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Do you own a BMW? Well, that’s a cool car right there, especially if it’s a recent one. Do you want to know more about it? You can use the VIN to learn more about the car since that’s the best way to study any car out there.

VINs came to act like fingerprints or DNA. Your BMW has one, but it can be trouble finding it. There are common areas to check, though, and they apply to most cars. For the BMW, it jots down the number on other peculiar places too.

So, where can I find that VIN on my BMW? This article will shed light on the VIN and where you can find it on the vehicle.

The BMW VIN At a Glance 

Cars have had VINs years after the invention, and that applies to the BMW. In 1981, there was a need for standardization, and that brought the 17-digit character code. Vehicles with VINs having a lesser number of characters are either fake or were manufactured before 1981.

A VIN helps in getting more information about the vehicle in question. You need a specialized VIN decoder to help you retrieve what’s embedded in the characters. Apart from what the characters signify, you will also get the car’s history.

It’s essential to know the car’s past if it’s already used. A BMW’s VIN is alphanumeric, and following the standards, it will have 17 characters. Where can you find it? Let’s see where to look in the car and its records too.

Where is My BMW’s VIN?

You can get the VIN on the following areas on the BMW:

  • Driver’s side dashboard: This is a common area to get the VIN on most vehicles. The BMWs also include the small plate there, and it’s visible via the windshield.
  • The driver’s door jamb: It’s also the door pillar. Here. You will find a sticker on the jamb with the BMW’s information, and the VIN included somewhere below. The sticker has some information that will decode too, such as the year of manufacture and the assembly plant.
  • Under the hood: You can get the VIN in more places when you open the BMW’s hood. You can get it on the strut tower either on the driver’s or passenger’s side. It’s also on the engine block.
  • Behind the license plate: BMW also has the VIN behind the license plate. It’s a small sticker placed there for security reasons.
  • The instrument cluster: In some BMW models, the VIN is on the cluster. If yours does not have it, don’t worry since it’s a specification on a few models.
  • BMW’s paperwork: You should also see the VIN on the car’s logbook, the insurance cards, and the title registration document.

NB: As you look in all the areas mentioned above, ensure that the VIN is similar. If you get different character combinations, then know something is missing.

Can I Share My BMW’s VIN? 

A VIN will show you the most vital information about a car. Apart from the origin and manufacture date, it will also contain the car’s specifications. They are essential when you need to find the right parts for the car.

So, if you are selling the car, or working on its maintenance, listing your VIN is vital to letting others know about the vehicle too.

What Will the BMW VIN Show?

You need a decoder to help you retrieve the information. There are plenty of decoders on the internet for that. It’s, however, crucial to know the basics. So, we will share some general information on what you should expect from the VIN.

  • First Three Characters: They are known as the WMI (World Manufacturer Identification). They will show where the car was made, the manufacturer, and the division, respectively.
  • Fourth to Eighth Characters: You will learn about the model, color, body type, engine, transmission, and safety information.
  • The Ninth Character: This is known as the check digit. It’s usually a number (0-9), and it will tell you if the VIN is legit or not. There is a mathematical formula followed in verifying the VIN. It’s quite complex, and that’s why you need a decoder’s help.
  • Tenth and Eleventh Digits: The tenth digit is for the year when the BMW was assembled or manufactured. It’s either a letter or number depending on when the car was made. If your BMW has a letter, it can be a 1981 to 1999 model or came after 2010. The eleventh character is for the assembly factory.
  • Twelfth to Seventeenth Characters: They signify the sequence or the serial number the BMW received while on the assembly line. It’s there as a unique vehicle identifier.

If the BMW has been on the road, the VIN can also show its history. So, you will learn more about the following:

  • The mileage
  • Current market value
  • Accidents involved
  • Crime involvement
  • Lien and repossession
  • Damages due to catastrophic events such as fire or floods
  • Past ownership
  • Etc.

What you get depends on what is available on the internet. In some decoders, you will see the pictures too, which are vital if the car was involved in an accident, spotted in a crime scene, or has impaired driving cases.

For those who are buying used BMWs, having such information is vital for the buying decision making.


Now, you know where you can find the BMW’s VIN. Ensure that it’s the same in all the places you will be checking. After that, use an online decoder to know more about the car. It takes a few minutes to use one, and there are free and paid platforms.

You may want to use more than one platform to compare the data you get. Once you verify everything about the BMW, it will be easy to sell it when the time comes. You will also know where to get the right parts for the BMW and if it’s safe to drive.