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Japanese carmakers do not use a Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) as is common in the United States and elsewhere. Instead, Japan uses a Chassis (Frame) Number — nine to twelve alphanumeric characters identifying model and serial number.

A chassis number is like a family register for a car, and no two numbers are the same in this world.

For example, Chassis (Frame) Number SV30-0169266 breaks down as "V30" identifying the model as Toyota Camry/Vista x30; "S" identifying the engine (4S-FE), and "0169266" being the serial number of the vehicle. Vehicle make is not identified but slight number variations can identify the carmaker, i.e. Toyota usually uses seven digits for its serial numbers while Nissan uses six. Because a Chassis (Frame) Number contains far less information than a VIN, Japanese domestic model vehicles also use a Model Code. As an example, SV30-BTPNK breaks down as "SV30", which means the same as above, and "BTPNK" which designates a set of features incorporated in the vehicle.

The chassis number can be written in three places: on the vehicle inspection certificate, stamped on the body, and on the caution plate.


Find year of manufacture of Japanese used cars ( 1984-2022 )

Year of production of a used Japanese car, bus or truck through chassis no / frame no. Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Mitsubishi, Mazda, Suzuki, Isuzu, Hino, Subaru, and Daihatsu included

** Month of production may not be correct in some cases. After 2010, it is not correct (our apologies)

When purchasing a vehicle, you may be aware of the model year of the car. However, the model year of a car is used in two ways:

Vehicle Registration Year/Month
Vehicle Manufacturing Year/Month

We will introduce you to what a car's model year is exactly and the situations in which it is needed and its effects.

What is the year of the car?

Domestically in Japan, the year of a car generally refers to the date it was first registered with the Transport Bureau, but for import purposes, your country's laws may require the year/month of manufacture. Therefore, we request that you check your country's import laws before placing an order.

Vehicle manufacturing Year/Month

A car's manufacturing year/month is the date the car was completed. If the vehicle is not registered at the Transport Bureau immediately after manufacturing, there will be a discrepancy between the year/month of manufacture and the time of initial registration. However, in the case of domestically produced cars, the period from the date of manufacture to the date of first registration is not very wide.

The manufacturing date of the car is used as the model year mainly for imported cars. In the case of imported cars, it takes time for the car to be manufactured as a new car, exported, imported to Japan, and registered at the Transport Bureau, so there is a time lag between the date of manufacture and the date of first registration. For example, a car manufactured in 2021 may be first registered in 2022.

Additionally, as mentioned above, if a car that has been driven overseas is imported as a used car, the date of first registration is the date of first registration at the Transport Bureau after import.

For example, the first registration date of a car manufactured in 2010 and imported to Japan in 2020 will be the month of registration at the Transport Bureau in 2020. In these cases, the date of first registration and the date of manufacture are very different.

Vehicle Registration Year/Month

Generally, the year of the car is the year and month of first registration. The date of first registration refers to the month and year when the car was manufactured and first registered as a new car with the Transport Bureau.

However, the date of initial registration is only the month and year of registration with the Japan Transport Bureau. In the case of imported cars or late registered cars, even if they are new, there may be a time lag between the time they are manufactured and the time they are registered in Japan. There are also cases where there is a large discrepancy between the date of manufacture and the date of first registration, such as in cases where a used car that was driven overseas was imported.

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