New! Plate-to-VIN Feature Speeds Up Vehicle Selection

What is the Plate-to-VIN feature?

Making decisions based on inaccurate Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) information can cost you money. Mitchell 1’s Plate-to-VIN feature provides precise vehicle descriptions while eliminating the labor involved with manual VIN verification. ProDemand® can now quickly identify the vehicle being worked on by simply entering the license plate number and state. This feature speeds up vehicle identification by reducing the number of characters to enter and greatly improves accuracy.

Here’s how it works.

Some Common Q&As

Q:  Is the Plate-to-VIN feature in Mitchell 1’s Manager™ SE the same as the Plate-to-VIN in ProDemand?
A: Manager SE and ProDemand use the same service. Entering the same license plate in either product will yield the same results.

Q: How often are the license plate and VIN information updated?
A: Plate-to-VIN information is dependent on each state’s motor vehicle agency to update the data. Some states are very quick to update information — in as little as two days — while others may take a bit longer.

Q: Does the service fully decode the VIN?
A: The Plate-to-VIN service reports the full VIN (see below about the NY and PA exception). On occasion, ProDemand may ask for more qualifying information about the vehicle when the VIN is decoded. This is because the OEM does not share their “serial number” information. The serial number is the last 6 digits of the VIN and is used by the OEM to track the vehicle and some specific options. When the first 11 digits of the VIN do not decode enough information to identify the vehicle, ProDemand will ask additional questions.

Q:  Why do I get a partial Plate-to-VIN decode in Pennsylvania or New York?  
A:  Both Pennsylvania and New York observe privacy laws that prevent our Plate-to-VIN service from receiving the complete VIN. ProDemand instead gives a partial VIN, everything except the serial number portion, to decode the vehicle.

Q:   Why can’t I use Plate-to-VIN in Canada?  Are we getting this functionality soon?
A:   Our Plate-to-VIN service is for U.S. vehicles only. We would like to offer this feature in Canada, but due to Canadian privacy laws it is currently prohibited to process license plate information without the vehicle owner’s permission. If this changes in the future, we will definitely provide a Plate-to-VIN solution for Canada.

Q:  Is my data shared with CARFAX?
A:  No. When using the Mitchell 1 Plate-to-VIN, or VIN decoder, your information is NOT shared with CARFAX.

Q:  How do I handle special characters?
A:  If you have a special character, ignore the special character when entering the license plate. For example, let’s say this vehicle pulls into your shop with the following license plate: I(heart)CARS. The heart is a special character, and in this case, we’d follow the rule and ignore it. So you would just type in “ICARS.”

How to convert ProDemand Plate-to-VIN feature update


For more information on ProDemand’s Plate-to-VIN feature and other features, visit us here. 

About the Author

Gary Hixson

Gary Hixson is a Sr. Market Manager at Mitchell 1, and is responsible for product and market management of the Repair Information product line. Most recently he managed the release of ProDemand™, the industry-leading repair, diagnostic and maintenance information system.