How to Get the Serial Number From a BMW Business Radio

In some circumstances you may need to access your BMW's radio serial number in order to unlock the radio or if you recently purchased another BMW business radio to retrofit into your current BMW. Without the serial number or unlock code, your radio will not function. Since 1990, BMW has been implementing serial numbers and unlock codes in its business radios as a theft deterrent. In most cases, you can locate the serial number for your BMW radio without having to visit your local dealer.

Insert your key into the ignition but make sure it is in the "Off" position.

Locate the “M” button. In some BMWs the ”M” button will be between two arrows, one facing left and the other facing right. The "M" button is on the front of the BMW business radio with the other radio control buttons.

Press and hold the "M" button while turning the key. Only turn the key to turn on the radio, but do not start the car.

Look for the serial number on your radio display. The serial number should flash across the screen. It will not disappear unless you press other buttons on the radio to access the menu.

Remove the radio unit from the chassis to view your serial number for model year vehicles 1999 and older.

Locate a resource or professional to properly remove the radio unit from your vehicle. The procedure for removing the radio may be slightly different, therefore, find specific instructions for your year and model. Research various sites online that will give you step-by-step instructions for removing your audio system properly to retrieve your serial number.

Look on the back of the chassis of your radio to locate your serial number. Your serial number will start with either "F, Pha, P, BP or AL."


If you need your BMW serial number to obtain an unlock code, expect to pay approximately £13 to have it sent to you online. It takes anywhere from 30 minutes to 24 hours to receive your unlock code. You can also contact your BMW dealer for assistance.

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About the Author

Qyou Stoval holds a bachelor's degree in communications/media studies from Clayton State University and a MBA with a concentration in marketing from Ashford University. He has more than 10 years experience writing articles, poetry, novels, and stage and screen plays. His writing career started professionally in 1997. He is also proudly serving the United States Air Force.