How to Check and Decode a Pontiac VIN

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Tiffany Leung
· 5 min read
The Pontiac VIN number is located on the driver’s side doorjamb, under the windshield, near the firewall, or on the steering column. The 17 digits can be used to decode the country of origin, manufacturer, vehicle information, model year, and assembly plant. 
Whether you are renewing your license, updating your vehicle registration, or selling your car, you would have needed to provide your car’s vehicle identification number (VIN). Not only is the VIN unique to your car, but it also is an encoding of important information about your car.
For those who want to find and decode their Pontiac’s VIN,
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How to check your Pontiac’s VIN

Your Pontiac’s vehicle identification number (VIN) is a unique sequence of 17 digits that identifies the Pontiac you are driving. 
Your Pontiac VIN can be found in several places. This includes: 
  • Your insurance card
  • Your DMV-issued registration card
  • A sticker or metal tag on the driver’s side of your car that can be seen through the windshield
  • A sticker inside the driver’s side doorjamb of the car
  • A sticker near the firewall of the car
  • A sticker on the steering column of the car
You should be able to find your Pontiac VIN printed in one of these places. However, there could be other locations where you can find it as well, such as under the hood of your car. 

How to decode a Pontiac VIN

Your VIN is a powerful piece of information—the DMV needs it to process your application for various car-related services like vehicle registration.
Believe it or not, the United States has been using VINs since the 1950s. In 1981, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) standardized the 17 digits to streamline the VIN system. As a result, the VINs now reflect the same information across all models, makes, and continents.
VINs can contain all ten numerical digits (0-9) and the letters of the alphabet excluding I, O, and Q—this exclusion prevents any confusion with the numbers 1, 0, and 9.

First position: country of origin

The first three digits of any VIN represent the world manufacturer identifier (WMI) code. The first number identifies the region where the manufacturer operates. 
If your first number is anything from 1 to 5, or 7, your Pontiac manufacturer is in North America. On the other hand, if you see the letter J, your Pontiac was manufactured in Japan. 

Positions 2-3: manufacturer information

The digits in positions 2 and 3 identify the manufacturer of your vehicle. In North America, the third digit is used to indicate the type of vehicle, such as a passenger car, SUV, or truck. For example, the
Pontiac Firebird
could have the code G2, which represents a Pontiac passenger car. 

Positions 4-8: vehicle-specific information

The digits in positions 4 to 8 of your VIN give vehicle-specific information, including the car’s body type, engine and transmission specifications, and safety equipment. Since every Pontiac model has multiple styles and trim levels, these five digits further identify which vehicle you’re driving.  

Position 9: the VIN check digit

The 9th digit is called a check digit and is a product of the rest of the numbers in the VIN after a series of complex calculations. It is used to verify the authenticity of the number to prevent someone from creating a fake VIN based on this standardized information.

Position 10: model year

Since VINs can re-use digits that already refer to the same model in different years, the 10th digit is used to identify the car’s model year. In addition to the letters I, O, and Q, the letters U, Z, and 0 are also not used in this position.
Here’s how the VIN model year codes for the last twenty years break down:
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
1992 OR 2022
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Position 11: assembly plant

The digit in position 11 of your VIN indicates which factory assembled the vehicle. Every automaker will have its own set of codes for the factories. Pontiac's main production facility in the United States was located in Michigan.

Positions 12-17: vehicle serial number

The last 6 digits of your VIN make up the car’s serial number. This number is unique to your car and is often the production sequence number. 
This number isn’t significant unless you are trying to figure out if your car changed specifications during production, e.g., if a different glass was used between a March 2020 production and August 2020 production. 
MORE: How to verify a vehicle identification number (VIN)

How to find affordable Pontiac insurance

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