How to Check and Decode a Saturn VIN

The Saturn VIN can be found on the driver’s side doorjamb, vehicle frame, or windshield. The 17 digits follow a standardized set of codes.
Written by Tiffany Leung
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
The Saturn VIN number is located in your car on the driver’s side doorjamb, the windshield on the driver’s side, or the top left side of the dashboard. These 17 digits represent information about your car’s country of origin, manufacturer, model year, assembly plant, and more. 
When you’re renewing your license, updating your vehicle registration, or selling your car, you will be asked to provide your VIN. This is because it is unique to the car and can be used to make sure that the vehicle is actually yours and not stolen.
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How to check your Saturn’s VIN

The vehicle identification number (VIN) is a unique sequence of numbers that identify your Saturn. Each VIN is 17 digits long.
Your Saturn VIN can be found in several places, including: 
  • Your insurance card
  • Your registration card
  • A sticker inside your car on the doorjamb of the driver’s side
  • A sticker inside your car on the corner of the windshield on the driver’s side
  • On the steering wheel column of your car
You may also see your Saturn VIN printed on the engine.

How to decode a Saturn VIN

The DMV needs your VIN to process your vehicle registration application, among other services, since the number contains important information about your car. It can also be used to check against a list of stolen cars.
Cars in the United States have had VINs issued to them since the 1950s. However, the system wasn’t streamlined until 1981, when the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) standardized the 17 digits. The VINs issued nowadays will reflect the same type of information across all models, makes, and continents.
You can find all ten numerical digits (0-9) and the letters of the alphabet excluding I, O, and Q, in a VIN. The letters were excluded so that there’s no confusion with 1, 0, and 9.

First position: country of origin

The first three digits of any VIN represent the world manufacturer identifier (WMI) code. The manufacturer’s region can be identified using the first number. 
If your Saturn’s VIN starts with 1, 4, 5, or 7, the car was produced in the United States; if it starts with 3, it was produced in Mexico. 
MORE: Are Saturns expensive to maintain?

Positions 2-3: manufacturer information

Your vehicle’s manufacturer can be identified using the second and third digits. The third digit can also be used to determine if the vehicle is an SUV, truck, or passenger car. However, it can be different for each manufacturer. For example, the
Saturn Vue
could have the code G8, which stands for GM and Saturn. 

Positions 4-8: vehicle-specific information

The specifics of the vehicle are detailed by the fourth through the eighth digits. This includes information like the body type, engine type, transmission specifications, and safety features.

Position 9: the VIN check digit

The ninth digit in the VIN is the check digit which verifies the authenticity of the VIN. The number is determined by putting all the digits in the VIN through a complex series of calculations. The purpose of this digit is to identify any fraud and make it more difficult to create fake numbers.

Position 10: model year

Some of the VIN digits are re-used when referring to the same model in different years. The tenth digit indicates which year the car was produced. The letters I, O, Q, U, and Z, as well as the number 0, are not used in this position.
Below, you can see what each VIN code represents for the last 20 model years:
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 VIN’s eleventh digit indicates the factory where your Saturn was assembled. The codes for the factories are specific to each manufacturer. Saturn's production facilities are all in the United States, Mexico, and Belgium.
MORE: Is a Saturn hybrid worth it?

Positions 12-17: vehicle serial number

Finally, the VIN’s last six digits are the car’s serial number. It is unique to your car but doesn’t indicate vital information. However, you can use it to figure out the exact date your car was manufactured if you were curious. 

How to find affordable Saturn insurance

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