Product Identification Number System for Off-Road Recreation Vehicles

Download a Fact Sheet on the PIN System*

Since 1981, global automotive manufacturers have utilized a complex numbering system called a Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) that uniquely describes a vehicle for purposes. This number provides a coded description of the vehicle including: manufacturer, year of production, place of production and vehicle characteristics. Because of our unique position within the mobility industry, SAE International was contracted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), to assign a selected portion of the VIN, specifically called the World Manufacturers Identifier (WMI). Over the years, this system was used to accommodate both on-road and selected off-road recreation vehicles (e.g. ATVs, dirt bikes, and snowmobiles). In 2003, NHTSA reviewed and provided clarification to SAE regarding the types of vehicles to be included in the VIN system. Since NHTSA's function is to regulate "motor vehicles" denied as "a vehicle driven on public streets, roads, and highways" it was clear that off-road recreation vehicles were outside the regulatory jurisdiction of NHTSA and could not be included in the system. Effective January 1, 2005, new VIN numbers will no longer be issued for off-road recreation vehicles. The use of existing WMI/VIN for off-road recreation vehicles is currently under review by NHTSA.

Now What?
To address the void that was created by this change in the off-road recreation vehicle industry, SAE International has established a new ISO-compatible Product Identification Number (PIN) system.

What is the PIN System?
The PIN system provides off-road recreation vehicle manufacturers a standardized system for the assignment of a full 17-digit PIN. Under this system, SAE International will assign the World Manufacturers Code (WMC) of the PIN. In addition to assigning the designated portion of the PIN, SAE will also offer a database product containing decoding information for this new PIN system similar to the VIN system currently in place.

Who needs the system?
Off-road recreation vehicle manufacturers.

Why do you need it?
Many states impose reporting requirements on off-road recreation vehicles for Identification purposes such as state vehicle registration. Additionally, insurance companies and financial institutions require Identification numbers for crime and theft investigation and financing requirements. For continued sales in these states, manufacturers would need to provide unique codes for these vehicles.

How do we start using the PIN system?
Complete an application and submit with $1,000 fee. After processing and WMC assignment, you will receive written confirmation and instructions for using the PIN system.

The initial $1,000 is for the application processing and WMC assignment. To keep the WMC active, payment of an annual fee of $500 is required. Invoices will be sent as renewals are approaching.

Further questions and/or completed applications should be directed to the WMC Coordinator:

WMC Coordinator
SAE International
400 Commonwealth Drive
Warrendale, PA 15096
P: 724-772-8511
F: 724-776-4026

SAE WMC Assignments
ISO WMC Assignments

WMC Application

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