How to Find and Decode a Snowmobile VIN Number [Example] | (2023)

You can find the VIN number on a snowmobile on theright side of the tunnel,a few inches below the bottom edge of the seat. On modern sleds, the VIN number contains 17 digits that represent:

  • 1stDigit: country of manufacture
  • 2ndDigit: vehicle manufacturer
  • 3rd– 8thDigits: vehicle descriptor (code of certain attributes)
  • 9thDigit: security check digit
  • 10thDigit: model year
  • 11thDigit: production site
  • 12th– 17thDigits: production number (serial number)

If you want to learn more about how to decipher a snowmobile VIN, read on. We atPowerSportsGuidehave put together everything you need to know in this post!

How to Find and Decode a Snowmobile VIN Number [Example] | (1)

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What is a snowmobile VIN?

Just like motorcycles, cars and trucks, snowmobiles also have a unique identification code. This code is known as the VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) and is assigned to the snowmobile when it is manufactured. The VIN number on a snowmobile provides specific information about the machine, including make and model, manufacturer, country and year of manufacture, and serial number.

Where is the VIN number on a snowmobile?

As a rule of thumb, the VIN number for snowmobiles is always on the right side of the tunnel, about a few inches below the edge of the seat. In other words, if you sit on the seat and put your feet on the footrests, you'll find the VIN somewhere next to your right foot.

On older snowmobiles, the VIN is only stamped on the frame, while on newer sleds you will usually find a "VIN plate" which may also contain additional information about the sled.

This VIN plate is easy to find as it is usually surrounded by a few stickers.

If you cannot find the VIN number on your snowmobile

There can be many reasons why the VIN number is missing on a snowmobile, but the most common are:

  • The VIN plate has fallen off or been removed
  • The VIN number is covered by a sticker (foils, stickers, etc.)
  • The slide's tunnel has been replaced
  • The sled was stolen
  • manufacturing defect

In some cases, the VIN plate can accidentally fall off the carriage. If you can't find the plate, take a closer look at the tunnel as the VIN should always be stamped on its surface as well.

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It's also not uncommon for decals or stickers to obscure the VIN. Try to remove them carefully to find the code.

If your tunnel is wrapped and you don't want to remove it, you can use a simple trick to trace it on a piece of paper.

Simply place a piece of paper over the area where the code is located, take a pencil and rub across the paper. The punched numbers are clearly visible on the paper!

You can see the process in this tutorial:

If you cannot find the VIN then you should check the engine as many sleds have the VIN number on their engines. It is usually stamped on the underside of the motor around the recoil housing.

Finally, don't forget that the VIN is also listed on the carriage's bill of sale, title and service documents.

If these documents are not available, try contacting the previous owner of the sled. If you're lucky, he can give you the number.

What does a snowmobile VIN number look like?

The VIN number on a snowmobile is a code made up of numbers and letters printed on a single line. With newer sleds, the chassis number always consists of 17 digits. For vintage sleds, the VIN is usually shorter, around 7-10 digits depending on the make and model.

In the past there has been a lot of confusion regarding snowmobile VINs as each manufacturer used different codes.

For example, Yamaha snowmobiles VIN numbers were 9 digits while Arctic Cat snowmobiles used 7 digit VINs.

In 1982, the International Organization for Standardization established a new standard for VIN numbers for new road-legal vehicles. Later, this new standard also became mandatory for snowmobiles.

This new standardized snowmobile VIN number is an alphanumeric 17-digit code printed on a single line with no intervening spaces. It never contains letters like Q (q), I (i) and O (o) as they could easily be confused with the numbers 1 and 0.

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Wondering how to read a snowmobile VIN number? Continue reading!

How do I read a snowmobile VIN number?

In short, the digits in a snowmobile’s VIN stand for:

  • 1stDigit: country of manufacture
  • 2ndDigit: vehicle manufacturer
  • 3rd– 8thDigits: vehicle designation
  • 9thDigit: check digit
  • 10thDigit: model year
  • 11thDigit: production site
  • 12th– 17thDigits: serial number

The first digitalways refers to the country of manufacture. The official country codes are as follows:

  • 1.4 or 5: United States
  • 2: Canada
  • J: Japan
  • Y: Finland or Sweden

The second digitidentifies the manufacturer of the snowmobile. For example, the codes of the major snowmobile manufacturers are as follows:

  • A - Arctic Cat
  • B – BRP (Ski-Doo, Lynx)
  • P – Polaris
  • Y-Yamaha

The 3rd-8th digitare known as "Vehicle Descriptors" which characterize the particular characteristics of the sled such as model, engine type and body style.

Die 9thdigitis a security check digit that can be used to identify invalid VINs. This number is calculated based on a secret mathematical formula developed by the US Department of Transportation. Therefore, it does not provide any information about the sled.

If you want to know the year of manufacture of a snowmobile based on the chassis number, you should take a closer lookdie 10thdigit.Although this code represents the year of manufacture, it can be confusing. We have therefore compiled the year codes in a table for a better understanding:

model yearCode

That11thdigitindicates which factory assembled the slide while the12thbis 17 digitsare the serial number of the machine.

do you need any more information?

If you need additional information about your sled, it is best to write down the full VIN number and contact the manufacturer. Although you can find many services that can provide reports and information based on VIN numbers, these typically do not involve sleds or otherwisepowersports vehicles. Because of this, the only way to learn more about a sled is to contact the manufacturer.

How do I find out what year my snowmobile is?

You can easily identify the model year of your snowmobile by looking at the VIN. If your sled has a 17-digit VIN number, the 9th isthDigit identifies its model year. if you have oneold sledIf the VIN is shorter, it is recommended to contact the manufacturer for more information.

Takeaway – Frequently Asked Questions about snowmobile VIN numbers

As a souvenir we have put together the most frequently asked questions about snowmobile identification numbers.

What is the VIN number on a snowmobile?

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The VIN number on a snowmobile is a unique code that provides a lot of information about the machine. This code can identify the model year, manufacturer, country of manufacture, serial number and many other specific factory details of the sled such as model or engine and chassis type.

How long is a snowmobile VIN valid?

As a rule of thumb, every modern snowmobile has a 17 digit VIN number, while vintage sleds typically have a shorter 7-10 digit VIN.

How do you tell the year of manufacture of a snowmobile from the VIN?

Die 9thThe VIN digit tells you the year of a snowmobile (if it has a 17-digit VIN). See our table above for more information.

Where is the VIN on an Arctic Cat snowmobile?On the right side of the tunnel, a few inches below the bottom edge of the seat.

Where is the VIN on a Yamaha snowmobile?On the right side of the tunnel, a few inches below the bottom edge of the seat.

Where is the VIN on a Polaris snowmobile?On the right side of the tunnel, a few inches below the bottom edge of the seat.

Where is the VIN number on a Ski-Doo snowmobile?On the right side of the tunnel, a few inches below the bottom edge of the seat.


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