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How to get a BMW VIN from the registration number (and view the cars options list)

moonstone

Tyre Kicker
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Location
Lanarkshire
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F90 M5
Many of the old tricks online to do this have been closed but I've come across a new one using a different BMW site and using a previous technique. You need to use Google Chrome on a Desktop PC to do this. Also, you need to follow these steps in the correct order, or the VIN will not be displayed.

Step one:
Visit the BMW recall site here: https://www.bmw.co.uk/en/footer/quick-links/bmw-vehicle-recalls.html

Step two:
Right click anywhere on the box and then click on "Inspect" on the pop-up menu. Note that this box seems to be the last thing to load on the page, so it might appear immediately.

VIN-Step2.jpg

Step Three:
You'll now have the Google Chrome developer console showing on the right hand side of the screen. Click on the "Network" tab and then check the "Preserve Log" box.

VIN-Clicknetwork.jpg

VIN--Preseve-Log.jpg

Step Four:
Now you can enter the registration of the car that you're interested in:
VIN-enter-reg.jpg

Step Five:
Now go back to the right hand side of the screen and look for the entry on the left hand column that contains the registration and click on it. You'll now see the VIN number in the right-hand box as shown:

VIN-Find-VIN.jpg

Step Five:
You can now go to one of the various VIN Decoder sites, enter the VIN and it'll bring up the options list for the car along with all of the standard equipment and build codes.

MDecoder is a popular one: https://www.mdecoder.com/ but it can be a bit flakey at times. I've found https://bimmer.work/ to be a bit more reliable.

bimmerwork.jpg

NOTE: I've tried this method with multiple cars to test it. The first reg in the in example above is for an M5 CS. Interestingly no VIN is displayed for the car. I wonder if some models have the VIN protected or its just that some simply aren't on file.
 
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