Your Honda Civic has a unique vehicle identification number--or VIN--that serves a wide range of purposes. Civic dealers use the number to register vehicles for warranty coverage. Insurance companies need the VIN to insure your Civic or another car. Police use the VIN to track stolen autos, though it is common for car thieves to remove or alter the VIN. Certain government agencies, such as state departments of transportation, monitor the ownership of Civics and other vehicles by recording the VIN.
Locate the VIN on your Civic. You have several options. The most obvious location is on the driver's side dashboard, near the lower part of the windshield. Viewing the number in that spot might be easier from outside the car. Stand on the driver's side, and look in the windshield. Another option is to find the VIN on the certification label that is on the doorjamb of the Civic's driver's-side door. You will have to open the door to see this VIN.
Read the first three characters of the Civic's 17-digit VIN. These three digits, known as the World Manufacturer Identifier, reveal the type of vehicle and where it was built or assembled. Every one of Honda's factories in Japan, Canada, Mexico and the United States has a separate code.
Examine the next five characters--digits four through eight in the Civic's 17-digit VIN. Known as the Vehicle Description Section, these digits deal with information about the type of engine in the Civic, as well as its body style.
Pinpoint the remaining digits on the Civic's VIN. The ninth digit overall is for Honda's internal use. The 10th digit identifies the model year. (Numbers are used for Civics from 2001 or later, while letters of the alphabet were used for older models.) The plant code is revealed in the 11th digit. The serial number, which differs from one Civic to another, can be read in the last six digits.