All about the VIN

Any Registry is all about the VIN as this is the car's pedigree and Manufacturers go to great lengths to identify their products by the VIN using an industry standard. Some owners are very protective of their VIN even though it is prominently displayed through the windshield and other locations. I'm aware of at least one Owner who went to the trouble of taping over it (which is illegal by the way) so as not to share sighting privacy and vehicle safety concerns.


Keeping it to yourself may seem secure but in fact, just the opposite is true. 

The serial number or VIN that each car carries does more than identify that particular car and when it came down the assembly line. When coupled with the current owner's name and location it serves as a form of insurance. If a registry of VINs is kept up to date it becomes virtually impossible for these cars to be stolen and resold because the registry lists the current owner. Professional car thieves realize this and car clubs that utilize registries experience very little thefts reported.

So the MSM VINs breakdown as follows:





















As you can see in the chart above the most critical digit of the VIN is the eighth as this is a unique MSM "identifier", only MSMs have the number 4 in this position. 


VIN locations on the MSM  (Click on flag to go to Australian VIN locations) 

Front drivers side on dash under windshield (plate)


Door jamb next to strike plate on driver's side (sticker)







Fire wall (1/4" tall stamped letters on welded plate)









On the base of the engine oil pan.

















On the tail shaft of the transmission 














Unlike its American siblings Canadian MSMs do NOT have VIN stickers in the following locations:

  • Next to door latch on both sides (Driver's side only)

  • Underside of hood (sticker)

  • Front fender in water run-off gully on both sides (sticker) 

  • Inside front bumper, passenger side, just under turn signal (sticker)

  • Underside of trunk (sticker)

  • Inside rear drivers side fender just in front of bumper under gas fill hose (sticker)

The  Australian MX-5 SE has three VIN locations.

On the back  firewall 1/4" tall stamped letters same as North American models



There are two ID plates revited to driver's side firewall 

 1) The VIN plate which identifies VIN, Build date and exterior colour code

 2) The Registration plate indicating VIN and date

      vehicle was initially registered to be sold in the country