TMC is an independent, primarily volunteer organization that relies on ad revenue to cover its operating costs. Please consider whitelisting TMC on your ad blocker or making a Paypal contribution here:

Secrecy of VIN and RN #'s

Discussion in 'Model X' started by SCModelX, Jan 12, 2016.

  1. SCModelX

    SCModelX Member

    Oct 27, 2015
    Santa Cruz, CA
    Hi all.... I was wondering.... Is there a reason we all xx the last couple of our RN or VIN? I started posting with actual RN and then, after many examples, started being more discreet. Is there really any possible consequences for being accurate with these numbers? I always feel a pull to post accurately, but wonder... Is this xx justified!?!?!
  2. spentan

    spentan Active Member

    Dec 26, 2012
    Personally I don't think the VIN is that secretive. I mean, you can see it in plain sight if you walk up to the car, not to mention look online at CPOs with lots of exposed VINs. (my signature has them, I don't think its such an issue.

    The RN has always been a number that I've been advised by Tesla to keep private though. Apparently it has something to do with your deposit etc.
  3. Rockster

    Rockster Member

    Oct 22, 2013
    McKinney, TX
    There have been reports of vins being captured from postings and used to obtain EV tax credits. When the true owner then files a tax return, the credit is rejected by the IRS because the vin has already been used for a credit.
  4. timf

    timf Member

    Apr 14, 2013
    I see no real harm in posting the last 6 digits of your VIN.

    1. If someone did want to steal your credit, they would still have to piece together the other 11 digits of the VIN.
    2. Since VINs are issued sequentially, there's nothing stopping them from picking a random number that happens to be yours and generating a real-looking VIN from that.

    Posting your VIN does allow Tesla to link your user name to your car, which some may consider as a positive or negative. There have been examples of proactive support offered when they see a posting that includes a VIN.
  5. Dalia

    Dalia Member

    Sep 25, 2015
    Chicago, IL
    Speaking of the VIN, does anyone know what the last 6 number mean? If, for example, I'm 000110. Does that mean I'm the 110th person in the "factory line"?
  6. FlasherZ

    FlasherZ Sig Model S + Sig Model X + Model 3 Resv

    Jun 21, 2012
    In general, the answer to that question would be "yes" - it's the "serial number" that's put into the VIN. On Model S, it represented the order of cars.

    On Model X, however, it's clear that the line is not producing the cars in VIN order. For example, I have been assigned VIN 58x and was told my vehicle was being painted (earliest stages of production) this past Saturday. However, VIN 62x - at least 40 more than mine - was delivered on 12/23/2015. Now, I have no way of confirming that my car was being painted on Saturday, but I'm going to give Tesla the benefit of the doubt.

    It seems Tesla has changed their processes so that the VIN is assigned well before production planning and batching starts, as opposed to early Model S where the VIN was seemingly developed at the time the car went down the line. With Model S, I didn't have a VIN until the car was complete.
  7. CarlK

    CarlK Member

    Mar 23, 2013
    SF Bay Area
    The reason I do is this way is I don't actually remember, or were trying to remember, the last two digits.
  8. engle

    engle Member

    Aug 25, 2011
    Has anyone been assigned a Production VIN below 100? I'm thinking they are producing demo production cars for the stores, first, to give them a chance to improve quality off the line more...
  9. tonyx

    tonyx Member

    Oct 5, 2015
    Seattle, WA
    Don't get me wrong, I think this is fully plausible, but the cynical side of me thinks, "just what Tesla need - test drive vehicles to fail during a demo...that'll sell more cars!"

    Or maybe they'll save the early production ones for special "Elon/Franz/JT Edition" for $170k :)
  10. liuping

    liuping Active Member

    Jul 23, 2013
    San Diego
    The remaining digits can be determined if someone knows your options, etc. each digit has meaning (year, Performance or standard, dual chargers, etc). See Decoding Tesla Model S VINs

    Sequential VIN would not likely work, since they'd have to get the sequence and options of the car at that sequence.

    Tesla guessed my identity based on the my partial VIN, my options and my location and have reached out to me about issues I've posted about. Pretty impressive actually.
  11. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

    Aug 20, 2006
    Silicon Valley
    It is relatively easy to look up the VIN # for a license plate, so if someone sees your car on the street, or has a picture of it, they may be able to look up the VIN that way too.
    So, a mostly public type of number sequence. It isn't expected that anyone could do much with it other than to lookup if your car has a salvage title, or pay carfax to find when it was registered and possible history of accident repairs.

    It is mostly useful for someone interested in possibly buying your car, and wants to do a little research to make sure it didn't have any weird history. For instance, to confirm a claim of "original owner", etc.
  12. CHG-ON

    CHG-ON Still in love after all these miles

    Jun 24, 2014
    Santa Cruz Mountains, USA

    It actually means that your vehicle has been assigned this number. It does not mean that you are xx in the production line. There are many comments on the forum about this. Many MFRs do sequentially build their products. Tesla does not. I have no idea why and think it would be a PIA regarding planning and scheduling. But they don't. Often, a higher VIN number can be delivered well before a lower VIN.

    Regarding exposing your VIN: I simply don't worry about it. Yes, somebody could easily replicate my entire VIN since all the numbers before the last 5 indicate certain identification about the car that could be easily surmised (MFR, region, body style, etc). But they could do that without knowing your last five digits. Check Teslarati for a full explanation of the VIN numbering scheme and you will see what I am saying.
  13. vandacca

    vandacca Active Member

    Oct 13, 2014
    It was surmised that Tesla randomized the VIN for the Model-X because people were using the site to monitor the production ramp up. This way, it makes it much more difficult to predict the number of vehicles built/delivered.

Share This Page