Welcome to Tesla Motors Club
Discuss Tesla's Model S, Model 3, Model X, Model Y, Cybertruck, Roadster and More.

Decoding Tesla Roadster VINs


Administrator / Head Moderator
Nov 28, 2006
SF Bay Area
I think it's sometimes interesting to see what the VIN can tell you about a car, particularly cars that are collector's items.

We've seen several Roadster VIN's:

1T9RE11A15P829M02 for drivable mule 2
SFZRE11B963E00001 for EP1
SFZRE11B063E00002 for EP2
SFZRE11B663E00005 for EP5
SFZRE11B773V00001 for VP1
SFZRE11B173V00009 for VP9
SFZRE11B873V00010 for VP10
SFZRE11BX73V00011 for VP11
SFZRE11B173V00012 for VP12
SFZRE11B373V00013 for VP13
SFZRE11B283900016 for VP16
SFZRE11B483900017 for VP17
SFZRE11B183F00001 for P1
SFZRE11B081F00003 for P2/VIN F003
SFZRE11B981F00002 for P3?/VIN F002
SFZRE11B681000005 for Signature 100, #5
SFZRE11B?81000009 for Signature 100, #9
5YJRE11B481000012 for Signature 100, #12
5YJRE11B681000013 for Signature 100, #13
5YJRE11B881000014 for Signature 100, #14
5YJRE11B181000016 for Signature 100, #16
5YJRE11B881000028 for Signature 100, #28
5YJRE11B981V00022 for VP22
RE11B281V00024 for VP24
5YJRE11B681V00026 for VP26

5YJRE1A31A1000502 for US 2010MY Sport
SFZRE2B13A3000002 for EU 2010MY
SFZRE2B3XA3000001 for EU 2010MY Sport

SFZRE2B32A3000011 for EU 2010MY Sport
SFZRE2B30A3900017 for EU 2010MY Signature 250 Sport

SFZRE2B15A3000003 for EU 2010MY car - RWE promotion - has Signature plate
SFZRE2B34A3000026 for EU 2010MY Sport - has Signature plate

5YJRE1A38B1001194 for US 2011MY Sport

The following is adapted from here:

How to Decode a VIN

When decoded, the VIN tells the country and year of manufacture; make, model and serial number; assembly plant; and in some cases it even identifies equipment specifications.

The vehicle identification number is divided into four parts:

* World Manufacturer's Identification (WMI - three characters)
* Vehicle Description Section (VDS - five characters)
* The VIN Accuracy Check Digit
* Vehicle Identification Section (VIS - eight characters)

World Manufacturer’s Identification (WMI)

The first character in the WMI sequence represents the country where the vehicle was manufactured. The second character refers to the manufacturer. The characters can be either letters or numbers. The third character represents the vehicle type or manufacturing division.

I believe the S refers to the UK as in Lotus VIN's.

Vehicle Description Section (VDS) and Check Digit

The vehicle description section consists of five characters (the 4th to 8th characters) which identify everything from the body style, engine type, and braking system to model, series, restraint system, etc. The 9th character is a VIN accuracy check digit which verifies the previous VIN numbers. It is determined by carrying out a mathematical computation developed by the Department of Transportation (DOT).
Anyone have an interpretation for RE11B?

Vehicle Identification Section (VIS)

The vehicle identification section includes the last eight characters in the VIN number. The numbers identify the model year (10th character) and the assembly plant for the vehicle (11th character).
So VP12 is 2007, P1 is 2008. Lotus uses an H for Hethel. Not sure why Tesla uses a 3 (or why P2 and later have a 1 in this position).

The 12th to 17th characters are the actual serial number of the vehicle—these last 6 digits make the vehicle unique (think of DNA). It can also help to identify whether the vehicle was the first, the hundredth, or the last vehicle off the manufacturer’s assembly line. This is valuable information for collectors.
We can assume V is for Validation Prototype and F for Founders' Series. I'd guess they're using E for EP.

Does anyone have any insight to share?
Last edited:


Administrator / Head Moderator
Nov 28, 2006
SF Bay Area
Elon in P1


Last edited:


Mar 21, 2008
There is quite a bit of information on the internet on VIN number formats. A few additional quick observations. Yes, S in the first space is for the UK, just as W is for Germany, J for Japan, K for Korea. The formats of the next two characters varies considerably. General Motors generally uses G in the second spot and a character for the division in the third spot. Ford Motor Company does not follow the same pattern.

There is not supposed to be an I or the letter O in the VIN. Note that for the year model code, numbers were used for a while, then letters, then numbers again.

There are spaces on the internet to decode VINs, but it probably is too soon for Tesla's information to be there.


Administrator / Head Moderator
Nov 28, 2006
SF Bay Area
VIN's out of sequence

Apparently there is some precedence for producing cars with their VIN's out of sequence. Just one example I found online:
LOVEfords -* VIN Information - 1953-1959 Fords, 1958 and 1959 Mercurys, Edsels, and Lincolns

Consecutive Unit Numbers begin at 100001 for Ford cars, 400001 for Lincoln cars, 500001 for Mercury cars, and 700001 for Edsel cars at each assembly plant (where those cars were produced). This number represents the scheduled sequence order. When a car was ordered, it was immediately assigned a VIN with a Consecutive Unit Number. It was then assigned a scheduled production date based on availability of trim, parts, other components, and taking into account downtime and production workloads at the assembly plant.
A scheduled production date was very often out of sequence with the Consecutive Unit Number. And more often than not, the actual production date (the day the car rolled off the line) was earlier or later than what was originally planned. Therefore, a Thunderbird with a Consecutive Unit Number of 105678 may have actually been produced and ready for shipping before a Thunderbird with a Consecutive Unit Number of 105432. The Consecutive Unit Number should be considered to be a unique identification that shows when the order was received and when it was planned for production.
Last edited:


Aug 25, 2010
There are spaces on the internet to decode VINs, but it probably is too soon for Tesla's information to be there.

Here you can actually also decode Tesla vehicles : http://www.pronto-net.com/vin_app/vin.php
Tested with some VINs and seems pretty accurate.

This is result for EP1 :
VIN SFZRE11B963E00001
DECODED 2006 Tesla Roadster
Make Tesla
Vehicle Type Passenger Car
Model Roadster
Check Digit 9
Model Year 2006
Assy. Plant Hethel, UK
Production Seq. Number E00001
Engine Type Electric Motor; 3-phase, 4-pole AC induction motor; 375 volts
Body Type 2 Door Convertible; Roadster
Trim Level Base; Sport
Restraint System Dual Air Bag; Seat Belts
Drive Line Type RWD
Vehicle Class Small Car
Fuel Type Electric
Manufacturer Tesla Motors Incorporated
Engine Code S


Electrics are back
Supporting Member
Oct 15, 2008
Warren, New Jersey, United States
MINI E reported in as:

DECODED 2008 MINI Cooper
Vehicle Type Passenger Car
Model Cooper
Restraint System Dual Air Bag; Manual Belts; SRS-Dual Stage Advanced
Check Digit 9
Model Year 2008
Assy. Plant Oxford, Great Britain
Body Type 2 Door Hatchback
Engine Type L4, 1.6L
Trim Level S
Drive Line Type FWD
Vehicle Class Small Car
Fuel Type Gasoline
Manufacturer BMW-AG, Munich, Germany
Engine Code M

A hint at its former life before it went under the knife?


Administrator / Head Moderator
Nov 28, 2006
SF Bay Area


Sep 22, 2009
Houston, TX
I haven't taken delivery of my 2.5 yet, but I've been told my vin is as follows:


It is a Tesla Roadster Sport 2.5. This VIN supports the theory that '3' in 8th digit = sport.

Interesting: The VIN decoder did not decode that the vehicle is "sport"


  • tesla.jpg
    215.2 KB · Views: 442
Last edited:

Products we're discussing on TMC...

About Us

Formed in 2006, Tesla Motors Club (TMC) was the first independent online Tesla community. Today it remains the largest and most dynamic community of Tesla enthusiasts. Learn more.

Do you value your experience at TMC? Consider becoming a Supporting Member of Tesla Motors Club. As a thank you for your contribution, you'll get nearly no ads in the Community and Groups sections. Additional perks are available depending on the level of contribution. Please visit the Account Upgrades page for more details.