4 VIN affixing
4-1 Methods for affixing a VIN
If the vehicle being processed requires a new VIN to be affixed, the MR2A checksheet is printed with the required information. This must be used as a checksheet to ensure that the VIN is affixed to the correct vehicle. The VIN must be assigned and affixed at the same location as the computer and VIN embossing equipment are sited.
Application of VINs at offsites
Authority will be given to all approved Entry Certification sites to assign and affix VINs at a location different from the approved site based on the following conditions:
- All VIN procedures as documented in the VIRM must be followed
- The VIN allocation procedure must be started and completed at the same location and at the same time
- The agent will by necessity have a VIN embossing machine at the location of the VIN allocation. The embosser maybe transported from location to location but must remain secure at all times
- In addition to the embosser, the process must be undertaken using a secure computer with approved access to Landata, and an approved MR2A printer
- The agent will advise the Transport Agency Service Supply Management team in writing of any location they wish to use for applying VINs
- All vehicles which have the VIN applied, ‘offsite’ will have the fact recorded in ‘NOTES’
- The person applying the VIN must be employed solely by an entry certifier unless prior written approval is given by the Transport Agency
- Any transactions undertaken in contravention of these conditions will result in approval for the use of this procedure being withdrawn from the offending agent.
The VIN must be located on a non-removable structural part of the vehicle, in a position that it can be easily read. The VIN must not obscure an existing chassis number when it is affixed.
Table 4-1-1 describes permitted locations for a VIN to be affixed to a vehicle (Note 1).
There are two methods for affixing a VIN to a vehicle:
- For cars, vans, trucks and buses without a separate chassis, the VIN is embossed on a plate and affixed to the vehicle in a location described in Table 4-1-1.
- For motorcycles, mopeds, trucks, buses with a separate chassis and heavy trailers, the VIN is stamped directly onto the chassis in a location described in Table 4-1-1. If it is physically difficult to stamp a VIN in the specified location (eg the material is unable to be adequately stamped), a VIN plate may be affixed in the location that stamping would normally be carried out. If this is not possible, contact the NZTA to obtain agreement on the position and/or method of affixing the VIN.
Quality assurance (QA) controls
The VIN that is affixed to the vehicle is the key to identifying that vehicle on LANDATA. Therefore, in order to minimise the risk of errors when affixing the VIN, the procedures for affixing a VIN require two people to be involved:
- one person who is responsible for affixing the VIN
- another person who is responsible for checking that the correct VIN has been affixed. This person is the QA controller.
Where a site has only a single staff member, the customer can play the role of the QA controller in checking the VIN. Prior approval from the NZTA must be granted in order to operate in this way.
1 VIN plate
When affixing a VIN plate to a vehicle, print an MR2A with the vehicle details to use as a VIN checksheet.
1. Emboss the plate with the VIN specified on the VIN checksheet.
2. Check that the embossed VIN matches the VIN detailed on the VIN checksheet.
3. Clean the area of the vehicle where the VIN plate is to be affixed with prepsol to remove any grease or oil-based contaminant. Wipe off with a clean rag.
4. Scrub the same area with a non-woven fibre abrasive to remove any silicon-based film.
5. Clean the area again with acetone or methyl ethyl ketone (MEK).
6. Peel off the adhesive backing strip from the VIN plate and stick the strip to either the VIN checksheet or the vehicle attributes worksheet.
7. Apply the VIN plate to the prepared area using a soft roller to ensure there are no air bubbles under the plate.
8. Drill two holes into the vehicle to match the rivet holes on the VIN plate, and rivet the plate to the vehicle.
9. Have the QA controller check the embossed VIN against the VIN specified on the VIN checksheet. The QA controller must sign the VIN checksheet to confirm this verification.
2 Etching the rear windscreen
If the VIN has been assigned by the LANDATA system and affixed on a Transport Agency VIN plate riveted to the vehicle and the vehicle has a glazed rear windscreen, the VIN must be etched onto it. This includes vehicles that are fitted with a separate chassis such as some classic cars, muscle cars, hot rods, etc.
The etched VIN should be easily read from the left side of the vehicle. It may be etched from either the inside or the outside, provided that it is legible from the outside of the vehicle. Etching of the rear windscreen involves a sand-blasting technique, as follows:
1. Assemble the individual letters and digits that make up the VIN in a stencil magazine, making sure that the characters are evenly spaced.
2. Check that the assembled characters in the stencil match the VIN that is printed on the VIN checksheet.
3. Place the stencil magazine against the rear windscreen rubber seal or flashing, on a relatively flat part of the glass as near as practicable to the bottom left corner of the windscreen.
4. Ensure that the rubber seal or flashing does not prevent the stencils from making contact with the glass. Hold the stencil magazine firmly during the etching process to prevent movement, and ensure that the stencils do not move apart.
5. Place the nozzle of the etching gun against each stencil in turn, giving a quick blast against each. Do not give a long continuous blast along the entire length of the stencil magazine.
6. Lift the gun off the stencil, but do not move the stencil magazine. Check that each letter and digit of the VIN has been etched clearly. If required, blast individual stencils again.
7. Once complete, have the QA controller check that the VIN has been etched correctly. The QA controller must sign the VIN checksheet to confirm this verification.
3 Stamping a VIN
When stamping a VIN directly on to a vehicle, print an MR2A with the vehicle details to use as a VIN checksheet.
1. Stamp the VIN in the appropriate location.
2. Have the QA controller check the stamped VIN against the VIN specified on the VIN checksheet. The QA controller must sign the VIN checksheet to confirm this verification.
3. Spray the VIN with a sealing spray.
In addition to any of these locations, if the vehicle has a rear windscreen, the VIN must be etched on it as close as practicable to the bottom left corner.
Table 4-1-1. Permitted locations for a VIN to be affixed to a vehicle
Permitted VIN locations
Off-road passenger vehicle that is not forward controlled
Forward-controlled passenger vehicle (van)
Vehicles with a separate chassis:
Vehicles without a separate chassis:
Page amended 1 November 2014 (see amendment details).
- 1 Introduction
- 2 Pre-registration and VIN
- 3 Inspection and certification
- 4 Technical bulletins
- 5 Reference materials