Here’s how you decode the Tesla Model 3 VIN

Following our report that a white Model 3 with vehicle identification number (VIN) ending in “000316” – the trailing “316” suggests that Tesla has already produced at least 316 release candidate vehicles to date – a new document sent to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reveals how future owners can decode their Model 3 VIN.

“Tesla intends to begin regular production of a new carline, the Model 3, starting July 2017. Model 3 will be released into commerce as a MY2017 vehicle and pursuant to the requirements of § 565.26 Reporting requirements, Tesla Inc. hereby is submitting the updated VIN decoding information for MY2017 vehicles. The submission adds a new vehicle line (Model 3) to its already existing MY2017 vehicles lines (Model S and Model X).” reads the letter sent to the NHTSA.

As noted in the VIN decoder document sent by Tesla, all Model S, Model X and Model 3 can be identified by the “5YJ” that’s set in the first three characters of the vehicle’s VIN. The three digits represents what’s referred to as the World Manufacturer Identifier (WMI) and uniquely identifies the manufacturer of the vehicle.

The fourth digit in a Tesla VIN signifies the model. Referencing the Model 3 VIN recently spotted (5YJ3E1EAXHF000316), we can see the number “3” representing the model of the vehicle.

The remaining characters in the 17-digit VIN can be decoded as follows:

  • Digits 1 – 3: World Manufacturing Identifier
    • 5YJ = Manufacturer: Tesla Inc.
  • Digit 4: Make/Line/Series
    • S = Tesla Model S
    • X = Tesla Model X
    • 3 = Tesla Model 3
  • Digit 5: Body Type and Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR)
    • A – Hatch back 5 Dr/ LHD
    • C = Class E (6001-7000 lbs) GVWR / MPV / 5 Dr / LHD
    • E= Sedan 4 Dr / LHD
  • Digit 6: Restraint System
    • 1= Type 2 manual seatbelts (FR, SR*3) with front airbags, PODS, side inflatable restraints, knee airbags (FR)
    • A = Type 2 manual seatbelts (FR, SR*3, TR*2) with front airbags, PODS, side inflatable restraints, knee airbags (FR)
    • B = Type 2 manual seatbelts (FR, SR*2, TR*2) with front airbags, PODS, side inflatable restraints, knee airbags (FR)
    • D= Type 2 Manual seatbelts (FR, SR*3) with front airbags. PODS, side inflatable restraints, knee airbags (FR)
  • Digit 7: Fuel Type
    • E = Electric
  • Digit 8: Motor/Drive Unit
    • 1= Single Motor – Standard
    • 3= Single Motor – Performance
    • 2 = Dual Motor (standard)
    • 4 = Dual Motor (performance)
    • A= Single Motor – Standard
    • B= Dual Motor – Standard
  • Digit 9: Check Digit To be assigned by manufacturer pursuant to 49 CFR § 565.6(c)
  • Digit 10: Model Year
    • H = 2017
  • Digit 11: Plant of Manufacture
    • F = Fremont, CA
  • Digits 12-17: Unique serial number

Based on the VIN 5YJ3E1EAXHF000316 spotted in Bakersfield, CA, we learn that the vehicle is a left hand drive 2017 Model 3 with standard single motor drivetrain that was manufactured in Fremont, California.

Model S and Model X owners can also have some fun by decoding their VIN using the same decoder.


Here’s how you decode the Tesla Model 3 VIN
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