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Vehicle Identification Number : Must Have for Every Motor Vehicle

A Vehicle Identification Number, also known as the VIN, is a 17-character number that includes both numbers and capital letters. It is used by the automotive industry to identify individual motor vehicles.

You also need to quote your VIN number while filing your Heavy Vehicle Use Taxes (HVUT) Form 2290. The Schedule 1 copy of Form 2290 has a dedicated section for filling in your VIN - which will serve as a ‘proof of payment’ for your vehicle.


How to Read a Vehicle Identification Number on your Truck?

Vehicle Identification Number Format:


Here’s what each digit and letter of a VIN stands for:

  • The first digit, which is 2 in the above sample, is the vehicle’s country of manufacture
  • The second digit, H in the example VIN, is the vehicle's manufacturer
  • The third digit in the VIN, 3 is the vehicle type
  • That's followed by a series of five characters, BG57J which stands for the vehicle’s brand, body style, model, series, etc.
  • The next digit 8 is the vehicle’s security check number
  • That's followed by the letter M, which is the vehicle’s model year
  • The eleventh digit of the VIN, 6, is the vehicle’s assembly plant
  • The last six digits H06845 make up the vehicle's serial number

History of VIN

In 1981, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration of the United States standardized the format. It required all over-the-road-vehicles sold to contain a 17-character VIN, which does not include the letters I (i), O (o), or Q (q) (to avoid confusion with numerals 1 and 0). 

If your VIN is older than 1981, it may have the I (i), O (o), or Q (q) letters and also it may be less than 17-characters. Please replace I (i), O (o), or Q (q) with X and add 'X's at the end of the VIN to make it 17-characters long. For example, if you VIN is A584BIP44E then enter your VIN as A584BXP44EXXXXXXX while e-filing your return.

Where to Find Vehicle Identification Number?

You can locate the VIN number on either one of these places:

  1. Along the side panel of the cab door
  2. On a metal plate stamped on the drivers-side door frame
  3. On the dashboard looking through the windshield

Alternately, you can locate your VIN on paperwork such as:

  • Insurance policy documents
  • Vehicle registration documents
  • Owner's manual of the vehicle
  • Dealer invoice
  • Sales receipt received from the seller

What is the Purpose of VIN?

VIN serves many purposes:

  • The IRS uses VIN to verify your HVUT payment
  • Federal agencies and insurance companies use VIN to identify and track down a vehicle
  • The government uses VIN to process vehicle recalls
  • VIN checks enable tracking of compliance with federal regulation of imported vehicles
  • Companies that create vehicle history reports use data from the vehicle identification numbers to show owner history, liens or repossessions, and recall notices.

What is VIN Correction?

VIN correction is filed to amend errors made in any of the VINs reported on the previously filed form 2290. For carrying out VIN correction, you need details of previously reported VIN and the correct VIN. It is important to double-check VIN that you enter before filing your federal road tax, as it would result in rejection of your HVUT form 2290.

When to File a VIN Correction?

There is no deadline to file VIN correction. Although it is recommended that you file the return as soon as you notice you have entered the wrong VIN in your IRS Form 2290.

VIN correction can be only done for taxable or suspended vehicles and not for credit vehicles or prior year suspended vehicles. You shouldn’t claim credits on the form that you use for filing VIN correction.

How to file VIN correction?

You can file for VIN correction online or manually. The IRS recommends e-filing your VIN correction as it is faster and much easier. You will receive the corrected copy of Schedule 1 form 2290 on your registered email in a matter of minutes after e-filing the returns.


E-filing of VIN correction on eForm2290

You can carry out VIN correction for free when you register with eForm2290

Just follow the below steps:

  1. Log in to your eForm2290 account using your registered email address and password. If you don’t have an account, you can create one using your email address.
  2. Click on the ‘Make an amendment to an existing filing’ option
  3. Select ‘Add new business’ if your business details are not listed on our database. If you’ve already listed your business, you can click on ‘Select business’ and choose your business details from the drop down list. Once you’ve selected your business, click on the ‘Start e-filing’ button
  4. Choose the tax period for which you are filing the correction. If you are filing your final return, click ‘Yes’, if not click ‘No’. Once you’ve completed this step, click on the ‘next step’ button.
  5. Select the ‘Start’ button on the first column that says ‘Form 2290 VIN correction’.
  6. Enter your reference number to correct the VIN filed on the accepted 2290 return.
  7. You will receive an email confirming the correction of your corrected VIN and a copy of your schedule 1.

Manual filing of VIN correction

Follow the below steps for filing a VIN correction return manually:

  1. Download form 2290 from the IRS website or procure the form from a local tax office.
  2. Fill in your contact information like name, EIN and address.
  3. In the next section, check the box that says “VIN correction”.
  4. List the corrected VIN or VINs (for multiple vehicles) on Schedule 1. Be sure to use Form 2290 for the tax period you are correcting.
  5. Attach a statement with an explanation for the VIN correction.
  6. Mail your form to the Internal Revenue Service, P.O. Box 932500, Louisville, KY 40293-2500.

Frequently Asked Questions around VIN Corrections

Q. Is VIN correction a part of form 2290 amendments?

A. No, it is not. Previously, VIN correction was a part of Amendments, but due to changes in IRS regulation, VIN correction is now a separate category.

Q. Is there a fee for making VIN corrections?

A. VIN correction is free if you have registered an account with eForm2290.

Q. How to find out if you entered the wrong VIN?

A. If you’ve made errors while filing your HVUT Form 2290 return, your form will be rejected by the IRS and you will be notified of the same.


Final Thoughts customers can take advantage of our free service to correct improperly submitted VIN filings with the IRS. expedites VIN correction submissions, and it takes only a few minutes to get new Schedule 1, during business hours.

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