Historically, the standard Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) embedded within a barcode and attached to a car has been represented by the Code 39 symbology. The Uniform Symbology Specification Code 39 (USS Code 39) is used for vehicle identification, and while based on Code 39, it does not contain start and stop characters.
Automotive manufacturers are now utilizing two-dimensional barcodes to represent VINs on their automobiles. For example, General Motors (GM) now utilizes the Data Matrix barcode symbology to represent the VIN on some models. Ford uses a QR Code for marketing on their window stickers. Automotive auction houses utilize the one-dimensional Code 128 barcode type VIN representations for cars in their auction runlists.
Some US Federal labels and State vehicle registration documents store VINs within PDF417 barcodes since data capacity and space efficiency are two of its major advantages. There are also security features that can be used with PDF417.
A Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) is a 17-digit code, comprised of numbers and uppercase letters that provides specific information about a vehicle including the year, make, model, engine size, and manufacturer, and more.
VIN information is sectioned out into three groups: World Manufacturer Identifier, Vehicle Descriptor Section, and the Vehicle Identifier Section.
The World Manufacturer Identifier (WMI) represent the first three digits of an automotive VIN:
Digits in position 4 through 9 make up the Vehicle Description Section (VDS):
Digits in position 10 through 17 make up the Vehicle Identifier Section (VIS):
Sometimes a VIN barcode has a leading “I” that extends the decoded result length to 18 digits. According to the regulation, the letters O (o), I (i), and Q (q) are illegal VIN characters to avoid confusion with numerals 0, 1, and 9. But a leading “I” actually represents an “import” to identify imported vehicles.
Any automotive dealer or wholesale business with a Laser Appraiser subscription may utilize the powerful Laser Appraiser VIN Scanner for iPhone and Android to quickly and easily scan a VIN, delivering a mobile vehicle appraisal and valuation, with live, critical auction and valuation data.
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Code 39 is widely used in a variety of industries and is part of of many governmental specifications. It encodes a set of alphanumeric symbols.
QR Code is probably the most well-known two-dimensional barcode. It is often found on products or used in advertising to provide additional information for consumers.
Data Matrix is a two-dimensional Code that may contain text, numbers or binary data. It is widely used for labeling small electronic components or in food production, but also on mail labels.