How to Locate Tire Serial Numbers

by Jen Davis

If you need to replace your car tires or figure out if your tires have been recalled by the manufacturer, you may need to locate the serial number, otherwise known as the tire identification number. You can find the serial number for your car's tires fairly quickly if you know what to look for when you are examining the tires.

Step 1

Remove a tire from your car. Position your jack under the car's frame near the wheel (consult owner's manual) and jack up the car until the tire is off the ground. Use a lug wrench to remove the lug nuts holding the tire in place. The serial number for your car's tire is located on the sidewall of the tire; however, one side may have only a partial serial number on it, so you need to take the tire off to be sure your have the whole number.

Step 2

Examine the sidewall of your car tire. The sidewall is the black part between the metal rim and the actual tread of the tire. The sidewall contains various numbers and names that designate size, brand, serial number, model and use specifications.

Step 3

Identify your serial number. According to the Tire Rack website, the U.S. Department of Transportation "requires that tire identification number be a combination of the letters DOT followed by 10, 11 or 12 letters and/or numbers that identify the manufacturing location, tire size and manufacturer's code along with the week and year the tire was manufactured."

Find the letters DOT on your sidewall and use a pen and paper to write down the 10- to 12-digit number and letter combination that follows it. If the number does not have that many digits, flip the tire over and find the complete serial number on the other side.

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