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Porsche Vehicle Identity Numbers

Understanding Your Porsche's unique Vehicle Identity Number, or VIN

What is a VIN Number?
A Vehicle Identification Number, or more commonly known as a VIN, is a unique serial number used by Porsche and other automotive manufacturers to identify the cars they produce. VIN's first appeared on cars in 1954. Manufacturers started stamping or casting identifying numbers onto cars and their parts in order to provide an accurate identifying description of the vehicles. Between 1954 and 1981, there was no universally accepted standard for these numbers, so different manufacturers used different numbering systems according to their own needs.

Porsche VIN PlateIn 1981, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration of the United States standardised the VIN numbering system. The standards required that all road vehicles should have a 17 digit VIN. The format excludes the use of the letters 'I', 'O' or 'Q' in order to avoid confusion with numerals '1' and '0'.

This established the fixed VIN system for major vehicle manufacturers as it is known today. Our modern day Vehicle Identification Number systems are based on two related standards, originally issued by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) in 1979 and 1980; ISO 3779 and ISO 3780, respectively. Compatible but somewhat different implementations of these ISO standards have been adopted by the European Union and the United States of America.

Porsche VIN Numbering System History
Over the years Porsche have used a range of different VIN systems:

▶ Model Years 1948 to 1958 had a 5 digit VIN system
▶ Model Years 1959 to 1968 had a 6 digit VIN system
▶ Model Year 1968 had a 8 digit VIN system
▶ Model Year 1969 had a 9 digit VIN system
▶ Model Years 1970 to 1979 had a 10 digit VIN system
▶ Model Year 1980 had a 10 digit VIN system
▶ Model Years 1981 up to present day uses the ISO based 17 digit VIN system

How to Find Your Porsche's VIN
Here's a quick guide to help you find your Porsche's VIN number. They are normally located in several locations on the car, but the most common places to look are as follows:

▶ For the Porsche 356's they are stamped on an alloy plate on the front panel under the bonnet.
▶ On the early 911's alloy plate on the front panel, and stamped behind petrol tank left side.
▶ Later 911's 993's, 996's on the dash lower part of the windscreen, and stamped behind the spare wheel.
▶ And for the 924 you can find it on the windscreen pillar and on the strut top mount.
▶ On 944's and 968's there should be a sticker in the boot and stamped on the engine bay fire wall.
▶ On the 928 it is again seen on the windscreen pillar.
▶ And of course on your car's registration document, guarantee and maintenance book.

Having trouble finding your VIN markings. Aside from the specific locations listed above, generally, you might look in these places:

▶ On the door frame/door post of the front doors (usually driver's but sometimes passenger's)
▶ On the dash near the windshield
▶ On the engine itself (machined pad on front of engine)
▶ On the car's firewall
▶ In the left-hand inner wheel arch
▶ On the steering wheel/steering column
▶ On the radiator support bracket
▶ On your car's title, registration, guarantee/maintenance book or on the declarations page of your auto insurance policy

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