How to Track a Vehicle by Its VIN to See How Many Were Made of That Model

by Neal Litherland

The vehicle identification number, or VIN, is a number on a small metal plate on the driver's side of the dashboard. This VIN identifies the unique car to the Department of Motor Vehicles so that the government can make sure that the registered owner has the correct car. It is also possible to check and see how many cars of that type have been registered by using VIN numbers, which will give you an estimate of how many cars of that type are street legal.

Step 1

Obtain the VIN for each vehicle of the make and model that you want to find. The VIN is a unique fingerprint of a vehicle, and it shows the car's ownership and history. You need to have each unique VIN for every make and model of car you're tracking.

Step 2

Contact the DMV and make a public records request for the history of each VIN you have. If you cannot find the vehicle identification numbers in the first place, you could contact each state branch of the DMV separately and request the VIN for each car of a certain make, model and year. This will give you a total list of the registered VINs for each state.

Step 3

Count the entries on your VIN list. This is, at best, an estimate for how many vehicles were made. You will have the number of vehicles of the type you want that are registered and street legal, but you won't have those that were exported, junked or simply never registered.

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