Verify / Decode BMW E36 M3 VIN Number

BMW E36 M3 Sedan Estoril Blue VIN Decode

The tables below will decode a sample E36 M3 VIN and explain the significance of each character location. The E36 chassis is likely the most cloned M3 chassis in existence. This is due to the fact that the E36 M3 chassis never received a wide-body version like the previous and later models. Thus, without the need for the most expensive cosmetic wide body panels, many of the accessories and detail bits can be purchased new and easily applied to non M cars. 

Learning how to decode a BMW VIN is important for many reasons. It can help identify fake vs authentic models when you know which markings to look for. It can also tell you the history of the vehicle as far as original options, where and when it was manufactured.

The VIN number on BMW models, like all modern cars, can be found on the lower corner of the dash on the driver's side.  The VIN can be seen through the windshield from the outside of the vehicle.  Another location for VIN is inside the driver's door jamb near the door latch. BMW also applies a sticker on each body panel of the car containing the same unique VIN. This is a helpful tip that can be used when buying a used BMW to see if all of the body panels are original or have been replaced after an accident.

Vehicle Identification Number or VIN is unique to every single automobile worldwide; it is like a fingerprint. The vehicle identification number consists of numbers as well as letters, comprising a total of 17 unique characters. The VIN can be used to track important recalls, vehicle registrations, warranty claims, thefts and insurance coverage.

Find out how to decode BMW Engine Codes HERE

WBSBF9320SEH01616 BMW M Division Prefix
  WBS is the standard prefix used on all official E36 M3's world wide. When buying a used E36 M3 make sure to check for this prefix on the Title of the car as well as each body panel to ensure the E36 is in fact a true M car.
WBSBF9320SEH01616 Model Code
These two letters and two numbers denote the model (coupe, sedan, convertible), left hand drive or right hand drive, engine size, transmission as well as for which market the car was built.
BF91 M3 Coupe, LHD, 3.0L
BF92 M3 Coupe, RHD, 3.0L
BF99 M3 Coupe, LHD, 3.0L, M3 GT
BF93 M3 Coupe, LHD, 3.0L, Manual, USA market
BF03 M3 Coupe, LHD, 3.0L, Automatic, USA market
BF98 M3 Coupe, RHD, 3.0L, South African Assembled
BG91 M3 Coupe, LHD, 3.2L, Evolution
BG92 M3 Coupe, RHD, 3.2L, Evolution
BG93 M3 Coupe, LHD, 3.2L, Manual, USA Market
BJ91 M3 Convertible, LHD, 3.0L
BJ92 M3 Convertible, RHD, 3.0L
BK91 M3 Convertible, LHD, 3.2L, Evolution
BK92 M3 Convertible, RHD, 3.2L, Evolution
BK93 M3 Convertible, LHD, Manual, USA Market
BK03 M3 Convertible, LHD, Automatic, USA Market
CB91 M3 Sedan, LHD, 3.0L
CB92 M3 Sedan, RHD, 3.0L
CD91 M3 Sedan, LHD, 3.2L, Evolution
CD92 M3 Sedan, RHD, 3.2L, Evolution
CD93 M3 Sedan, LHD, Manual, USA Market
CD03 M3 Sedan, LHD, Automatic, USA Market
CD98 M3 Sedan, RHD, 3.2L, South African Assembled
WBSBF9320SEH01616 Safety Restraint System
A digit which denotes the type of safety restraint system the vehicle has.
0 Manual seat belts only
1 Manual seat belts & driver's airbag
2 Manual seat belts, driver & passenger airbag
3 Manual seat belts, driver & passenger airbag, side impact
WBSBF9320SEH01616 Random check digit
This number is a random check digit for internal use only and has no significance.
WBSBF9320SEH01616 Model Year
  This letter may be a zero, however in most markets it denotes the model year.
S 1995
T 1996
V 1997
W 1998
X 1999
WBSBF9320SEH01616 Assembly Plant
This letter denotes where the vehicle was manufactured All E36 M3 models were manufactured in Regensburg, Germany.
A, F, G, K Munich, Germany
B, C, D Dingolfing, Germany
E, J Regensburn, Germany
L Spartanburg, SC USA
WBSBF9320SEH01616 Serial Number
  The last 6 digits are the sequential production numbers of the vehicle.

Where can I learn more BMW fun facts?

Learn more BMW fun facts by clicking HERE

Shop Now

BMW E36 M3 vin decode
BMW E36 M3 VIN decode