Pro's and con's about applying for 17 numbered VIN - Fiberglass RV


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Old 11-07-2007, 10:54 PM   #1
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It was recommended in the registering of my newly acquired 1972 Compact junior that I should apply for a 17 numbered VIN. I have a 4 digit serial number. What has been others experience? What do you see as pro's and con's?
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Old 11-08-2007, 08:35 AM   #2
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Kent,

I have some questions. Who recommended it? Who will issue the VIN? What reason did they give for finding it necessary? Why 17 characters?

I ask because I have greater than a passing interest in this.

Most states will just issue a new ID number that starts with the abbreviation of the state of issue, e.g. CAxxxxxx or TNxxxxxx or MNxxxxx if there can't be a number found on the vehicle anywhere. The current 17 character VIN is decode-able with specific digits having specific meanings by manufacturer. An arbitrary VIN of however many digits stamped by someone else won't really do anything more for you than a state-issued ID number or the four digit serial number you already have.

Roger
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Old 11-08-2007, 08:42 AM   #3
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Kent, I see you're in Okanagan... are the rules applied differently for VINs where you live? Does your Department of Motor Vehicles mandate 17 digit VINs on trailers??

Inquiring minds want to know.
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Old 11-08-2007, 11:36 AM   #4
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17 digits ARE becoming mando in B.C. at least.
I own a Model T hot rod that qualifies for our 'modified' collector plate. When I first applied for the plate years ago, ,I only had a 4 digit vin number which they accepted (at that time). A few years down the road our Provincial Insurance Co. (Insurance Corp. of B.C.) required me to get a 17 digit number. Wanting to KEEP my coveted "mod' plate, I complied. (NO reason NOT to??)

I don't see where getting insurance/regi for a trailer should be any different, but MAYBE it is.....
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Old 11-08-2007, 01:30 PM   #5
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The advantage might be unambiguous traceability. We have lots of members who are unsure of even the year of their trailer, since there is little meaning to the serial number and the original manufacturer is unavailable to provide records, and a VIN would specifically identify the trailer even if all other information (such as manufacturer name and year built) is lost.

The disadvantage is the hassle of getting a VIN issued... apparently not a huge deal, but also unnecessary.

Quote:
Why 17 characters?
Because that length (as well as far more important format details) is a characteristic of a VIN which follows international standards.

Quote:
Most states will just issue a new ID number that starts with the abbreviation of the state of issue, e.g. CAxxxxxx or TNxxxxxx or MNxxxxx if there can't be a number found on the vehicle anywhere.
I doubt that situation will last, although it may be permitted for trailers longer than for motor vehicles. The current VIN system appeared decades ago.

Here, if you have an original serial number and manufacturer's name for a stock vehicle which pre-dates the standard VIN, you just use that serial number. If not, a new standard VIN is officially issued.

Quote:
The current 17 character VIN is decode-able with specific digits having specific meanings by manufacturer. An arbitrary VIN of however many digits stamped by someone else won't really do anything more for you than a state-issued ID number or the four digit serial number you already have.
I'm sure Kent is not considering a random sequence, which I agree would be pointless. There are authorities in each jurisdiction which issue correct VINs, using manufacturer codes to identify even homebuilt vehicles without ambiguity. That "real" VIN would be recognized and understood by all jurisdictions (especially in North America, but presumably worldwide), while the state-issued serial numbers may mean nothing in another state or in Canada.
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Old 11-08-2007, 01:47 PM   #6
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Kent,

First, I missed that you're in Canada! Obviously, the state issued numbers I was talking about don't apply. I don't know what your provinces would issue.

Second, Brian... a current vin from an auto manufacturer includes the plant of manufacture, what kind of body the vehicle should be, and a number of other things depending on the manufacturer. My question was more about that an issued 17 character VIN would probably just be a sequential number taken off a list by a jurisdiction that would be as meaningless as the original four-number serial number, and no less identifiable, and hence my question. In the U.S., that's also the reason for the state abbreviation in the first two place holders on an issued VIN, at least you know what state issued it, and you can check the records of issued VIN numbers there.

I'm not aware yet of any movement to do issued VINs where the place holders each have some meaning (although that doesn't mean either that it's a bad idea or that it's a standard that shouldn't be adopted.) I just am not aware of it yet.

Roger
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Old 11-08-2007, 02:58 PM   #7
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When I registered my Compact Jr. in Texas, the local office did a double take about the 4 digit serial number; but, they sent it to the state capital. The title was issued with only the serial number.

Tom Trostel
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Old 11-08-2007, 03:19 PM   #8
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The application is for a BC Assigned Vehicle indetification number. The new B.C. registration is with the 4 digit serial number and it may be that the information that comes with 17 number standard conveys information that may not be applicable for a 1972 Compact junior.
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Old 11-08-2007, 03:49 PM   #9
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The VIN for our boler is the same as date of manufacture with the addition of 000 000 in front of No. to make up 17 digits
. Add 14 0's and see what they do with it.
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Old 11-08-2007, 05:30 PM   #10
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Quote:
.. a current vin from an auto manufacturer includes the plant of manufacture, what kind of body the vehicle should be, and a number of other things depending on the manufacturer. My question was more about that an issued 17 character VIN would probably just be a sequential number taken off a list by a jurisdiction that would be as meaningless as the original four-number serial number...
No, I think it's handled better than that. While the first three characters of a VIN as usually a manufacturer ID, small manufacturers are lumped together and the actual maker is identified by a later field of the VIN. Similarly, the issuers of "assigned VINs" are identified... maybe not as obvious as the state two-letter ID, but still well-defined. In addition, the other fields of the VIN (such as year) still apply. It may not mean a lot, but it's not entirely meaningless.

Assignment of VINs for vehicles which need one is handled by a number of organization with local jurisdiction; here it is the Alberta Assigned Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) Program run by the Insurance Bureau of Canada; it is our equivalent to the B.C Assigned VIN.

I think any unique identifier is better than a serial number from a non-longer-existent manufacturer, especially if that manufacturer might not even be known. The standard VIN also includes a check digit so transcription errors are more likely to be caught.

I still don't see much benefit if the original serial number is available; I'm staying with mine for our Boler.
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Old 11-08-2007, 09:31 PM   #11
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My most recent " antique " motorcycle gave me tons of Headaches. In Ontario, most insurance companies will not touch anything without a 17 digit vin, 'cause it messes up their computer software
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