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An Overview of World Manufacturer Identifier (WMI) Code

NHTSA or National Highway Traffic Safety Administration contracts SAE International to assign the World Manufacturer Identifier (WMI) Code of the VIN (Vehicle Identification Number). The WMI is always the 1st three digits of a Vehicle Identification Number. The first digit indicates the final point of vehicle assembly or the Country of Origin. The second digit tells the manufacturer & the location of production, and the third digit is combined with the first 2 digits to know the manufacturing division or vehicle type.

In India, such type of code is given to the Indian Automotive Manufacturers for their global Identifier by the BIS (Bureau of Indian Standards) Authority, which is a member of the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO). The International Relations & Technical Information Services Department of the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) provides the service of assigning World Manufacturer Identifier (WMI) Code to Indian Automobile Manufacturers in association with the Society of Automotive Engineers Inc., USA and the International Agency responsible for the maintenance of World Manufacturer Identifier (WMI) Code.

To get detailed information about the World Manufacturer Identifier (WMI) Code procedure for automobiles and make the business hassle-free, contact Corpbiz. Our Experts will help the client to get License and Certification under the various Schemes under the Government of India. So, visit Corpbiz to learn more about WMI Code Registration Process.

What is VIN?

VIN or Vehicle Identification Number, also known as Chassis Number or Frame Number and is a distinct serial number used by the automotive industry to identify individual to know individual motor vehicles. The Vehicle Identification Number consists of a unique series of 17 numbers and capital letters and each digit provides specific information about the vehicle, like, manufacturer, year, model, engine size, etc.

The 17 Characters of the VIN can be Categorised into 3 Different Sections:

  • World Manufacturer Identifier (WMI): The first 3 characters of VIN is a World Manufacturer Identifier (WFI) Code which uniquely identifies the motor vehicle manufacturer or trailer. The code is assigned to the manufacturer of the vehicle in order to allow the Identifier of the proposed manufacturer & when used in conjunction with the remaining section of the Vehicle Identification Number, ensures distinctiveness of the VIN of all vehicles manufactured for a time period of 30 years.
  • VDS or Vehicle Descriptor Section: It provides details describing the general attributes of the vehicle. This section consists of 6 characters. If the manufacturer doesn't use one/more of these character spaces and the spaces not used shall be filled by numeric or alphabetical characters of the manufacturer's choice. The sequence & coding in the VDS section is determined by the manufacturer.
  • VIS or Vehicle Indicator Section: Vehicle Indicator Section is the last section of the VIN and it consists of 8 characters; the last 4 shall be numeric. If the manufacturer chooses to designate a year and/or plant in VDS, it is recommended that the year should be indicated by the 1st character and the plant of manufacture by the 2nd

Note: Vehicle Identification Number is now based on 2 Standards, i.e., ISO 3779 and ISO 3780.

ISO 3779 - Road Vehicles (VIN Content and Structure)

It established the content & structure of an identifier to ensure the identification of the vehicle manufacturers on an international level.

ISO 3780 – Road Vehicles (WMI Code)

Coding of World Manufacturer Identifier (WMI) Code



1 to 5

North America

S to Z


A to H


J to R

Asia (MA-ME = India)

6 and 7


8 and 9

South America

Why is World Manufacturer Identifier (WMI) Code Important?

World Manufacturer Identifier (WMI) Code is vital because it establishes an identifier's content and structure to ensure the global identification of road vehicle manufacturers.

Who is a Manufacturer as per WMI and VIN Guideline?

A manufacturer can be a Sole Proprietor Firm or a Corporation under whose supervision a vehicle is assembled or manufactured as a complete product which is ready to be operated on the road. It is the responsibility of the manufacturer, who is required to register and acquire the VIN serial number. The consumer of such a manufacturer has no role or liability in it.

Documents Required for World Manufacturer Identifier (WMI) Code Registration

Following is the list of all the crucial Documents required for World Manufacturer Identifier (WMI) Code Registration:

  • Name, address of the firm and the location of the manufacturing unit to be filed in the application.
  • The application must be duly signed by one of the Partners or Directors or Proprietor, as the case may be.
  • Self-certified copy of GST Certificate.
  • Self-certified Photocopy of Certificate of Incorporation.
  • Memorandum of Association & Articles of Association or Partnership Deed.
  • Self-certified copy of the Udyam Registration Certificate issued by MSME, Indian Government.
  • Self-certified copy of other required Documents, if any.
  • Application fees remitted.
  • Address proof.
  • Product Category or Code for which WMI code is desired.
  • The currently used coding system details
  • Proposed production commencement date or month.

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Procedure for World Manufacturer Identifier (WMI) Code Registration

Following is the step-by-step procedure for World Manufacturer Identifier (WMI) Code Registration:

Submission of the Application: First, our experts will prepare all the paper works, file the application for registration on your behalf, and submit it to the BIS.

Verification: After submission, the BIS Officials will verify the Documents and application check whether all Documents are received or not.

Proposal of WMI: The WMI code as per the series & entry of the same in the BIS database.

Registration with SAE International, USA: Then, the WMI Code is assigned by SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers).

Confirmation Letter: After all the above steps, you will get a Confirmation Letter and World Manufacturer Identifier (WMI) Code after registering with SAE International.

Issuance of WMI Code: After that, you will get WMI Code.

Frequently Asked Questions

World Manufacturer Identifier (WMI) Code includes the first 3 characters of VIN, which identifies the vehicle manufacturer.

The vehicle identification number is 17 characters serial number, & it so divided into 3 parts:

  • WMI Number
  • VDS Number
  • VIS Section

Yes, WMI Code is compulsory for vehicle manufacturers.

Yes, VIN follows 2 ISO Standards - ISO 3779 & ISO 3780.

WMI Code Registration is an international registration & compliance under SAE.

A Vehicle Identification Number or VIN is a 17-digit unique serial number.

It provides recognition to the manufacturers.

SAE is the Society of Automotive Engineers, a US-based Professional Association & Standard Development Organization.

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