ATV VIN Check - Free ATV VIN Decoder (frequently asked questions)
This ATV VIN Check tool is free to use. It is currently in beta testing and will decode any Yamaha ATV vehicle identification number. Once I am confident it is bug free, and if there is enough demand, I will update it to cover all makes and models of ATVs including Polaris, Suzuki, Honda, Kawasaki and others.
Enter VIN number:
Since writing my ATV VIN guide I have been asked for help in decoding ATV VIN's so I'd like to follow up with this free ATV VIN check tool. Use the charts and instructions in the original guide if you'd like to know how to manually decode an ATV VIN, however, it is easier to do an ATV VIN check by entering your ATV VIN into a decoder, now you can.
What This ATV VIN Check Tool Does: It will tell you if the VIN is mathematically valid based on industry standards and, if it is, will attempt to provide you with year, make and model information based on that VIN. This is particularly useful when buying a used ATV and/or ATV Parts.
What it Doesn't do: It cannot tell you if an ATV is stolen and will not provide specific information about the ATV such as engine size, color or other information which may be particular to that ATV. I decided not to use that type of specific information in order to avoid this tool being used for the wrong reasons and to keep costs low(as in free). No owner history or personal information is collected or saved with this tool.
Finding your YAMAHA ATV VIN: The most likely location for a Yamaha VIN is on the lower left side of the frame near the footrest and shifter. Do not confuse the number stamped on the engine as being an ATV VIN, the VIN is 17 digits long and not mounted on the engine. If you do not readily see the ATV VIN plate on the lower left side of your frame you can also check the following locations. It may be located near the A-Arm mounts, behind the brush guard, on the swingarm, near the top of the steering shaft and perhaps even behind the air filter housing of the frame depending on model. Be patient!
Frequently Asked Questions About This ATV VIN Decoder
"It shows the wrong year!"
- The 10th digit of an ATV VIN represents the year. The letters A through Z, with the exception of O, L, U and Q which are never used, and numbers 1 through 9 each represent a year(see charts on my VIN Guide page to determine year). The problem with using this system is that when you run out of numbers and letters the system starts over and as a result the letter A for example can mean 1980 or 2010. This problem was resolved by referencing the 7th digit as follows. If the 7th digit is a number the earlier year is accurate, if the 7th digit is a letter the later year is accurate. Check to make sure the 7th digit is also accurate on your VIN, not just the 10th digit.
"It says my vin is invalid!"
- The 9th digit of every 17 digit ATV VIN is called the check digit and it represents the mathematical sum of the values of the entire VIN. Make sure you have correctly entered all 17 digits as they appear on your ATV. To make sure the tool is working correctly during beta testing you can enter the value 11111111111111111 which should validate, if it doesn't please let me know.
"It doesn't tell me my model information!"
- Did you know that not all Japanese ATVs are made in Japan and not all American ATVs are made in America etc? Some were even made from multiple locations and as a result there are multiple possible codes within the VIN to identify a single model of ATV. I am adding models and codes as quickly as I can verify them through a dealership.
"I'm buying a used ATV and the VIN doesn't check out!"
- Do not go by the VIN printed on any paperwork, you need to check the VIN on the ATV or motorbike itself. If it still doesn't check out, or is hard to read, I urge you to contact your local DMV(Department of Motor Vehicles) for more specific information about that ATV. Buying an ATV without paperwork is also always a risk and not recommended, contact your local police office if you suspect the VIN might have been removed or tampered with intentionally.
As can be seen on this typical VIN chart the first 13 digits can be numerical or alphabetical but the last 4 digits are always numerical.
"I think I have a generic ATV not from a major brand name"
- This is not only entirely possible but is in fact likely. Many ATVs are assembled in China using parts from many different companies and are named and branded by the end retailer where it was originally sold. During import these ATVs are often labeled as farm equipment which has different rules and regulations as you find on cars. This presents a problem for owners, the ATV VIN is usually printed in advance and does not follow the standard coding procedure. Semi-generic VINs are applied after the fact. If this is your case your best bet is to take a picture and take it to your local dealer, it's likely that an experienced person there will recognize the ATV style and help you get the parts you need.