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Wikidata:Property proposal/VIN

vehicle identification numberEdit

Originally proposed at Wikidata:Property proposal/Transportation

Descriptionidentifier of an individual vehicle
Representsvehicle identification number (Q304948)
Data typeExternal identifier
Domainvehicles, such as cars
Allowed values(?!I|O|Q)[A-Z\d]{9}[A-Z\d](?!I|O|Q|U|Z|0)[A-Z\d]{7}
ExampleElon Musk's Tesla Roadster (Q46845259) → 5YJRE1A34A1000686
Planned useadd to items where available
Number of IDs in sourcelow use

Alexis900 (talkcontribslogs) Asqueladd (talkcontribslogs) BeneBot* (talkcontribslogs) Detcin (talkcontribslogs) Dough4872 (talkcontribslogs) Gz260 (talkcontribslogs) Happy5214 (talkcontribslogs) Imzadi1979 (talkcontribslogs) Jakec (talkcontribslogs) Labant (talkcontribslogs) Liuxinyu970226 (talkcontribslogs) Ljthefro (talkcontribslogs) naveenpf (talkcontribslogs) Puclik1 (talkcontribslogs) Rschen7754 (talkcontribslogs) Scott5114 (talkcontribslogs) SounderBruce (talkcontribslogs) TCN7JM (talkcontribslogs) TimChen (talkcontribslogs) Bodhisattwa (talkcontribslogs) Daniel Mietchen (talkcontribslogs) Tris T7 TT me  Notified participants of WikiProject Roads Eagle992 Teester Vulphere

  Notified participants of WikiProject Motorsports


For cases where the vehicle is sufficiently notable to have its item. I'm pinging the two active projects that seem to be closest.
--- Jura 12:12, 21 June 2018 (UTC)


  •   Support David (talk) 13:35, 21 June 2018 (UTC)
  •   Support Alexis900 (Talk Alexis900) 19:37, 21 June 2018 (UTC)
  •   Oppose because of privacy related issues. John Samuel 12:44, 23 June 2018 (UTC)
  • Tend to   Oppose per John. Mahir256 (talk) 04:57, 25 June 2018 (UTC)
    • @Mahir256: chassis number is fairly standard in works about automobiles (sample File:Maserati A6GCM.jpg). VIN is just the modern version of it. I doubt Elon M. minds.
      --- Jura 05:21, 27 June 2018 (UTC)
      • @Jsamwrites, Mahir256: We have plenty of other properties that may raise privacy concerns, our new BLP should apply and this property would (if agreed) be an instance of property that may violate privacy (Q44601380). Does this not satisfy your concerns? ArthurPSmith (talk) 18:01, 28 June 2018 (UTC)
        • I am wondering why do we need to keep track of such personally identifiable information. There are instances where we talk of celebrities having cars/vehicles of model X. However this property goes down to a finer granularity level. John Samuel 18:50, 29 June 2018 (UTC)
          • I doubt you had a look at the sample: the VIN in the sample is the chassis number of a vehicle. It is added to an item for a vehicle notable enough to have its own item. The scope is not items of people to list their cars. Not sure what this has to do with "talk of celebrities having cars".
            --- Jura 07:35, 30 June 2018 (UTC)
  •   Support. Thierry Caro (talk) 09:18, 28 June 2018 (UTC)
  •   Support, but we have to find out if we really want to use VIN or just chassis number.
First of all, I see the point about privacy related issues, but I don't really think that it will be a problem. This is obviously different from country to country, but in some countries one can get the VIN online as long as you just know the registration number. Also, I don't think this property will be used much for celebrity cars, but more for preserved vehicles, like for example buses (which is my field of intererst for this property), and they are often not owned by private persons. (Also keep in mind that the Tesla Roadster in question is notable not because it is owned by Musk, but because it was sent into space.)
The way I see it, a vehicle identification number (Q304948) is subclass of chassis number (Q55418475), and while VIN is a unique identifier (at least in theory, but I don't think there is any central registry), a chassis number is at best just an ordinary identifier with loads of duplicates. A VIN always has exactly 17 chars and contains only digits and letters (some excepted), and has for most parts of the world only been issued since the beginning of the 1980s. A chassis number could be any length and contain many types of characters. So if we choose to go for VIN as a property we will have an unique identifier, but most vehicles older that the 1980s (and some newer too) will be excluded from using this property. If we call it chassis number, any old notable vehicle could use the property, but it will not be usable as an identifier. I would strongly oppose calling it VIN and allowing other types of chassis numbers, because it would mess things up and people would be less aware of what a VIN actually is. Since I beleive that many notable vehicles really don't have a VIN (because they are older), i think it would be better to name the property as chassis number, rather than VIN. What do the other supporters think of this?
I made a little example of a preserved bus: ND 97944 (Q55313914). It is definitely not the most notable in any sense, but I chose it because I know a lot about it from my homeplace. I'm not sure if it makes anything more clear, but I added it to get a better understanding myself. This one does not have its own category on Commons yet since there is only one photo of it online, but many preserved buses do. Bergenga (talk) 11:24, 12 July 2018 (UTC)
  • @Bergenga: Thanks for your detailed explanation. For vehicles that merely have a chassis number or serial number, but no VIN, I think the existing property "product number" could do. BTW c:Category:Ferraris by serial number has plenty of them. As you mention, VIN would only apply to newer vehicles and I don't expect that many uses of this property.
    --- Jura 12:46, 12 July 2018 (UTC)
If this property proposal is so clearly aimed at VIN and not chassis number as you say now, then I obviously support it like that. Still, I think that the need for chassis number as a property is much larger, even if it is not a unique identifier like VIN, but because there are so many more notable road vehicles that will be able to use it in a long time to come. I even don't see that any of them may come in the way of the other. In some rare cases the serial number of the chassis may actually be different from the VIN. For example the Ikarus E91 (Q835587) midibuses were built on chassis kits from an external supplier, so as an example one of those delivered to Norway had TSEE91MAR33N00079 as VIN and B1305015209030212 as chassis number. Bergenga (talk) 22:47, 12 July 2018 (UTC)
If this will only rarely be used and it's not useful for pre-1980 vehicles anyway (of which we likely have more), why not instead use serial number (P2598) with an appropriate qualifier for VIN or chassis number or whatever? ArthurPSmith (talk) 17:57, 12 July 2018 (UTC)
  • It's obviously always a possibility for any unique identifier.
    --- Jura 21:24, 12 July 2018 (UTC)
    • Maybe the main difference to some other identifiers is that it's generally known and widely used elsewhere. For other identifiers that would be used rarely at Wikidata, I'd suggest the use of some other property. As years go by, 1980 is further and further away.
      --- Jura 09:59, 13 July 2018 (UTC)
It would obviously take quite a while befor this property would reach a thousand usages, but what is the limit for when an identifier is too obscure? Using serial number will work in many cases. On the example I made, I added both the serial number of the bodywork manufacturer and of the chassis manufacturer as qualifiers on the manufacturer statements. But things can get complicated when there are more than one serial number issued for the vehicle by the manufacturer. For example buses from both MAN and Scania (that are not built with external bodywork) have two different sets of serial numbers. The Scania buses built in Finland nowadays even have three different ones, of which two are formatted as a legal VIN. One example is this Scania Interlink: c:File:Scania LK 450 EB6x2*4NI Interlink HD 14.0 - Telemark Bilruter - Telemarkekspressen.jpg, which has YS2K6X20001900166 as the main VIN for the chassis (1900166 is the serial number for Scania and is unique among all vehicles manufactured by Scania), 419201 is a serial number among buses with integral bodywork from Scania, and YK900L360G0008875 is the VIN that is issued by the plant in Finland. Maybe we won't have many (or any?) cases with this many serial numbers, but it could get messy, and having a separate property for VIN (or chassis number) would make it easier to know where to put all the data. Bergenga (talk) 22:47, 12 July 2018 (UTC)
  Support privacy is always not a reason to oppose property. --Liuxinyu970226 (talk) 07:43, 15 July 2018 (UTC)
  • I'd probably oppose if this was a property for credit card numbers ..
    --- Jura 05:24, 26 July 2018 (UTC)
  • You may also just nominate a property request called "drive license number", I will also support it. --Liuxinyu970226 (talk) 08:50, 19 August 2018 (UTC)
  Weak oppose given the low number of uses and the privacy concerns, I think serial number (P2598) should be sufficient − Pintoch (talk) 10:06, 5 August 2018 (UTC)
  • If you think it's problematic for such concerns, why do you suggest using P2598?
    --- Jura 10:43, 5 August 2018 (UTC)
    • Given the privacy concerns, we probably want to make sure that claims are all backed by reliable sources. There will be few cases where we can find reliable reference to back these claims. So probably not enough to justify a new property. In the cases where we can find some, just use serial number (P2598). Is that clearer? − Pintoch (talk) 08:23, 12 August 2018 (UTC)
      • That seems even more contradictory. A dedicated property would make it easier to add a reference constraint. Obviously, people are free to support or oppose for any reason, whether we understand it or not.
        --- Jura 06:03, 16 August 2018 (UTC)
  Support The information is useful, and I don't see what the privacy issues could be. If a particular vehicle is notable enough for inclusion in the encyclopedia, chances are that its owner is already identified. — JFG talk 22:49, 23 August 2018 (UTC)