UK World Manufacturer Identifier (WMI)

Since 1981, global automotive manufacturers have utilized a complex numbering system called a Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) that uniquely describes a vehicle. This number provides a coded description of the vehicle including:

  • Manufacturer
  • Year of production
  • Place of production
  • Vehicle characteristics

What is the WMI code

The World Manufacturer Identifier for vehicles, known briefly as the WMI code, is part of the 17-character VIN. The VIN consists of three sections:

  • WMI (3 characters)
  • VDS (6 characters)
  • VIS (8 characters)

The Vehicle Descriptor Section (VDS) and the Vehicle Indicator Section (VIS) will be determined by the manufacturer as it not only describes the attributes of the vehicle, but allows the manufacturer to distinguish between one vehicle and another.

How are WMIs assigned?

All UK WMIs are issued in the UK by BSI as the National Standards Body. Every country has a WMI coordinator who issues to car manufacturers trading out of their country a unique portion of a vehicle's 17-character VIN number which identifies the manufacturer.

The WMI coordinator is only responsible for assigning the WMI code.

WMI and VIN standards

Visit the BSI Shop for WMI and VIN standards.