Find us on Facebook
Skip Navigation Links
Skip Navigation Links. Understanding Your VIN:

Most of you are familiar with the rather long VIN on all BMW cars since the eighties. Did you know that you are able to verify the model year by checking the tenth letter? This is what the 17 digits mean

Position Meaning
1 Country of manufacture  
1 USA
2 Canada
W Germany
L Taiwan
S England
2-3 Manufacturer, make and vehicle type
4 Car line
5 Series
6 Body Type
7 Engine
8 Restraint system
9 Check digit
10 Model year 
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
 
11 Assembly plant
12-17 Production number

Reprinted from the Los Angeles Chapter