BMW VIN decoder

Free BMW VIN decoder: lookup windows sticker / build sheet options

Example: WBAUL7C52BVE86924

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Each BMW car is assigned a unique 17-digit number called a Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). This code, consisting of both letters and numbers, is used by various businesses such as BMW manufacturers, dealerships, and insurance agencies to identify and track a specific vehicle.

A BMW VIN decoder is a tool that allows you to enter the VIN of your BMW and uncover the encoded data, revealing details about the car's make and model, manufacturing history, and other features. By using this tool, you can gain a better understanding of your one-of-a-kind BMW. Fun fact: The acronym BMW, or Bayerische Motoren Werke in English, translates to "Bavarian Motor Works."

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By John Devn

our car expert

2 minutes read

Updated 2023-04-03


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Where to find BMW VIN number

The VIN, or Vehicle Identification Number, which serves as a unique feature to distinguish one motor vehicle from another, can be found in several locations, including:

  • On the driver's side of the dashboard, near the base of the glass, and visible from the outside through the windshield.
  • The area where the driver-side door jamb connects to the vehicle's frame when the door is closed.
  • In automotive documents, such as the owner's manual.
  • Information like the title, registration, and insurance policies, which can be stored at home, in the glove compartment, or in the trunk. Typically near the front of the engine, on the engine block.
  • On the vehicle's frame or chassis, around the transmission. It's important to note that the VIN can also be found on the vehicle history report if one is available for the vehicle.
  • This report contains details about the vehicle's ownership, maintenance, and accident history.
Where to find BMW VIN number
Chart option of VIN number

Chart option of VIN number

The World Manufacturer Identifier, commonly known as WMI, is a unique code used to identify the manufacturer of a BMW vehicle. Typically, it is the first three characters found in a VIN and helps determine the country of origin, manufacturer, and type of vehicle. Below are some examples of WMI codes for BMW vehicles:

WMI code Manufacturer Location Product Date
3AV BMW de Mexico SA de CV (MEX) Mexico 3A from CKD kits 2011-01-06
3MW BMW de Mexico SA de CV (MEX) Mexico 3M from CKD kits 2020-07-18
4US BMW Manufacturing Co LLC (USA) USA Passenger models 1899-12-31
5UM BMW Manufacturing Co LLC (USA) USA "M" from BMW Motorsport GMBH American production (Z4M, X5M, X6M, etc.) 2012-01-31
5UX BMW Manufacturing Co LLC (USA) USA Crossovers 1899-12-31
5YM BMW Manufacturing Co LLC (USA) USA   2012-01-31
7B3 BMW New Zealand Limited (Z) New Zealand SKD assembly 2011-01-06
95V Dafra da Amazonia Industria e Comercio (BRA) Brazil Motorcycles from SKD kits 2013-03-20
98M BMW (BRA) Brazil Cars and Crossovers 2015-08-14
99Z BMW (BRA) Brazil Motorcycles 2020-07-18
ABM Bmw (South Africa) (Pty) Ltd (ZA) South Africa   2011-01-06
DAB Aqua / BMW (E) Egypt SKD assembly 2012-01-31
LBV BMW Brillance Automotive Ltd (CHN) China   2012-01-31
LLC Chongqing Loncin Motor Co Ltd (CHN) China Motorcycles 2020-07-18
MHH PT Tjahya Sakti Motor Corp (I) Indonesia From CKD kits 2013-10-07
MMF BMW Manufacturing Co Ltd (THA) Thailand From CKD kits 2012-01-31
PAF Columbian Motors Co (PH) Philippines   2020-07-18
PM1 Auto Bavaria A Division Tractors (MAL) Malaysia From CKD kits 2013-10-07
RFL Her Chee Industrial Co Ltd (T) Taiwan   2020-07-18
RLF Vietnam Motors Corp (VIE) Vietnam   2020-07-18
WB1 BMW AG (D) W.B. Motorcycles 2008-11-01
WB3 BMW AG (D) W.B. G310 motorcycles 2017-02-02
WB4 BMW AG (D) W.B. Scooters 2020-07-18
WB5 BMW AG (D) W.B. Electric vehicles 2022-11-10
WBA BMW AG (D) W.B. - 1899-12-31
WBS BMW M GmbH Gesellschaft fuer (D) W.B. BMW Motorsport 1899-12-31
WBW BMW AG (D) W.B. - 2007-07-09
WBX Magna-Steyr (A) W.B. BMW X3 for US market 1899-12-31
WBY BMW AG (D) W.B. - 2013-10-07
WBZ BMW AG (D) W.B. BMW 3-series from 14/05/2008 2012-01-31
WUS BMW AG (D) WU - 1899-12-31
X4A Avtotor (Kaliningrad) X4 Russia SKD assembly 1899-12-31
X4X Avtotor (Kaliningrad) X4 Russia SKD assembly based on bare body 2011-01-06
ZBA BMW (South Africa) (Pty) Ltd (ZA) ZB - 2013-10-25
ZBE BMW (South Africa) (Pty) Ltd (ZA) ZB - 2013-10-25
ZBI BMW (South Africa) (Pty) Ltd (ZA) ZB - 2020-07-18
ZBM BMW (South Africa) (Pty) Ltd (ZA) ZB - -
ZBP BMW (South Africa) (Pty) Ltd (ZA) ZB - -
ZBT BMW (South Africa) (Pty) Ltd (ZA) ZB - -
ZBV BMW (South Africa) (Pty) Ltd (ZA) ZB - -

A VDS (Vehicle Descriptor Section) is a section of the VIN that provides specific information about the vehicle model, body style, engine type, and transmission. It usually consists of six to seven characters, which can be used to identify the vehicle's original configuration and check for any modifications.

A VIS (Vehicle Identification Section) is another section of the VIN that also provides specific information about the vehicle, such as model, body style, engine type, and transmission. The VIS typically consists of six to eight characters, which can be used to identify the vehicle's characteristics, factory of manufacture, build sequence, and production year.

What you can know from VIN decoder tool

A VIN decoder tool can reveal the following vehicle-related information:

  • Make, model, and year of production
  • Engine specifications, such as type and size
  • Transmission type and details
  • Trim level, options, and packages installed
  • Body style and number of doors
  • Place of manufacture
  • Safety equipment and features
  • Production date and sequence number
  • Exterior and interior color and trim
  • Fuel efficiency and emissions rating
  • Recall and service bulletins
  • Manufacturer's warranty details
  • Registration and title information

Example of free VIN decoding

The VIN "WBAFV3C52ED686317" belongs to a 2014 BMW 5 Series (535d xDrive).

  • 1st character (W): Indicates the country of origin, in this case, it is Germany
  • 2nd-3rd characters (BA): Indicates the manufacturer, in this case, it is BMW
  • 4th-8th characters (FV3C5): Identifies the model, in this case, it is BMW 535d
  • 9th character (2): Check digit, used to ensure the accuracy of the VIN
  • 10th character (E): Identifies the model year, in this case, it is 2014
  • 11th character (D): Identifies the manufacturer's plant code, in this case, it is Dingolfing, Germany
  • 12th-17th characters (686317): Identifies the production number, used to identify the specific vehicle within the production run.

Using this breakdown of the VIN, we can determine that this is a 2014 BMW 5 Series (535d xDrive) Sedan/Saloon passenger car manufactured in Dingolfing, Germany by BMW AG.

What you can know from VIN history

In a vehicle history report, also referred to as a VHR, you can uncover additional information about a car's background, such as:

  • Prior ownership and registration
  • Accident and repair records
  • Service and maintenance logs
  • Safety recalls and defects
  • Mileage readings and rollback history
  • Salvage or scrap classification
  • Flood or fire damage records
  • Lemon history
  • Total loss records
  • Emissions test results
  • Title and registration information
  • Plate numbers
  • Insurance claims and reports

Models of BMW

There are several reasons why a VIN might be difficult to locate, including:

  • The plate may have been covered up with paint or otherwise obscured, or the VIN may have been removed.
  • The owner of the vehicle or someone attempting to hide the identity of the vehicle may have deliberately erased the VIN.

If you discover that a vehicle's VIN is missing, you might try the following steps:

  • Contact the vehicle manufacturer. They may have records of the VIN or be able to provide you with information on how to obtain it.
  • If known, get in touch with the dealership where the car was purchased. They might be able to help you get the VIN or may already have records of it.

All information about BMW on this page is based on data from:

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