Tesla VIN Numbers Explained

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The Tesla VIN is a 17-digit unique identifier that helps track all sorts of information related to a vehicle. It is necessary to have your Tesla VIN to get insurance and a Motor Vehicle Purchase Agreement.

This short article provides all you need to know about your Tesla VIN. We’ll review how to get it early, where to see it on the car, and what each digit means.

What Is a Tesla VIN?

A Tesla VIN is a Vehicle Identification Number given to each Tesla vehicle. Most automakers must give each car a VIN.

Every VIN is a unique identifier, meaning no two cars should have the same VIN. They help identify vehicles for crucial items, such as:

  • Registration
  • Insurance
  • Warranty coverage
  • Manufacturer recalls
  • Tracking records

Where Can You Find Your Car’s Tesla VIN?

You can view your Tesla VIN on the vehicle’s touchscreen. Navigate to ‘Controls’ then ‘Software’ to see it. You can also view it through the Tesla website. After logging in, the VIN is under your vehicle image on the main Dashboard page.

The VIN should also be on your vehicle title, registration, and insurance paperwork.

Tesla VINs are physically printed in three places on each vehicle, including:

  • Dashboard: On the driver’s side where it meets the windshield, the VIN is stamped into a metal plate. You can view this from the outside looking through the windshield.
  • Door pillar: The Statutory Plate is mounted on the door pillar near the rear end of the driver’s door. It is visible only when the door is open.
  • Factory-specific location: A third VIN location depends on the vehicle’s production facility.
    • Fremont Factory: Stamped into the pillar near the rear end of the passenger door. Only visible with the upper trim piece removed.
    • Gigafactory Berlin: Stamped into the rear passenger door sill. Only visible with the lower trim removed.
    • Gigafactory Shanghai: Stamped onto the floor under the passenger seat. Only visible with the seat moved rearward and the carpet lifted.

How Long Is a VIN Number?

A VIN is 17 digits long and includes both numbers and letters. Each character specifies something about the characteristics of the vehicle, relaying information like:

  • Manufacturer
  • Production facility
  • Year produced
  • Model
  • Trim package
  • Other options and factory equipment included

What Can You Tell From Tesla VIN?

Here is what you can tell from your Tesla VIN:

Digits 1-3: World Manufacturer Identifier
Indicates the business entity responsible for manufacturing the vehicle.

Digits 1-3Digits Meaning
5YJFremont, California passenger car (Model S or Model 3)
7SAFremont, California MPV (Model X or Model Y)
LRWChina
XP7Germany
SFZUK (Roadster 1)

Digit 4: Model
Indicates the Model type of the Tesla vehicle.

Digit 4Digits Meaning
S Tesla Model S
XTesla Model X
3Tesla Model 3
YTesla Model Y
RTesla Roadster

Digit 5: Body type and chassis information
Indicates the type of body, what side the driver’s position is on, and other basic chassis information.

Digit 5 Digits Meaning
A5-door left-hand drive (LHD) car
B5-door right-hand drive (RHD) car
C5-door LHD large multi-purpose vehicle (MPV)
D5-door RHD large MPV
E4-door LHD sedan
F4-door RHD sedan
G5-door LHD small MPV
H5-door RHD small MPV

Digit 6: Safety information (seat belts and airbags)
Indicates the various safety restraints included on the vehicle, including seat belts, airbags, and other active and passive restraints.

Digit 6 Digits Meaning
12 Front, 3 Rear Seat Belts, Front Airbags, PODS, Side Inflatable Restraints, Knee Airbags (Front)
2Pre 2014 cars
32 Front, 2 Rear Seat Belts, Front Airbags, Side Inflatable Restraints, Knee Airbags (Front)
42 Front, 3 Rear Seat Belts, Front Airbags, Side Inflatable Restraints, Knee Airbags (Front)
52 Front, 2 Rear Seat Belts, Front Airbags, Side Inflatable Restraints
62 Front, 3 Rear Seat Belts, Front Airbags, Side Inflatable Restraints
72 Front, 3 Rear Seat Belts, Front Airbags, Side Inflatable Restraints & Active Hood
82 Front, 2 Rear Seat Belts, Front Airbags, Side Inflatable Restraints & Active Hood
A2 Front, 3 Rear, 2 3rd Row Seat Belts, Front Airbags, PODS, Side Inflatable Restraints, Knee Airbags (Front)
B2 Front, 2 Rear, 2 3rd Row Seat Belts, Front Airbags, PODS, Side Inflatable Restraints
C2 Front, 2 Rear, 2 3rd Row Seat Belts, Front Airbags, PODS, Side Inflatable Restraints
D2 Front, 3 Rear Seat Belts, Front Airbags, PODS, Side Inflatable Restraints, knee airbags

Digit 7: Charger and battery
Indicates the type of vehicle or the charger and battery size.

Post-2015: E = Electric
Pre-2015:

Digit 7 Digits Meaning
A10kw charger
B20kw charger​
C10kw charger with DC fast charge
D20kw charger with DC fast charge​
EExtended Capacity Lithium Ion Battery (90 kWh, P90D Ludicrous​)
FLithium Ion Battery
HHigh Capacity Lithium Ion Battery (85 kWh)​
SStandard Capacity Lithium Ion Battery (60 kWh or 70 kWh after mid 2015)​
VVery High Capacity Lithium Ion Battery (90 kWh)​

Digit 8: Motor/drive unit
Indicates how many motors and the specific motor used.

Digit 8Digits Meaning
5P2 Dual Motor (Model S and Model X)
6P2 Tri Motor (Model S and Model X)
ASingle Motor Model 3
BDual Motor, Standard Model 3
CDual Motor, Performance Model 3
DSingle Motor Model Y
EDual Motor, Standard Model Y
FDual Motor, Performance Model Y

Digit 9: Checksum (used to validate the VIN)
Assigned by manufacturer pursuant to 49 CFR § 565.15(c), used to ensure VINs are not fraudulently replicated.

Digit 10: Model year
Indicates the model year of the Tesla vehicle.

Digit 10 Digits Meaning
C2012
D2013
E2014
F2015
G2016
H2017
J2018
K2019
L2020
M2021
N2022
P2023

Digit 11: Manufacturing Facility
Indicates which manufacturing facility the vehicle was produced in.

Digit 11 Digits Meaning
1Menlo Park, California
3Hethel, United Kingdom
AAustin, Texas
BBerlin, Germany
CShanghai, China
FFremont, California
NReno, Nevada
PPalo Alto, California

Digit 12
The start of the unique serial number that starts with the specific trim for production models or what type of non-production model it is.

Digit 12Digits Meaning
PPerformance
SSignature
FFounders
AAlpha
BBeta

Digits 13-17: Unique serial number in production sequence
A five-digit number that is based on when it rolls off the production line.

What Information Can I Know About Information via Tesla VIN?

VINs track lots of data related to a vehicle. It can be useful for both current and prospective Tesla owners.

To ensure your vehicle has received all service related to manufacturer recalls, put the VIN into the Tesla Recall Website. These may include vital safety updates. So it’s worth performing this check often.

Many third-party providers offer vehicle history information with your Tesla VIN. These are especially helpful to prospective buyers of used Tesla vehicles. Popular VIN reports include:

  • CarFax: Show previous owners, accidents, service records, and more.
  • NICB VIN Check: Verifies the car hasn’t been reported as stolen or salvaged.

If you have any insurance claims or serious repairs performed on your Tesla, it can be worthwhile to check your VIN reports. You want to verify they are reported accurately so surprises do not come up when you try to sell your Tesla.

Why Do Tesla Owners Want Their VIN Numbers Quickly?

Tesla owners need their VINs to get insurance and the Motor Vehicle Purchase Agreement (MVPA). If you are using bank or credit union financing, they’ll need the VIN and MVPA.

It is only after you have completed these steps that Tesla can provide delivery of the vehicle.

Since Tesla owners buy online and often do not have access to the physical vehicle, they can’t see the VIN in person. Your online Tesla dashboard will list the VIN once the order is processed.

You can check out this YouTube video for a technique to see it before it’s listed on your account. 

Our Verdict

Your Tesla VIN is a crucial identifier unique to your car. You can find it through your touchscreen or online dashboard. 

The VIN includes information related to the production and features of your vehicle. It can also track service records, insurance claims, and recalls.

Ready for more Tesla information? Head over to our articles about Tesla Maintenance Cost or Premium Connectivity.

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