What Are VIN Codes & Model Years?

What Are VIN Codes & Model Years?

A simple guide to help you decode the model and year of your HVUT 2290 vehicle. Learn about VIN codes, model-year details of trucks, and more.

A vehicle identification number or VIN may not seem like a big deal if you aren’t from the trucking industry.

However, vehicle identification numbers play a key role in HVUT compliance.

Now, since VINs are so important, you’d assume that trucking companies would report them 100% accurately at all times.

But that’s from reality.

As critical as VINs are for HVUT compliance, it’s quite common for businesses to report an incorrect VIN sporadically.  

The reporting error is so common that the IRS has a “VIN Correction” filing option in Form 2290, which is dedicated to addressing the incorrect VIN reports alone.

It is essential to note that incorrect VIN reports usually result in inconsistencies in HVUT reporting and may even require you to pay excess HVUT.

This is because the original VIN (which you’re supposed to report on Form 2290), doesn’t reflect in the IRS records as intended.

And because the IRS doesn’t keep a track of VINs reported on HVUT Form 2290, you may not be notified of incorrect VINs.

It is your responsibility to fully validate your vehicle identification numbers and then report them on Form 2290.

At the first glance, VINs may seem confusing and even odd, due to the random alphabet and numerical characters present in the VIN code.

However, when you decode these VINs and understand the real information hidden behind these “codes”, you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

This brings us to the question – what exactly do these characters in VIN represent?

And how do you check the model year of a vehicle through VIN codes?

The following discussion will focus on VIN codes and model years, and how these two elements correlate through the common identification system.

So, let’s get started.

What Is A VIN Code?

A VIN Code is nothing but a character in the vehicle identification number. A VIN is a unique 17-digit series assigned to a vehicle. It’s a combination of alphabets and numbers. Each of these characters represents a unique aspect of the vehicle, such as the manufacturer’s detail, airbag type, geographical origin of the vehicle, make and model year, engine number, and so on.

A simple VIN Lookup will help you “decode” all the information there is to know about a vehicle. HVUT vehicle or otherwise, every vehicle has a VIN. VIN Checks help you learn about the vehicle history.

For the contextual relevance of this discussion, we will be focusing on the 10th character of the VIN.

The 10th character of the VIN Code represents the model year of the vehicle.

What Is A Model Year?

The model year or “MY” is the year in which a vehicle is manufactured. Automobile makers manufacture variants of the same vehicle. There are a variety of series, changes to security enhancements, and other features, which make each vehicle model unique.

The 10th character of the VIN helps you check the model year of the vehicle. Y

A simple VIN Check will help you further understand the model of the vehicle and the year of manufacturing with the 10th digit.

You can also view the vehicle history, right from the date of manufacturing. This information includes a history of accidents, non-compliance issues recorded by authorities, and other information about the vehicle.

Understanding VIN Codes & Model Years

The 10th digit of the VIN can be either an alphabet or a number, which represents the model year.

Let’s take a closer look at VIN Codes and the years associated with the digits.

A1980, 2010
B1981, 2011
C1982, 2012
D1983, 2013
E1984, 2014
F1985, 2015
G1986, 2016
H1987, 2017
J1988, 2018
K1989, 2019
L1990, 2020
M1991, 2021
N1992, 2022
P1993, 2023
R1994, 2024
S1995, 2025
T1996, 2026
V1997, 2027
W1998, 2028
X1999, 2029
Y2000, 2030
12001, 2031
22002, 2032
32003, 2033
42004, 2034
52005, 2035
62006, 2036
72007, 2037
82008, 2038
92009, 2039

VIN Codes & Model Years In HVUT Reporting

You don’t necessarily have to report the model-year information in the IRS HVUT 2290 form.

However, you will need to enter the VIN and the month and year in which you first started using the vehicle (since the purchase).

This information will help the IRS to tax your vehicle accordingly and impose the appropriate HVUT tax on your truck for the tax period.

So, assuming that you bought a heavy truck in May 2022, but you first started using it in June 2022, then you need to report June 2022 in Form 2290. File the HVUT 2290 form and pay the tax due by the end of July 2022

This is because the vehicle was first used on highways in June, even though it was purchased in May 2022.

Learn more about ‘Month Of First Use’ here.

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