VIN
  5. Verifying the VIN
  6. Understanding the VIN Structure
  7. Historical and Imported Vehicles and the VIN
  8. What If the VIN Is Not Visible?
  9. Summary

With owning a vehicle in the United Kingdom, the V5C document is commonly known as the vehicle log book. It is an essential document that authenticates your registered keeper status. One crucial piece of information contained within this document is the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). The VIN number, a unique code of the vehicle, can be easily located within the V5C and it is an important identifier for various administrative processes related to the vehicle itself.

Understanding the V5C Document

Before diving into the specifics of where to find the VIN on your V5C, it’s vital to understand what the V5C is and why it’s important:

  • The V5C is issued by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA).
  • It contains multiple pieces of information about your vehicle, such as the make, model, engine size, and the name and address of the registered keeper.
  • It’s required for various vehicle-related tasks like selling your vehicle, changing your details, and paying road tax.

Where to Find the VIN in Your V5C

Finding the VIN on your V5C is quite straightforward:

  1. Look for the section labeled “Vehicle details.”
  2. Within this section, check for entry number 4. Entry 4 is where the VIN, also referred to as the chassis number, is listed.

What Does the VIN Look Like?

The VIN is a string that typically consists of 17 characters including both numbers and letters. It acts as a unique fingerprint for your vehicle, providing:

  • A check for the vehicle’s identity.
  • Vital information for recall purposes.
  • Details required for certain legal processes.

VIN Details

  • Chassis Number: Identical to the VIN, it may sometimes refer to the part of the VIN that is stamped on the vehicle’s chassis.
  • Engine Number: Separate from the VIN, this number identifies the vehicle’s engine and may also be required in certain situations.

The Importance of the VIN

The Vehicle Identification Number is not merely a random string—it is pivotal for various operational and safety reasons:

  • Tracking the history of a vehicle: Helps in revealing the detailed history of the vehicle.
  • Insurance purposes: Necessary for obtaining vehicle insurance.
  • Vehicle recalls: Manufacturers use the VIN to notify owners about recalls.

Verifying the VIN

It’s a good practice to verify the VIN listed on the V5C with the actual VIN on the vehicle. Here’s how you can find it:

  1. Check the dashboard on the driver’s side of the vehicle, viewable through the windshield.
  2. Locate it on the driver-side door or the post where the door latches when closed.
  3. Occasionally, it might be located on the vehicle’s engine block.

Cross-Checking for Consistency

Make sure the VIN matches on the:

  • V5C document
  • Vehicle itself
  • Insurer’s records
  • Any other related documents

A discrepancy in the VIN could indicate potential problems or even fraud, and it should be investigated immediately.

Understanding the VIN Structure

The 17 characters of the VIN can be broken down into distinct sections, each holding specific information:

World Manufacturer Identifier (WMI)

  • Characters 1-3: These identify the manufacturer and country of origin.
  • Example: ‘SAJ’ would denote a Jaguar manufactured in the United Kingdom.

Vehicle Descriptor Section (VDS)

  • Characters 4-9: This section provides details about the vehicle model, body type, engine type, and series.
  • Security Feature: Character 9 is a security check digit to prevent fraudulent VINs.

Vehicle Identifier Section (VIS)

  • Characters 10-17: The final section identifies the year of manufacture, the plant where the vehicle was assembled, and the vehicle’s production number.

Historical and Imported Vehicles and the VIN

Owners of historical vehicles, or vehicles that were grey imported, may encounter different VIN-related problems. Use below forms when dealing with DVLA:

  • Form V765: Used to register a vehicle under its original number if you’ve got evidence of the original registration.
  • Form V55/5: When registering a used vehicle that has never been registered in the UK.
  • Form V890: To declare your vehicle off the road if you’re restoring it and it’s not currently being used.

What If the VIN Is Not Visible?

If you cannot locate the VIN on your V5C or if it appears damaged or tampered with on the vehicle, you should contact the DVLA for guidance. Steps may include:

  • Applying for a new V5C: If the document is lost, damaged, or contains errors in the VIN.
  • Seeking assistance from the vehicle manufacturer: They can provide guidance on VIN locations for specific models or issue a VIN correction if necessary.


The Vehicle Identification Number is a unique identifier for your vehicle and finding it on your V5C is simple:

  • Check under the “Vehicle details” section, entry number 4 of your V5C document.
  • Ensure the VIN on the V5C matches the VIN on the vehicle for security and authenticity reasons.

Remember to keep your V5C document safe and regularly verify that your vehicle’s VIN is consistent across all legal and insurance documents. Should you face any issues with locating or verifying the VIN, do not hesitate to get in touch with the DVLA for support.