How to Check and Decode a Nissan VIN

Your Nissan VIN is located on a small plaque at the top of the driver’s side dashboard. The 17 digits represent coded information about your vehicle.
Written by Zachary Morgan
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
The VIN for a Nissan can be found at the top of the dashboard on the driver’s side. It will contain 17 alphanumeric characters (letters and numbers) that describe the characteristics of the vehicle, including model year, vehicle type, and country of origin.
Let’s say you want to sell your car online. You’ve filled out all the relevant information except the VIN—so you go out to your car and jot it down. You look at the seemingly random assortment of numbers and letters and can’t help but wonder what they mean.
That’s why
, the expert driving app and
car insurance
comparison tool, created this guide to finding and decoding your Nissan VIN. We’ll tell you where to look for your VIN, what the characters mean, and how to read them. 
And before we wrap up, we'll even show you how to find the lowest
Nissan car insurance costs

How to check your Nissan’s VIN

First off, VIN is short for vehicle identification number. Your Nissan’s VIN is a 17 digit sequence unique to the particular vehicle you drive.
The most common place to find a Nissan VIN is on a small plaque located at the top of the driver’s side dashboard. You can find it in a few other places though, including:
  • The Vehicle Identification Label in your owner’s manual
  • Stamped on the frame under the front hood
  • A sticker on the driver’s side door panel
  • On the vehicle’s state registration certificate
  • Your insurance card
Virtually all Nissans will have the VIN printed in one or several of these locations—but it’s still possible to find the VIN in a few other places. It could be printed on the vehicle’s title or on a sticker in the trunk/spare tire area, for example.

How to decode a Nissan VIN

Your VIN is used to catalog and track your vehicle across numerous auto-related services, such as those provided by the DMV—but what do those 17 letters and numbers actually represent?
VINs have been around in the US since the 1950s, but they weren’t standardized until 1981. Ever since, the 17 characters in a VIN have carried specific meanings that are now standard worldwide.
VINs use all ten digits (0-9) and most letters of the alphabet. The letters I, O, and Q are not used because they could easily be confused for 1, 0, and 9, respectively.
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First position: country of manufacture

The first three digits of a VIN represent the world manufacturer identifier (WMI) code. With Nissans, the first digit denotes the country where the vehicle was assembled.
The numbers 1 and 4 indicate that your Nissan was manufactured in the US, while a J shows that it was made in Japan.

Positions 2-3: manufacturer information

The two digits that immediately follow the first represent the manufacturer information. The specific type of vehicle is indicated by the third digit—sedan, truck, or SUV. 
N6, for example, would indicate a
Nissan truck
, whereas a
Nissan sedan
would be N4 or N1.

Positions 4-8: vehicle-specific information

The next five spaces in your VIN contain your car’s vehicle-specific information. You can ascertain things like body type, trim level, engine size, and much more from these characters. 
Since most Nissan models are offered in a variety of types and trim levels, these digits help narrow down exactly what kind of car you’re driving.

Position 9: the VIN check digit

The ninth position of your VIN is the special “check digit” that helps prevent the creation of fraudulent documentation. Informed by the other characters in the VIN, the check digit verifies the number’s authenticity.

Position 10: model year

Position 10 denotes the specific year your Nissan was manufactured. Because VINs have been forced to recycle numbers from earlier model years, this system gets progressively more complicated as time goes on.
 In addition to I, O, and Q, the characters U, Z, and 0 do not appear in the tenth position, either.
The last 20 years of VIN model year codes looks like this:
1981 OR 2011
1982 OR 2012
1983 OR 2013
1984 OR 2014
1985 OR 2015
1986 OR 2016
1987 OR 2017
1988 OR 2018
1989 OR 2019
1990 OR 2020
1991 OR 2021
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Position 11: assembly plant

The 11th position indicates which factory assembled the vehicle, with every auto manufacturer having a unique code for this part of the VIN. Nissan’s three U.S. plants are located in

Positions 12-17: vehicle serial number

The final six positions in the VIN are your car’s serial number. Your Nissan’s serial number is entirely unique to your vehicle, typically representing a production sequence number.

How to find affordable Nissan insurance

You might need your VIN to sell your car, but it’s not required to save money on
car insurance
. For that, all you need is your phone and the
It’s much easier than decoding 17 random letters and numbers! All you have to do is download Jerry and answer a few questions. In less than a minute, Jerry will give you a personalized list of quotes from top insurance carriers.
Jerry is all about simplicity, so we’ll never pester you with phone calls or tedious paperwork. If you find a policy you like, our team of experts can finalize it and even help you cancel your old one. 
The best part? Jerry users save an average of over $800 a year on car insurance!
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