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Scanning Automobile VIN Bar Codes


What's a VIN Bar Code?
Every automobile built since 1981 should have a Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) in bar code format somewhere on the vehicle. Most makes of automobiles have the VIN bar code on the inside of the driver's door. VIN Windshield

VIN Bar Code

General Motor's cars also have the VIN on the driver's side dashboard. The GM dashboard bar codes are particularly hard to read for most bar code readers because the bar code must be read through the windshield of the car.

VIN Windshield Bar Code

Worth Data provides special support for reading the VIN's, including through the windshield and even outdoors. Our readers also allow suppressing the "I" on imports' VINs.

Newer VIN codes from GM, and other manufacturers, are now using 2D barcodes - including DataMatrix and QR codes for the VIN code. This can be on the VIN tags under the windshield on the dashboard, or on the driver door sticker.

VIN 2D DataMatrix Tag

Which Reader should I use?
For standard 1D VIN codes the LT5101 or LT5101H TriCoder with a built in laser scanner, or the LT5100 TriCoder with an enhanced laser that includes an aiming dot, are all excellent choices for remote reading of the standard 1D VIN barcodes. VIN Driver Door Label

You can also use our LZ404-RF Wireless Laser Gun for single scanning of 1D VIN barcodes. They all have special support for reading these VIN codes. This special support accomplishes two objectives:

  1. Reading of all 1D VINs, including reading those through the windshield.

  2. Support to allow entry of the VIN to any software as keyed data after the bar code has been scanned away from the computer (in the lot). The scanned bar code is saved in the memory of the reader. The person doing the scanning can then return to the computer and transmit the VIN directly into whatever software package is being used, being sure the correct screen and cursor position is ready for the data transfer.

For the newer 2D DataMatix, and QR code VIN barcodes, you can use the LT5200H TriCoder with the built in 2D scan engine. The 520-2D-RF wireless scanner is a good option as well if you need to scan single VIN numbers for each transaction. These units with our advanced 2D scan engines will will also still read the original 1D VIN bar codes as well.

Who needs to read the VIN number?
Repair shops, body shops, and car dealers can enjoy the speed and accuracy of VIN bar code scanning. Most parts ordering and lookup are all based on the VIN. Getting the VIN copied onto paper and then keyed into the software correctly is very difficult due to the ease of transposition and misreading of a zero for the letter "O". By scanning the bar code, the accuracy is assured the first time, so parts lookup and completion of the new customer data becomes faster and easier. Repeat customers are accurately and quickly identified. With the speed and accuracy of scanning bar code VINs, significant increases in shop productivity can be realized.

How would I use the TriCoder to scan VIN numbers?
Go out to the cars on the lot. Scan all the cars you wish, one by one. Come back to the computer, attach the TriCoder its USB cable, and then upload the VINs one by one, as though the data were keyed, all under your control of time and location on the software input screen. This allows you to input the first VIN to one work order, finish the work order, and then input the second VIN scanned into the next work order, etc.

You can also scan a number of car VIN numbers and return to the computer to upload all of the VIN numbers collected to a file, or feed the numbers directly to an Excel® spreadsheet using our free KwikCount/EX Add-in for Excel. This is helpful for inventory purposes and other tracking.

The LT5101H TriCoder (pictured on the right) complete with USB cable is $799.00 , and the LT5100 TriCoder with a aiming dot laser, or the LT5200H TriCoder with a 2D scan engine are $999 each. For more information on the TriCoder Portable Readers click here

How would I use the Wireless Scanner Guns to scan VIN numbers?
Go out to the cars on the lot. Scan a car's 1D VIN barcode for the LZ404-RF, or the 1D and 2D VIN barcodes using the 520-RF scanner. The result can be immediately transmitted wirelessly from the lot to the computer as keyed data (up to around 300 ft away); or, the data can be saved in the scanner until the operator gets back to the computer to be sure the correct screen is up and the cursor is properly positioned before transmitting the data, (one trigger pull scans and saves the data, the second pull of the trigger transmits the VIN to the computer screen).

The LZ404-RF Laser complete with B700 USB Base Station is $599.
Click here for more information on LZ404-RF Lasers.

For Scanning the 1D, and newer 2D VIN codes, the 520-RF units complete with B700 USB Base Station is $759.

You could also use the LZ365-USB or 530-2D-USB attached to a USB port on a Windows® or Macintosh® laptop computer for scanning directly into the software of your choice running on the laptop.

If you have questions or need advice, feel free to call us at 800-345-4220 or email us with your questions or concerns.